Mac for dummies, downloading question.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Jamnsam, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. Jamnsam macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2008
    NSW, Australia
    G'day, this might seem like a trivial question but it has been confusing the hell out of me for the past month.

    I am a recent convert from a PC to a new imac 24", and I am learning my way around things. One thing I dont properly understand is how to download programs and where to store them.

    e.g. I downloaded google maps and VLC. The files went into the download icon next to the trash bin. When google earth finished (dmg file) I double clicked on the icon and it came up on my desktop beneath the time machine icon. Clicked on it again and it launched google earth. I then ejected it and removed it from my download "tray"... now it is gone. ****....

    Did the same thing with VLC player except that instead of ejecting it I dragged it to the applications folder. Saw the little witches hat and dragged that down to my icons along bottom of screen. But I still have the dmg file in the application s folder, will that always stay there???

    If someone can teach me the proper way to download and install files and programs it would be appreciated.
  2. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    A .DMG file works a bit like a CD.

    Double click the DMG and it will 'open' creating another icon in the same place. Double click this new icon to access whats inside. VLC for example. Drag the VLC app (witches hat icon as you call it) to your applications folder. This is the actual application file. If you want to place it in your dock, once you have put the app in the apps folder you can drag the icon from the apps folder to your dock. The icon that now appears in your dock is an 'alias' or what windows users would call a shortcut. The actual app still resides in the apps folder, meaning its safe to erase stuff from your dock without fear of erasing the app itself.

    So once you have done that you still have the .DMG file and the second file in your downloads folder. You can 'eject' the second file (click on it and press Apple + E). Now you are left with just the DMG. This is the container that has the original app inside. You may keep the DMG file incase you want to reinstall the app in future or you can erase it as you have already taken what you need from it and placed it in the apps folder.

    Hope that makes sense. :)
  3. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    .dmg files or 'disk images' can be compared to zip files in they are archives and a way to store data except disk images are mounted as virtual disks and zip files simply unarchive to the same directory.

    simply drag the application to your Applications folder, eject the .dmg from Finder and then Trash it (or keep it if you wish).

    then you wont have to mount the .dmg everytime you want to use the application and you can now add it to your dock.
  4. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    If you download a .DMG file, it should automatically mount it, i.e. the white icon that appears on the left side of the screen. Drag and drop the icon of the app to the Applications Folder. Once finished, close the Finder window and eject the white icon by dragging it to the trash bin. Then delete the .DMG file you download. Some apps like Transmission, download as just an icon. For those, just drag and drop into the Applications Folder. For other apps, like Office 2008 or Final Cut Express, you have an installer, which is similiar to the installer on Windows.
  5. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    You'll probably find that a lot of applications will have a shortcut folder to the Application folder within the .dmg file to make it a little easier/obvious.

    Takes a bit getting used to the new ways, but once you got it, you'll prefer it hugely to the Windows Install Shield ;)

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