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How To Update Your Computer

As flaws are found in your computer's operating system, they are patched through system updates. All operating systems require updates to repair security flaws that are found after the software was originally released.

Microsoft Windows

Manual Windows Update

Follow the instructions below to manually check for updates. You need to be connected to the Internet. Windows update will take a few moments to analyze your system. You will then be prompted with a listing of Service Packs or Hotfixes available for your system.

  1. From the Start menu, choose Windows Update.
    If you do not have the Windows Update item in your Start menu, you can get to it using Internet Explorer and going to (Note, only Internet Explorer will work.)
  2. Carefully follow the instructions on the Windows Update Website to install all critical updates.

What version of Windows am I using?

  1. Right-click on My Computer and select Properties.
  2. Look in the General tab of System Properties.
  3. The version of Windows will be listed.

Automatic Windows Update

Apple Macintosh

Automatic Macintosh Update

  1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
    (Tip: If you have Mac OS X 10.3 or later, you can use the Software Update shortcut from the Apple menu and skip to Step 5.)
    System Preferences
  2. From the System panel , choose Software Update.
    Software Update Image
  3. Check the box labeled Check for updates Weekly. Your computer will check for updates weekly and notify you when an update is available.
  4. Click the Check Now button. (Or Update Now in earlier versions of Mac OS X).
    Software Update Tool
  5. In the Software Update window, select the items you want to install, then click Install.
    We recommend installing the Security Updates when they are made available.
  6. Enter in your Administrator account name and password.
  7. After the update is complete, restart your computer if required. You will be prompted if it is required.
  8. Repeat these steps to see if more updates are available. Some updates are prerequisites for others. You may need to repeat these steps several times until no more updates are available.

Automatic Update Notification

After you have set up automatic updates, your computer will check for new updates weekly.

  1. When there are new updates available, the Software Update icon will bounce in your dock.
    System Update Icon
  2. Click on the Software Update icon in your dock.
  3. Check the updates you want to apply and click the Install button.
  4. The updates will be downloaded for you. You will be prompted to restart if necessary.