Updating Your Operating System and Software: The Ultimate Guide
Computer owners all have their different preferences when it comes to updating their computers. Automatic updates, manual updates, hit IGNORE every time the update prompt comes up until the computer stops working – everyone has a habit.
Whether the updates are just regular software updates, or an entire operating system update, it’s generally best practice to automatically update your computer. The only times you would want to keep your computer from automatically updating are:
- if you’re using peripherals (such as a music studio) that may not be supported by the newest updates immediately
- a security bug has been revealed
- it limits your current usage of your computer, such as if your components are out of date and can’t support the new software
We’ll get into these topics, and more, in our ultimate guide to updating your operating system.
What Is an Operating System?
As far as software goes, the operating system is considered the most important one that runs on any computer system. In the most general sense, the operating system or OS is the software that enables users to run other software or applications on a computer.
The OS manages a computer system’s processes and memory, along with its hardware and software. While it’s possible for an application to interface directly with the hardware, a good deal of applications is created to be utilized with an OS.
The OS is also responsible for managing a computing device’s hardware resources including:
- Input devices (mouse, keyboard, webcam)
- Output devices (monitor, printer, projector)
- Network devices (modem, router, server)
- Storage devices (internal and external hard drives)
It’s fair to say that a computer would be utterly useless without an operating system.
The Importance of Updating Your Operating System and Software
It’s easy to skip software updates since they can take up a few minutes of your time. Plus, it just seems that they are not that important. Well, skipping system and software updates can be a costly mistake. Here are the top reasons why you should keep your OS and software up to date.
According to Microsoft, about 50% of online adults were victims of cybercrime and one in five small-to-medium businesses have been targeted.
If most of your life is stored digitally, it only makes sense that you take the extra steps to secure your system. Certain viruses and malware can hold your computer for ransom or wipe out your system. Aside from having a good antivirus/malware application, updating your operating system is a surefire way to bolster your digital security.
For instance, Microsoft does a good job of updating Windows Defender, an anti-malware component of Windows. Updating your operating system also patches any security holes and vulnerabilities which can be used for malicious attacks.
On very rare occasions, an update has created a security vulnerability – but it is usually patched quickly. Checking sites like Twitter and Reddit will usually have very up-to-date news on security vulnerabilities after operating system patches.
Enhanced Compatibility with Applications
If your operating system is outdated or you just keep on skipping those “annoying” alerts, there’s a good chance that your installed programs will just stop working.
Newer applications are created and updated to run on modern systems. By modern, we mean the latest and greatest computer systems. Updating your operating system will ensure that your programs will run properly and not run into any compatibility issues.
Don’t Miss Out on New and Exciting Features
OS and software updates don’t just include the boring performance enhancements and bug fixes – they could come with fun, new stuff as well. Software developers constantly think of ways to include new features that can make the user experience a lot better.
For example, just recently, Microsoft added new features for the Windows 10 October 2018 Update such as the ability to send an Android text message from your PC, the Snip & Sketch feature, and Dark mode.
Don’t Forget About Device Drivers
As mentioned, the OS is the manager for the system’s hardware resources. As with OS updates, it’s also important that you keep your device drivers up to date.
Outdated drivers can lead to problems such as:
- Unstable system
- Unresponsive hardware
- Underperforming/slow devices
- System errors
The tricky thing about drivers is knowing when and how to update. The Windows OS comes with a utility that can update device drivers. However, those who have tried using it will know that it’s rather cumbersome.
If you are looking for a hassle-free way to update your system’s device drivers, you should Download Driver Support. This driver utility tool scans your system for outdated drivers and will automatically download and install the latest versions.
Updating Your Operating System and Software
Some updates that need to be made are within the PC software, not just coming from the OS. Keeping software updated can help the OS run smoothly. Skipping out on the software update notification can be easy—you think you’ll remember to go back to it—but most don’t. In fact, not updating your computer can slow the machine down as much as not updating your operating system will.
If you have a company with potentially vulnerable information, updating your software regularly can keep your information safe. In some cases, hackers were able to get into business systems and steal private information about customers, because someone had just hit ignore on a software update message.
Even home users are at risk and should never leave their operating systems out of date for long. People store all kinds of information on their home computers that can be leveraged and abused by hackers to do serious harm. Make sure that doesn’t happen to you by keeping your operating system up to date.
Of course, security isn’t the only reason why you should make an effort to keep your operating system updated. Additionally, operating system updates often improve the overall performance of your computer.
How To Update Your Windows Operating System
Windows PC’s have relatively frequent updates, and the security concerns make it important to keep up with them regularly. Within these safety concerns, Windows will add new malware blockers, patch up any holes in the system, and add more security features during an operating system update. However, selecting to update manually may not be enough to keep things running smooth.
Not updating your Windows OS at all, can cause both short-term and long-term problems. Getting yourself set up with automatic updates from Windows will be the easiest way to keep your PC running safe. They can be difficult to work with, because they will just update whenever they want. However if you time it correctly, like during your lunch break, the PC could be finished updating when you get back.
Setting up automatic update on your Windows PC’s OS only takes two simple steps:
- Start by clicking on the Start or “Windows” button on your PC screen, and type in “Windows Update” in the search bar. Press enter after.
- Click the “Change Settings” option, choose “Install Updates Automatically”, and click “OK” to finish. Once the PC’s OS is updated, it will require a reboot.
Once the automatic updates are set up, you will not have to manually update them every single time.
Some versions of the Windows OS, like Windows 10, will update itself automatically by default. However, this doesn’t always work and you might want to verify that it’s functioning properly. To do this, pull up the Start menu and search for “Windows Update Settings”.
From there, you’ll want to select advanced “Options” towards the bottom of the screen. Finally, click the option for automatic OS updates from the drop down menu if it’s not selected already. As long as it’s been selected you are good to go and won’t have to fuss with updating the OS yourself.
However, keep in mind that older versions of Windows require you to opt for automatic OS updates manually using steps like those covered above.
How To Update Your Mac OS
Owning a Mac is great, you get a powerful allotment of computing power at your disposal, not to mention the sleek designs of their models. Updating the operating system might seem like a tedious detail, but it is an essential part of keeping your machine in proper working order. Updating your Mac OS not only updates the computer, but it also updates the stock Apple apps on it like Safari, iTunes, and many more.
Mac also has a feature that allows you to also set up automatic updates, so there isn’t as much worry in the future. You can easily set up automatic updates for your Mac OS in a few quick steps:
- Click on “System Preferences” in the Apple menu (or apple icon), then click “Software Update” to check if there are any available.
- If there are any available, click “Update Now”, if you don’t see any updates available, your PC is up to date. Her, you’ll also see the option to set up automatic updates.
Sometimes a screen telling you when new software updates from Apple are available will appear on it’s own. In this case, all you have to do is check the boxes on the updates you want and click install.
If keeping your Mac OS updated manually isn’t something you want to keep track of or repeat, you can change the settings to allow automatic OS updates in the future. Choosing to have your Mac perform OS updates automatically is a great way to save time and lets you keep using your computer without having to spend time updating it yourself.
To opt for automatic OS updates on a Mac, check the box at the bottom of the screen that appears every time a software update is available. Not only will this keep your Mac OS updated automatically, it will also perform updates on Mail, Messages, Calendar, FaceTime, and Photos.
What to do After Updating Windows
After you’ve updated your operating system, your computer may act a bit strange – software is in new places, your registry will have new and different values. Your drivers may not be running properly, since they were installed on a different operating system.
The first and most important step after installing a new version of Windows, whether it’s from the update or a fresh install, is to get all your drivers up-to-date to ensure that your internet, monitors, temperature control, and other necessary components of your computer are functioning properly.
Option 1: Updating Device Drivers Manually
Now that you know how important it is to keep your device drivers updated, you’ll need to know how to maintain their performance yourself. Executing these updates manually is a chore that involves a series of steps that can easily put you to sleep, or worse, frustrate you to the point of yelling at your device.
Device drivers can be updated manually on a Windows machine by going under “Device Manager”. Begin by pulling up “Device Manager” from the Start menu.
From here, you can right click on your hardware components that have drivers.
When you right click on the device drivers, a small menu will appear. Select “Properties” and you’ll be directed to another screen with the option of updating the driver.
After you select the drivers to update, you’ll need to restart your computer for the updates to take full effect.
Unfortunately, doing all of this can cost you a lot of precious time that you could spend doing things that you actually enjoy. The nigh unbearable tediousness of the manual driver update process leads many to opt for using software that can do these updates automatically for you.
Option 2: Automatic Updaters
In today’s busy world, no one wants to be bothered with laborious processes like updating their machine’s device drivers manually. First, you have to find which drivers need to be updated, and keeping track of them all can be maddening. Actually performing the updates manually can be frustrating and take inordinate amounts of time that many people today can’t afford to spend on such menial yet necessary tasks.
Rather than put yourself through all of that, you can take advantage of software solutions that perform device driver updates automatically. Automatic updates are the way of the future because there’s simply no reason to do these updates manually.
Choosing Automatic Driver Updating Software
Choosing which software product to install for automatic driver updates can be a hard choice to make. With so many similar software products on the market today vying for your business, it’s a buyer’s choice, which is good news for you.
Key elements to look for in device driver updating software includes reliability and ease of use. Paying for software that doesn’t detect all of your outdated device drivers isn’t worth the money. You also want to find a software that is user-friendly and easy to navigate. After all, the main reason why using automatic updating software is to avoid the difficulties of updating drivers manually.
That means that the software should be markedly easier to use than going through the process of doing the updates yourself. The best software solutions for this are those that offer a hands-off approach and work largely in the background without you having to take much action for it to work.
Why You Should Opt for a Software Solution like Driver Support
Automatic driver updating software should be able to do almost everything without you having to lift a finger. Driver Support is a software solution that is both highly reliable, and sports exceptional ease of use that has been earning satisfied customers since 1996.
Not only does the software run well and get the job done, the price makes it affordable for anyone and beats competitors. For only $9.99 a month, you can enjoy the freedom of automatic device driver updates and peace of mind.
Slick software solutions like Driver Support are one of the easiest and most convenient ways to stay on top of important device driver updates that can affect your machine irrespective of the operating system.
Using Driver Support to help you keep your Windows or Mac PC’s device drivers updated is a smart and easy option if you don’t want to mess around with keeping them updated yourself.
Install Driver Support Update Automatically
With manual updates being far too tedious to be practical for most folks, software solutions like Driver Support are the best option. Not only does Driver Support’s software save time, it can help avert security problems, prevent annoying technical problems with your machine, and improves performance.
Not all driver update software is created equal — you deserve the best software available to keep your computer running smoothly.
Do the smart thing and Download Driver Support, your machine will run better and you can enjoy superior performance.