How to update your Operating System

Your Operating System is the unsung hero of your computer and phone; it's the software that makes everything "work"; including allowing all your Apps to run properly, to handle phone calls and messages and to connect to the internet.

It's a bit of software on your device, and manufacturers like Apple, Android and Microsoft will release new versions to fix problems and add new features.

List of guides to update different Operating Systems

Advice on updating your Operating System

Firstly, let us say that we always recommend updating your web browser as frequently as possible. Keeping your web browser up to date is a vital part of staying safe online and there's usually no problems in installing updates.

However, updating your Operating System is a bit of a bigger deal - because it's responsible for everything on your computer or phone. If there's a problem with the operating system update then it's usually a significant problem to fix or reinstall compared to if there's a problem updating your web browser. If something goes wrong with a web browser update, then usually you can just delete the browser and try again. But if something bad happens with an operating system update then it's usually a much more complicated problem to solve.

Updating the Operating System can also potentially cause some programs to no longer work if those programs aren't compatible with the latest version of your operating system. This isn't always the case; but it has happened in the past when the manufacturer (eg Microsoft or Apple) make significant changes that the old programs can't handle.

Make sure you know what you're doing!

We advise you to take special precautions when updating your operating system on your computer, phone or tablet.

You should read the release notes from the manufacturer carefully to see if all of your existing software/apps will work with the new operating system.

Create a backup before you update!

You should definitely create a full backup of your system before installing an operating system update.


The only real exception we have to this is for Google's Chrome OS. This is because "under the hood" Chrome OS is almost basically just the Google Chrome browser. As well as this, Chrome OS automatically updates itself as new versions become available anyway. So it may not be as necessary to exercise that much caution when upgrading Chrome OS.

But for updating "real" or "traditional" operating systems such as Windows, macOS or Linux, you should be very careful.

Mobile Operating Systems such as iOS and Android are somewhere in the middle. Usually as long as you're installing official updates you should be ok. It's still extremely important to keep a fresh backup of your device before you install and updates to your operating system.

Ask for help

Updating your operating system is a big deal, so if you're not sure about anything, you should ask for help from a friend or family member who has the right knowledge, ask for help from a tech support company, and read the release notes from the maker of the Operating System (eg Microsoft or Apple) first.

We make our guides to be as clear and helpful as possible; but nothing beats one-on-one advice from someone you trust.

Web Developers: Use our auto-redirect

Send your users straight to the right operating system update guide

If you want to link your site to our guides (or provide a link via your help desk), we've built a handy redirection URL which will automatically send your user to the correct guide.

Simply place a link to: anywhere on your website and when your users click it, we'll send them to the best guide for their system. It saves them having to click the correct operating system icon.

Get a VPN to help stay safe online