Updated: 03/12/2022 by Computer Hope

Install may refer to any of the following:

1. With computer hardware, install describes physically connecting a component to a computer. For general hardware components, like RAM (random-access memory) or peripherals, it is possible for anyone, including the end-user, to install hardware. However, more intricate parts, like an IC (integrated circuit) that require soldering or special equipment, need a technician or engineer to install.

Ejected CD-ROM (compact disc read-only memory) tray with a compact disc in the tray.

2. With computer software, install, installation, or install.exe is creating, extracting, and moving all the necessary files to run a computer program. An install is started by running the install or setup file on a disc or downloading a program and running the install file.

Once all files are installed on the computer, a program runs without a disc or downloaded file.


If you no longer want the computer program or need more disk space, it can be uninstalled.

What is a custom and express install?

You may be prompted to do a "custom install" or "express install" when installing a program. An express install is an install that happens with little or no interaction required from the user. Use this option if you require no changes to the settings and trust the developer. A custom install is done if you have special requirements, such as installing the program on a different drive. Doing a custom install is also a good idea if you're unfamiliar with the developer and want to ensure it's not installing bloatware or changing computer settings.


We recommend always using the custom install option since it's not much slower than an express install, and it ensures it's installed how you want it to be installed.

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