Updating your Software

Published 18 July 2019

No matter what device you prefer to use, chances are you run a number of programs or apps, and most of them will prompt you to do an update every so often. What do you do when you see that little pop-up message?

Some research has shown that most people tend to click the "cancel " or "remind me later" button when prompted to update their software. Some reasons for doing this include being too busy with something else, or concerns about data usage. But should you put off updating your software continually?

The definite answer is: No. While it may not be an issue to put off software and application updates for a week or so, leaving it too long puts you at risk of security hacks. And because updates often include fixes for any issues or bugs, delaying them could rob you of an improved user experience.

While many programs come with an option to update automatically, others may need to be updated manually each time. Take some time to look through your computer or device and find out which apps need your attention in this regard.

Among some of the most important software needing regular updates are, of course, your OS (operating system) and Security or Antivirus software. Even if you feel some of your other programs could wait, do your best not to put these updates off!

Speaking of OS Upgrades

One major upgrade Microsoft has been rolling out is Windows 10. While many have been reluctant to make the progression for various reasons (from fear of the unfamiliar to worry about cost), it has come to the point where Win 7 users will have to make the decision to upgrade to Win 10 sooner rather than later. Why?

According to Microsoft, "After January 14, 2020, if your PC is running Windows 7, it will no longer receive security updates...after support has ended, your PC will become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses."

To add further good reason to make the switch, many users have found that their software no longer works as well as it used to on their Win 7 machines. This may have something to do with the software providers themselves no longer extending support for Win 7 systems, although this is just speculation.

Read this article from our IT tips to find out more about what the Windows 10 upgrade entails.

A Note on OS Updates:

Because Windows 10 is constantly getting incremental version updates, there have been a number of users who find that certain updates to hardware drivers have caused annoying issues on their system. For this reason, many feel it is best to be choosy about when Win 10 installs certain updates. By delaying these, one can allow time for any bugs to be fixed before installing the affected updates on their system.

To manually choose when Win 10 downloads and installs updates, go to All Settings > Updates & Security > Advanced Options. There you will find a section titled "Pause Updates". Depending on which version of Win 10 you are using, you can delay when the latest updates are downloaded and installed by a couple of weeks.

Another good idea is to create/enable Restore Points before installing updates. This will give you an opportunity to roll back your computer's driver versions to a point when they were working correctly should a specific update cause problems.

To do this go to Control Panel > System > System Protection, then click on "Create..." and enter a description (the date and time are entered automatically) to create a restore point.

Updated 18 May 2020 to include "A Note on OS Updates" section
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