How to check for updates

Out of date software can slow down your device and make it vulnerable to hackers.

How to check for updates

Out-of-date software can slow down your device and even leave it vulnerable to hackers.

Click the link to your device from the list below to find out how to check for operating system (OS) updates to stay safe and speedy.

iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows PC, Mac.

iPhone or iPad

Firstly, make sure you back up your iPhone or iPad, just in case something goes wrong. You can do this by plugging it into a computer and then selecting File > Devices > Backup from iTunes. Or you can back up to the iCloud by navigating to Settings > iCloud > Backup, on your device.

To check for updates for your iPhone or iPad, first make sure that you are connected to a wifi network, as downloading an update can require a lot of mobile data. Navigate to Settings > Wi-Fi and switch wifi on.

With this done, move to the next step below, if you don’t have a wifi connection scroll down to see wired updating below.

Wireless updating

Before you start, connect your iPhone to a power source, as running out of battery during the update phase can cause lots of problems. After this, open your iPhone and navigate to Settings > General > Software Update. Your iPhone or iPad will now check for updates and, if any are found, you will have the option to download and install them. Remember to keep your device connected to a power source whilst updating.

Wired Updating

Make sure that you have the latest version of iTunes on your computer.

Next, plug your device into your computer. Now select your device in iTunes. From the Summary Pane which will appear, click Check for Update. iTunes will now look for any updates. If it finds any, click Download and Update. Make sure that you keep your computer turned on during the update process and that you do not unplug your device while it’s updating.

To check for updates to your Android smartphone, make sure that you are connected to a wifi network, as downloading an update can require a lot of mobile data.

Open up the Settings app, which can be found on your Home Screen or in your App Drawer, or by pressing the Menu button on your smartphone.

Once in the Settings screen, find the About Device option. Depending on your phone manufacturer and software this may be in one of several places. You are most likely to find it under either the General or System subheadings, but it may also be located in another tab, which you can tap at the top of the screen to access.

Once you have found About Device, tap it and then tap Software Update or System Update from the following screen. From here you will be able to set whether or not your Android will automatically check for updates and turn on the option to only download while on wifi, which is recommended.

Now tap Update or Check for Updates and, if available, you will be given the option to download the newest software for your Android.

Windows PC
By default, Windows will install updates automatically when you turn your computer off, but if you have disabled automatic updates, you can use the methods listed below to check for updates.

Windows 10
Click the Start Button and navigate to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update, and then click Check for updates.

Windows Vista and 7
Firstly, click the Start Button, then click All Programs, and from the list that appears, click on Windows Update. If this method does not work for you, click the Start Button again and this time type ‘update’ into the search box and then click Windows update in the list of search results.

Now click Check for updates on the left side of the Windows Update window.

Windows will now search for updates, if any are found, click on Install updates. When doing so, you may have to type in an administrator password.

Windows will now install any available updates, and may restart in the process. Make sure you don’t have any important or unsaved work open during this time.

Windows 8
Open Settings. If you are on a touchscreen device, do this by swiping your finger from the left of your screen towards the centre, then tap Settings. If you’re using a mouse, move the pointer to the bottom right corner of the screen and then move it upwards, and then click Settings.

Once you have Settings open, tap or click Change PC settings and then click Update and recovery. Now tap or click Check now.

Windows will now search for updates, and if any are found, tap or click Install updates. When doing so, you may have to type in an administrator password.

Be wary that Windows may restart while installing updates, so make sure you don’t have any important or unsaved work open during this process.

Mac computers will notify you whenever there is an update available, but if you’ve postponed an update and want to install it now – or you think your Mac has failed to tell you about one – here’s how to check:

Open the App Store from the Menu Bar at the bottom of the screen or the Launchpad. Now click the Updates button located at the top right of the App Store window.

You will now be shown if there is a software update available and if any of your apps are out of date. Click Update next to any of the apps you want to update, or select the Update All option located at the top of the list.

Again, make sure that you don’t have any important or unsaved work open while your computer is updating.



    To make a comment, please register or login
    9th Aug 2016
    I'm sick of everything I touch having... " Change to Google Chrome for a Better Browser here " :-(... I've had it for years and go back to Plain Old Google every time :-) ITS BETTER :-)
    And the Email side of the Old Google is far better too :-) :-)
    Whinge Complete :-) :-)

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