How to update software on computer

Whenever you want to update existing software on your computer, there are several steps to follow. This article features a step-by-step instruction how to update software on your computer regardless if the software is the newest version or not and it also shares information about new Windows 10 update policy (which can prevent software from being installed).

Every computer user has had to update a piece of software at some point or another. There are two common ways to do this. Through its “Update” command or through its “Check for Updates” command (which you can access in the same way).

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If you want to know how to update software on your computer, you’ve come to the right place. This article will give you step-by-step instructions for updating your software and keeping it up to date.

First, let’s talk about why you might want to update your software:

Updating is important for security reasons and for making sure that your computer runs as smoothly as possible. When new bugs are discovered in the code of a program, those bugs are fixed by updating the program with a patch. If you don’t update your programs after they’ve been patched, then any new vulnerabilities can be exploited by hackers or malware writers.

You should also update because it can sometimes fix issues that were not present before, such as performance problems caused by something like a buggy driver or memory leak in an application.

Finally—and this may seem obvious—you should always update because there’s no point in having old software if there’s newer stuff out there! If you want all the latest features and fixes available to you, then updating regularly is one way of ensuring that happens!

Update your operating system

Keeping your operating system updated is one of the most important steps in protecting yourself from viruses, malware, and other Internet security threats.


To update Windows, first open the Control Panel. If you don’t know where the Control Panel is, check out this lesson in Windows Basics. In the search bar in the Control Panel, type update. Under Windows Update, click Check for updates.

Under Windows Updates, clicking check for updates

It may take a moment for Windows to search for updates. Once it does, if there are any updates available it will prompt you to install them.

Clicking Install updates

It may take a while to install all the updates. It’s safe to leave the computer and do something else while it finishes. Once it’s done, Windows will probably prompt you to restart the computer. If you need to do anything else after this, Windows will prompt you; otherwise, you’re up to date!


To update macOS, open the App Store, then click Updates at the top. macOS updates will be at the top of the list of available updates. On the right side of the screen, there are buttons to update individual apps or to apply all available updates.

Mac App Store update page

Apple has an excellent support page on how to check for updates for macOS and apps.

Update your apps

For many apps, regular updates provide new features and stability rather than security patches, so it isn’t necessary to update them as frequently. However, for more essential software like web browsers and antivirus software, security updates are just as critical as operating system updates.

Many apps in both macOS and Windows will automatically check for updates when you open them. If you installed them through the App Store or another distribution platform, the program will alert you about updates. For standalone programs, take time to explore the program’s menus and learn how to run the update process.

For example, in Avast! Free Antivirus, there is an Update page on the Settings screen.

Update virus definitions in Avast!

However, in Firefox, the About Firefox screen in the Help menu also checks for updates.

Clicking About Firefox

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