How to Update Your Computer

By Terrie Berry

Keeping your computer up-to-date with the latest software and drivers is a necessary part of ownership. A computer system runs at peak performance when updates are performed regularly. Many updates are security updates, which are crucial to keeping your information secure when you are using the Internet. Some programs do not run proficiently unless the software is updated. Updates include drivers, software and operating systems. Specific computer brands also have their own updates that need to be applied to your system.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Internet connection

Step 1

Determine what type of computer you own and what operating system you are running. In a Windows-based system, go to the "Start" button, right click on "My Computer," and under the "General" tab will be the information on your computer. If running a Mac, go to the Apple menu and choose "About This Mac," which will show you what you are running.

Step 2

Find the needed updates on the Microsoft site. The site will run a diagnosis to see what on your computer needs updates. Depending on how many updates are needed, it could take from 1 to 5 hours to complete.

Step 3

Get the latest computer drivers and updates directly from the manufacturer site. For instance, if you own a Dell, you need to go to the Dell website and click on "Support" or "Download" and enter your model number to receive a list of available updates.

Step 4

Pull the Apple menu down by clicking on it and choose "Software Update," if you own a Mac computer. Allow it to run through the various updates to see what is available. It is wise to select Install All to install. Depending upon how many updates are needed, it should take about 1 to 2 hours to complete.

Step 5

Install updates recommended from the Microsoft site or your Mac menu. Once the updates are installed completely, a reboot will most likely be needed. When asked if you wish to restart, select "Yes."

Step 6

If you own a printer, determine your manufacturer because printers also need updates. You can go directly to the manufacturer site and click on "Support" or "Download."

Tips & Warnings

  • In Windows, it is best to set up automatic updates from the Control Panel. Click the "Start" button, select "All Programs," and then "Control Panel." There you will find an icon for update settings. In Mac, you will be automatically prompted when there are updates, which you can choose to install now or later.
  • When you do not update your computer regularly, you risk security issues. Additionally, updating regularly makes your computer run smoother and faster.

References & Resources