How to use the Software Center (Windows)

This guide will show you how to use the Software Center on Windows. 

Note that all available applications in the Software Center are configured to work within Iowa State's environment, there is no need to have server or configuration information. If you are off campus, you can still download applications, just connect to the VPN first.

Launching Software Center

To find the Software Center, click the Start button on the bottom left corner and search Software Center. It is highlighted in blue below.

Launch Software Center by clicking on it.

Software center search

You should see something like the picture below. The "New" banner on the top right of the application means that it has been recently added to Software Center. Note additional applications and applications updates will be added regularly, so your Software Center will probably look different than the one below.

List of applications

Installing a Single Application

Let's say you wanted to install an application called Cisco Jabber. If you do not see the application you are looking for on the home screen, you can search for it. On the top right corner, there's a search bar you can use to find the application you are looking for. In my case, type in "Cisco" and you would get all the applications with the word "Cisco" in it.

Application window search

Once you've typed in the name of the application you are looking for, press enter. You should see a list of all the software based on what you have searched. 

Cisco results

Another way you can find the application you are looking for is by clicking on the box next to "Sort by:" and selecting one of the options listed. The most recent filter will show the most recently added applications to the Software Center. The rest of the filters sort by publisher or software.

Sort applications by category


After finding the application you need, click on it. In this case, Cisco Jabber is available! 

Cisco jabber install

Click install, and it will begin downloading and installing to your computer. It will tell you the download progress right next to the word status. Wait until your application is installed and it will be ready for use! You will be notified if you need to restart your computer for the application to work properly. 

Installing Multiple Applications

If you wish to install multiple applications, simply click the leftmost icon boxed in red (also called "Switch to multi-select mode") under the search bar.

Application multi select

Your list of applications should now look something like this:

Multiple selection view


Click on the checkbox on the left of the application icon to specify that you wish to download that application. You can also use the search bar on the top right corner to filter the applications you want. Once you've selected the applications you wish to download, click on the "Install Selected" button. In this example we will be installing Notepad++ and VLC Media player.


Multiple selection install


Software Center will download the necessary content and then install the application.

To verify that our applications are installed, we can click on the "Installation Status" tab on the left of the window and we can see our applications. As you can see, both Notepad++ and VLC Media Player have been successfully installed.

Multiple select verify

Your applications are now ready for use! Again, all the applications come configured to work with campus resources.

Uninstalling an Application

If you no longer wish to have an application stored on your computer, you can uninstall it. To do so, you will either need to search for the application you are trying to uninstall or you can look for it under the "Installation status" on the left side of the window. 

When you have found the application you wish to install, click on it and you should see something like this. In my example, I am going to uninstall VLC media player. Click on "Uninstall" and you will have successfully uninstalled your application.

Uninstall application

Upgrading Applications

If an application is installed, and a newer version becomes available, you will be prompted to update the application.  You can choose to install the update immediately, or schedule the update anytime before the update deadline.  Note, if software was acquired through a direct install, but later becomes added to Software Center, updates will automatically include your system too.

Requesting Additional Software

You may request additional software be added by contacting your department IT or by emailing  If it is research related software, please include the official download source.  Software that requires a fee to license will be directed to your local department IT.