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How to Succeed in Online Courses | Hardware Requirements | Suggested Software | Plug-Ins | Computer Skills Tutorials | Blackboard Tutorial | Student's Guide to Copyright Issues
Online Learning @ College of the Canyons
Plug-In and Software Installation
Plug-In Installation:
The simplest way to install plug-ins is to follow the instructions given on the site that has the plug-in that you wish to download. When given a series of choices, and you are unsure as to the correct one to choose, choose the "default" selection. Otherwise, the steps below will help to illustrate plug-in installation.

In directions below, "click" means to single-left click the mouse.

Step-by-step plug-in downloading guide *

Step 1: Preparing a File for Download
For purposes of this exercise, you've found a file you would like to download at, which is a popular place to download music on the Web.  You'd like to download the free MP3 Player ( which will enable you to play music on your computer from the Internet. This program is freeware, but if you download shareware, and if you intend to use the complete program, you will eventually have to pay for it.

When you have determined you have enough disk space to download the file, the first thing you need to do is select your operating system, and then follow the rest of the directions on the site. Once you click on the file, you will be prompted to save it to your hard disk. There are two things you absolutely must remember: where you saved the file and what the file name was (jot this information down if you have to).  After you've chosen a place to save the file, your computer will begin downloading it, and you usually will be given an estimate of how much time it will take.
      TIP: One of the simplest ways to find files that you've downloaded is to save them to the desktop. That way when you close your connection to the Internet, and your Web browser window, you will see the files right on your screen.

Step 2: Don't forget to exit out of your browser!
Many people don't realize that after they have downloaded the file, they must run through an installation process to make the software work.  Once you have downloaded the file, close your browser and find the file you have just downloaded. It will be conveniently saved on your desktop.

Step 3: Running through the installation process
Double-clicking on the name of the file you have just downloaded will get the installation process going. You usually will be prompted to answer a few questions, such as "What is your email address?" and "What type of browser are you using?" When the installation is completed, you can begin enjoying your new software.

* From the California Virtual Campus Online Survival Guide by S. E. Frederickson. (c) Rio Hondo Community College, 2002.


Make sure that you are connected to the Internet.

Follow directions as stated on the Web site you are using.  Each program is similar. For tutorial purposes, I am going to list directions for installing the RealOne Player plug-in from the Web.

1.  Go to

2.  Select the "Free RealOne Player" listed near the upper right corner of the screen.

3.  On the next screen, go to the lower right hand corner and "Download the Free RealOne Player" as listed.  Note, that there are pay versions included on the site.  Click on the "Free download" link.

A security window will ask if you are sure you want to "install and run the RealOne Player."  Click on "YES." A Download Manager window will open, showing the installation time and percentage.  After the download has ceased, the computer will automatically install the player. 

Note: Download and installation do not mean the same thing.  A screen, preparing to install RealOne player will open. When the process is complete, the screen will disappear and be replaced by a "Welcome" window.  Click on the "Express Install" if it is not already chosen for you, then click on "Next."

4.  Read the "Licensing Agreement" and click the "Accept" key.   The installation will continue.

5.  A "Media Types" window will appear. Media types will be check-marked. Click on "Finish."

6.  The RealOne player will automatically display. Click on the "Next" button for the final steps in the installation process.

7.  Sign in and Registration.  Many programs will ask for information to register the plug-in or software to you. If you entered information previously, fill in the "Email address" and "Password" boxes. If you did not register, now is the time to do so.  Click on the link that asks you to register with your email and password.

8.  Enter information and click on "Create."

9.  When asked to "Choose your RealOne Player Set up," select "Basic Setup." (This is the free model). Click "Continue." RealOne will start an introductory window. Listen to it if you wish. Click on the small "X" in the corner to stop the program.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Some programs will not be fully installed unless the computer is rebooted (turned off and on again). You will be given an instruction after downloading if you wish to restart your computer now, or at a later time. This is up to you. If you require the software or plug-in immediately, you will have to go through the operation at this time, otherwise, the program will become fully installed the next time you turn your computer on.