Skip to Main Content
University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

Install GIS Software

This guide provides instructions for installing and configuring all 3 major GIS software applications(ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro, and QGIS). It covers the similarities and differences of these applications and explains how to get started with common geospatial d

Installing QGIS

QGIS Installation Instructions

1. Prior to downloading QGIS it is recommended that you check to verify that your operating system is up to date. If you are using a Windows PC, check to see if any Windows updates are available and install them before proceeding. If you have a Mac, check to see if you have the latest release of MacOS installed and if there are any system updates or security patches available, download and install them before moving on to the next step below.

In your web browser, navigate to and click on the large green "Download Now" button that you see near the center of the page.  This will take you to the Download page where you have the abilities to select which version of QGIS you would like to install.

QGIS homepage screenshot


QGIS is unique among the major desktop GIS software applications in that it can run on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers.  For this reason, it is important to select the QGIS version appropriate for your operating system on the Download page.  You will also notice that, even once you have selected your operating system you may still see up to 4 options to choose from: for Windows you can select a 32 bit or 64 bit version of QGIS and for both Windows and Mac you can select the latest release of the software or an older, more stable long-term support release.  The 64bit version is recommended for almost all users, unless you are attempting to install the software on a extremely old computer that has a 32 bit processor. It is also recommended that you install the latest release rather than the long term release so that you have access to the latest QGIS features. If you are working on a Windows PC or Mac, click on the QGIS standalone installer link for the software version that is most appropriate for your computer configuration to download the QGIS installation files. If you hoping to load QGIS on a Linux computer, follow the instructions on the Download page to download and install the software on you computer using the software installation method specific to your Linux distribution.

undefined undefined
3. Once you have downloaded the most suitable version of QGIS for your Windows or MacOS computer the next step is to actually install the software on your machine. Once you are ready to run the installer, click on the QGIS installer file you downloaded to bring up a wizard that will walk you through the install process in a few easy steps. For most users the default options offered in each step will be fine, but you should read the contents of each page in the wizard carefully to see if you think any adjustment to the default settings is required for your particular use case. Once you reach the end of the installation wizard, click the Install button to start the installation process which should take just a few minutes to complete on a typical computer.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Generic License.