If you have to format your computer and reinstall an operating system, you will find you need to reload any programs that you want to use. Here is how to reinstall several popular programs:

Microsoft Office
The Office suite includes programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and more. In order to load this program back onto your computer, you will need to find the discs for it. This is not a free program, so is likely something you purchased at one time or another. Many computers come with a free 60 day trial version, but once the trial has expired you will need to purchase the software to continue using it. If your computer originally came with it installed but after formatting the computer you lost it, I’m sorry but you are out of luck and will need to purchase the software to use it again. You can also not share one copy of the software with your entire office. The software will need to be activated by a product key, and if Microsoft determines the product has been activated too many times it will not allow further activation. This is a valuable program, so just spend the $100 or so and buy a legit copy for your use.

iTunes is a free program but must be reinstalled on your computer if you have had to do a format. You can go to www.itunes.com and click on the Download iTunes for Free button, then follow the prompts to install it.

Internet Explorer
If you are using a PC, Internet Explorer will automatically be downloaded when you reinstall your operating system. You should not need to do anything.

Firefox / Chrome
These operating systems will need to be reinstalled after a format, however both are free downloads. Visit the Mozilla or Google websites and look for their links to download the respective programs.

Virus Scan
Virus scan software can be downloaded either via discs, or online. If you purchased the software online originally, go to the manufacturer website for the virus scan and log in to your account. Most big-name companies will have a record of how much time is remaining in your current subscription, and will let you re-download the product.

Other software
Other software you might use includes accounting software (Quickbooks, Quicken), games (Warcraft, Sims), photo editing software (Adobe, Kodak) and more. These programs were likely purchased by you at some point and came with a CD that you can use to download the software. Use the discs and make sure to have on hand any product key numbers that came with the software in order to reinstall it.