"Install ON the computer" appears about 375 times on ten Google pages, while "install IN the computer" appears 117 times. Here are some sample sentences:

"¢ .... AIM Express is a java-based program that does not need to install on the computer. ...
"¢ The software you install on the computer is just to allow you to > download > > > the ...
"¢ GMS 4 MUST be installed on each computer that will access the ...
"¢ Office Update Service Pack 2 won't install on the computer
"¢ You can select which software tools and applications you want to pre-install on the computer. ...
_______
"¢ . System RAM Expandable To: is the maximum amount of
RAM that you can ever install in the computer. Running individual ...
"¢ this can cause issues with the hardware device you are attempting to install in the computer ...
"¢ Solution used with portable computers PC Card modems are fairly cheap and relatively easy to install in the computer. ...
"¢ ... When IBM came out with their microchannel architecture years ago, the only components
that you could install in the computer to upgrade or fix something, had ...
"¢ "install" or execute the setup.exe (this will install in the computer disk ...
_______
The Grammar Exchange queried several people whose work keeps them on computers all day; these people answered "install ON the computer."

It is not obvious to the Grammar Exchange what the difference would be, except that possibly "install IN the computer" has more to do with the inner workings of the machine.

Readers, do you have a feel for any difference?
Rachel
Last edited {1}

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