What are computer operating system updates? Why do I need them?

Apple and Microsoft frequently release updates for their Operating Systems. You must keep your computer current with these updates to protect against vulnerabilities. Many viruses and worms spread rapidly because this essential task is overlooked or postponed.

 

Windows XP and Windows Vista

  1. Using a Windows Internet Explorer web browser, go to Microsoft's Windows Update website.
  2. At the Microsoft site, click Express Install (Recommended): High Priority Updates for your Computer.
  3. Windows Update scans your computer and then displays a list of high priority updates. Click the Install button on the right.
  4. After the updates have been downloaded and installed, you will be prompted to restart your computer.
  5. After the restart, go back to Microsoft's Windows Update website and scan for updates again to ensure that you have downloaded and installed all critical updates. Keep doing this routine until there are no critical updates to install.

Windows 7

The default on Windows 7 is to automatically update your computer. Updates will automatically install upon restart of your computer.
Follow the steps below to manually check for updates.
  1. Click the Start button. Select Control Panel.
  2. Click the System and Security category.
  3. Under Windows Update, click Check for Updates.
  4. Follow the on screen instructions.

Mac OS X

Follow the steps below to access the Software Update control panel in Mac OS X.

  1. On the Apple menu, click System Preferences.
  2. Under the System heading, click Software Update.
  3. Under the Update Software tab, click Check Now.

Follow the steps below to have software updates checked automatically. 

  1. In the latest version of Mac OS X, under the Update Software tab, check the Check for updates box (it will look slightly different for older versions of Mac OS X. Under theSoftware Update tab, check the Automatically check for updates when you have a network connection box).
  2. Then select the desired frequency (DailyWeekly or Monthly) from the drop down menu.