Monthly Archives: January 2014

I Downloaded a Program – Why is it not Running?

Every now and then I hear this question. It stems from not understanding the difference between two different actions: “download” and “install”. Well, we’ll get rid of that confusion today.

Download: Making a copy of a file that is on another computer (often in the Internet) onto your computer.

Install: Opening a file that contain the necessary steps to make a new program work on your computer.

I think the confusion stems mainly from the fact that, nowadays, often the file that contains the necessary steps to make a new program work, is a file that is downloaded from the Internet (surprisingly, that file is often called an “installer”). So as far as sequence, these 2 actions are typically right next to each other, but they are not interchangeable. So the sequence would be:

1. Download the installer (“Save it” to a location in your computer).

2. Open it to install the new program.

That should answer the question posed in the title of this article. “Downloading a program” doesn’t install it, that’s why it’s not running. Hopefully this will dissipate any confusions on this. If not, feel free to ask any questions about it.


Computer software is, simply put, a program. And what is a program? A sequence of commands for the computer to execute (carry out), normally contained in a file. That’s all it is. So whether it’s a word processing program, a video player, or an operating system, it all falls under the category of software.