Five Rules For Trouble-free Software Updates

Microsoft Windows 8 update settings

3: If you’re busy, tell the updater to wait The ubiquitous update reminder is the kind of nag that’s easy to disregard — once you’ve closed the “updates are available” pop-up. The Notification Center in Mavericks adds the ability to schedule updates. Matt Elliott takes an in-depth look at Mavericks’ update options , and Topher Kessler explains how to use the feature to effectively disable OS X’s Notification Center . Related stories Free software will result in $900 million deferral at Apple One of the biggest hassles of Windows updates is the need to restart to complete the process. The updater provides an option to postpone the restart, but you can prevent automatic restarts by changing your Windows Update settings. Open the settings as described in Rule No. 2 and choose “Download Updates, but Let Me Choose When to Install Them” on the drop-down menu. On the Today I Found Out site, Daven Hiskey explains how to block automatic restarts in the Professional and Ultimate versions of Windows by using the Group Policy Editor and by editing the Registry. Rule No. 4: Do it yourself: third-party updaters could be a security risk In a post from May 2011 I tested three free software-update services and preferred Secunia’s Personal Software Inspector . Secunia is a trusted name in the computer-security industry, and I have no reason to suspect the trustworthiness of any other software-update service. However, any program that you allow to conduct an inventory of your system entails some level of security risk. As more programs are set to update in the background, it’s safer to assume your apps and system software will keep themselves up-to-date. The benefits of a separate software-update application may no longer outweigh the time and effort the updater requires, as well as the security risk it entails. Rule No. 5: When all else fails, uninstall and reinstall to undo a failed update In a post from last May I described how I solved a problem with the iTunes updater in Windows 7 by repairing the Apple Software Update program. The Apple Support site explains how to use Software Update in Windows and how to repair Software Update for Windows . Lifehacker’s Adam Dachis provides a primer on software updates that includes Windows, Mac OS X, browsers, and other third-party software. The fell-swoop approach to troubleshooting irksome updates is to uninstall the program and then reinstall a fresh copy. For example, several times in the past Firefox has failed to apply an update, and only removing the program and downloading the updated version solved the problem.


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