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Software and app updates contain vital security upgrades which help protect your device from viruses and hackers.

 

Always download the latest software and app updates as soon as they appear

Your computer, tablet or smartphone may sometimes prompt you to let you know that a software or app update is available.

While it’s easy to hit ‘cancel’ and go back to what you’re doing, the few minutes it takes to download and install the software updates could save you an enormous amount of time and trouble in the long run.

On top of having the most up to date security, software updates also usually include new features and functionality – so why wouldn’t you install them?

How to update your web browser

If you haven’t been prompted to update your web browser by the browser itself, just head along to the What Browser? (opens new window) website to check what version you’re using and – if necessary – download and install the latest one.

How to update Microsoft Windows

The best way to keep your PC current is to turn on automatic updates. Go to 'Windows Update' and check that your computer is set to download and install updates automatically.

You can find details on how to keep your PC up to date on the Microsoft Windows website:

Update your Windows PC (opens new window)

How to update Apple macOS

Your Apple computer will usually prompt you when a software update is available.

If you’ve turned this feature off you can check for updates in the App Store. Click the ‘App Store’ icon in the dock to open the App store. Once it has opened press the ‘Updates’ icon at the top of the screen and it will tell you give you the option to download and install any available updates.

 

How to update Android on your tablet or smartphone

Go into the ‘Settings’ app, scroll to the bottom and select ‘About’. Choose ‘Software updates’ from the menu and your device will check for available updates.

Your Android tablet or smartphone should automatically check for updates to the apps you use, and download and install them directly from the Google Play Store. Sometimes you might get prompted to authorise an update, so keep an eye out and make sure you give the go-ahead. 

 

How to update your iPhone or iPad

When the apps on your iPhone or iPad need updating, you’ll notice a red dot appear in the corner of the icon for the ‘App Store’ app, with a number. The number in the red dot tells you how many apps need updating.

When the red dot appears, go into ‘Updates’ in the App Store and press ‘Update All’ to get the latest version of each app.

You can also change your settings so that apps update automatically, as soon as a new version is available. In ‘Settings’ go to ‘iTunes and App Store’ and then press the switch next to ’Updates’. If you want the updates to only download when you have access to wifi, the leave the ‘Use Mobile Data’ option unselected.

Apple has a really good guide to updating the iOS software that iPhones and iPads run on. You can view it here:

Update the software on an iPhone or iPad (opens new window)