How and Why to Update your Computer

Running updates is the most important thing to keep your device running well and safely. Read on to learn how and why to update your computer.

How you run updates depends partly on the device you are using and whether the updates are automatic. Here is a break down.

Automatic Updates

Most devices can be set to run updates automatically. This is the safest way to manage your device. If you are notified that a restart is required to finish an update, you should do that as soon as possible.

When devices are set to update automatically, they will usually do this during the night, or during your down time. They will need to be plugged into power, and turned on (asleep is ok, but turned off is not). If they are not in this state, the updates will be delayed. Down time can be schedule on your computer in the settings app.

In addition, according to this article in Forbes magazine, some Windows 10 updates actually take up to 8 hours to be fully implemented by the system. This indicates that if you shut down your computer during the update process, it will cancel and delay the update. In order to avoid this, computers should not be shut off every day. 

Some updates, such as Windows 10 to Windows 11, or iOS 14 to iOS 15, or MacOS 11 Big Sur to MacOS 12 Monterey, require action on the users’ part. Waiting a week or two after a major update comes out before installing can be a good idea. This allows some real world experience and at least one set of bug fixes before you jump in. But many people never run these updates and their computers become out of date and less secure with each passing version.

Updates by Device Type

To see if your device needs updates, you can do the following –

Windows – type updates in the search bar. Open Update & Security, and then choose Check for Updates

Macintosh computers – Open the Apple menu, choose About this Mac, then click on Software Update

Chromebooks are designed to update automatically. Google’s explanation is here.

Phones and Tablets need updating too:
iPhone/iPad – Open Settings, choose General, click on Software Update
To check your apps, open the App Store, click on your picture/name in the top right corner, scroll down to Upcoming automatic updates.
Android – Open Settings, choose About Phone, click on Check for Updates

End of Updates

Eventually every device will reach an age at which it can no longer receive updates. This is a good indication that you should start planning to replace it.  At first you might not notice much difference, but you will not be receiving up to date virus protection and bug fixes, which will leave you more vulnerable. Eventually, websites and apps will stop working due to the vulnerabilities inherent in old hardware. Chromebooks are designed with an expiration date. Other devices will also reach this state, but you won’t know ahead of time when it will happen.

If you would like help with this process, just call or email and we’ll be happy to assist you! If you have specific questions, or if our terminology isn’t clear, please use our contact form to send us a message. Thank you!

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