Go to http://www.cygwin.com .
Click "setup-x86.exe" or "setup-x86_64.exe" under "Installing Cygwin",run the program when it downloads, and click "next" several times, accepting all the default settings.
Choose any of the Download sites ("ftp.easynet.be", etc.) when that window comes up; press "next" and the Cygwin installer should start downloading.
When the "Select Packages"
window appears, click the "+" next to "All", scroll down to the heading "Devel" and
click on the "+" by it. In the list of packages that now
displays, scroll down and find the "gcc-core" package;
this is the compiler. Click once on the down arrow to the right of the word "Skip", choose the latest
version number. Once you click next, several other related packages will now be downloaded.
Select "gcc-g++" for downloading in the same way.
Click "next" and the compiler as well as the Cygwin tools should start downloading; this could take a while. While you're waiting, go to http://www.crimsoneditor.com and download that free programmer's editor; it's powerful yet easy to use for beginners.
Once the Cygwin downloads are finished and you have clicked "next", etc. to finish the installation, double-click the Cygwin icon on your desktop to begin the Cygwin "command prompt". Your home directory will automatically be set up in the Cygwin folder, which now should be at "C:\cygwin" (the Cygwin folder is in some ways like a small Unix/Linux computer on your Windows machine -- not technically of course, but it may be helpful to think of it that way).
Type "g++" at the Cygwin prompt and press "enter"; if "gcc: fatal error; no input files" or something like it appears you have succeeded and now have the gcc compiler on your computer (and congratulations -- you have also just received your first error message!). If "-bash: g++: command not found" appears, there is an error in the installation. Please contact me to find out what went wrong.