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What is InstallShield?

By Donn Saylor
Updated May 16, 2024
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InstallShield is a type of software utilized for the creation of computer software packaging systems. Employed predominantly for use in Microsoft Windows, this software installs Windows™ software directly onto a PC and corresponding servers. In addition to installation, it also removes harmful or unwanted programs and, in some cases, repairs damaged or outdated software.

An installer, or installation software, such as InstallShield instates a wide variety of files onto a computer. Various drivers, applications, and other types of software are put into action with the use of an installer. The software automatically reads the guidelines associated with different software and ensures they operate according to those specifications. It modifies the entire system to accommodate the demands of the software.

Those using this software cite a number of benefits. It is an overwhelmingly secure way to install new software on a computer, and it is relatively simple to use. It can also be utilized to safely uninstall and remove unwanted or harmful software. InstallShield works quickly and automatically, requiring few prompts, and does not alter or affect other applications. It comes with a variety of wizards to guide users more efficiently through the install/uninstall process.

InstallShield makes certain that all software on a PC complies with the specifications of Microsoft Windows. It performs regular checks for updates to the system, and when one is available, the software will alert the user. This keeps a computer up to date with the latest technology and boosts productivity for users.

The software is constantly being updated and improved. Nearly every year finds a new edition on the market. Users must weigh the individual benefits and drawbacks of regularly installing new versions. Certain programs work more efficiently with a newer version of the software and can greatly enhance a user's experience.

InstallShield was created by Stirling Technologies in the 1990s. The company changed its name to InstallShield Corporation after the soaring popularity of their software tools. In 2004, the corporation was obtained by Macrovision, which was eventually sold, prompting another name change, this time to Acresso Software Corporation. Since 2009, the company that manufactures InstallShield goes by the name Flexera Software.

The esteemed status of the software instigated the creation of a rival installer called InstallAnywhere. The two types of software operated on similar terms, and InstallAnywhere eventually reached a significant level of success. In 2005, InstallAnywhere was purchased by the same company that owns InstallShield.

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