How to Install a Game on a PC

This minHour teaches you how to install a video game on a Windows computer, both from within the massive game manager Steam and by using a more traditional CD-based approach.

Using Steam

Open Steam.

This application resembles a white piece of machinery on a blue background.

  • If you don’t yet have Steam installed on your computer, install it before continuing.

Log into Steam if prompted.

Type in your account name and password, then click . This will log you into Steam.

  • You may be prompted to enter a code that Steam sends to your Steam email address in order to authorize your computer.

Click the STORE tab.

It’s at the top of the Steam window.

  • You may have to scroll down and click OK, take me to the Store to continue.

Select a game you want to purchase.

Daily deals, recommended games, new releases, and employee picks appear on the main STORE page. If you want to purchase a game not listed here, either type its name into the search bar at the top of the window, or select the tab to select a genre.

Scroll down and click Add to Cart.

This green button is below the “Buy [Game Name]” heading in the middle of the page.

Click Purchase for myself.

It’s a green button near the top of the page.

Select your payment information.

You can pay through PayPal, or you can use a credit or debit card.

Click Purchase.

This option is in the middle of the screen. Doing so will complete your transaction and add the game to your Steam library.

Click the Library tab.

It’s in the upper-left side of the Steam window.

Download your game.

Double-click your game’s name in the left-hand toolbar, then click when prompted. This will begin downloading the game to your computer.

Double-click the game’s name when it finishes downloading.

Once your game finishes downloading to your computer, double-clicking its name in Steam will begin running it. You have successfully installed a game on your PC.

Using a CD

Close all running applications.

In order to install a game from a CD, it’s best to close any running programs, browsers, and apps.

Insert the game disc into your computer.

Do so by placing the CD or DVD into your computer’s disc drive with the label face-up.

Click Yes if prompted.

Sometimes, Windows will ask you to confirm an application’s legitimacy before opening it. If this happens, click to proceed with opening the installer window.

  • If the installer window doesn’t open, open Start, click the File Explorer icon, click This PC, and double-click the disc’s name below the “Devices and drives” heading.

Follow the on-screen instructions.

Each game’s setup will vary slightly from other games, but you’ll typically have to do the following (not necessarily in order):

  • Select a setup language and click Next.
  • Select the I agree option for the terms of use, then click Next.
  • Select an installation location, then click Next.
  • Select shortcut options, then click Next.
  • Enter the game’s key, which is usually found on the back of the CD’s case or in the manual.

Click Install when prompted.

This will begin the installation process. When it completes, you’ll see an icon appear on your desktop if you chose to create one.

Click Finish.

Doing so will close the setup window; for some games, this will also launch the game.


  • You can also purchase Steam codes and other online codes from places like Amazon and Best Buy.


  • Most games are digital downloads rather than CD-based downloads at this point. If you have the option to purchase a game as a digital download rather than in CD form, do so.

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