Should you regularly update your MAC?
Most people who own a computer tend to fall into one of two categories when it comes to regularly updating their software:
- They jump on each and every opportunity to update as soon as possible. Nothing stays “outdated” for any longer than it absolutely has to!
- They drag their feet whenever they get a notification about pending updates. Usually, they’ll wait until there are 10+ things in the queue and then reluctantly download everything at once just so that the computer will stop nagging them.
…Okay, maybe that’s oversimplifying things a bit. But the point is that, regardless of whether they use a Mac or a PC, folks aren’t always “eager” to download updates onto their computers. Some people think that it’s a hassle, especially if the update requires them to restart their machine. Other folks genuinely feel that updates can do more harm than good. And many users just don’t understand why updates are such a big deal.
But at ComputerCPR, we strongly recommend that our clients update their MACs on a consistent basis—the benefits far outweigh any drawbacks!
(A note for PC users: In this post, we’ll be specifically discussing Macs, but most of this information can apply to all types of computers.)
Stay on Top of Things
Here are three reasons why updating your Mac is a good idea:
(1) Regular updates keep your machine running at optimum efficiency.
The folks at Apple are constantly coming out with minor tweaks for apps and programs to make sure that these things operate smoothly and quickly. When you stay current on your updates, you put yourself in a position to always be running the “best” version of your software—and you won’t discover that a bug you’ve been enduring for months has actually had a solution available for three weeks! While you don’t have to download an update the minute it’s released to the public, at the very least, you should be aware of what’s available.
(2) You can often find fixes for security issues.
It happens all the time: a new operating system from Apple or Microsoft roles out, people flock to download and install it, and then, within a week, there are panicky reports from all major news outlets that the new system has some kind of security issue that can endanger a user’s private data. This has become such a common occurrence that many people don’t even bother to upgrade their operating systems until the “new” software is a few months old, and some cling to old (or even obsolete) systems for years and only move forward when their computer gives out completely. These aren’t necessarily “bad” practices (honestly, there are some downsides to being the first person on the block with a new MacOS!), but they’re really not necessary. More often than not, solutions to these problems are developed relatively quickly, and it’s just a matter of downloading patches or updates once they become available. You don’t have to miss out on the latest tech! Speaking of which…
(3) It can enhance your user experience.
Granted, this reasons is not as “serious” as the previous two. But whether you use your Mac for work, leisure, or an equal combination of the two, new updates and innovations are being released all the time, and many can help your computer help you. Macs are by no means cheap devices. If you paid for one, why shouldn’t you have the best experience possible? Help your Mac reach its full potential!
“But wait, doesn’t updating a Mac make it slower?”
That’s a common objection people have to updating regularly, but it’s often unfounded. While it’s not unheard of for a Mac to become noticeably slower after an upgrade to the newest operating system, it’s usually not the simple act of updating that causes the decreased speed. Instead, it’s more of a compatibility issue with your machine. Updating might cause problems if:
- You have an old computer that is at the bottom of the list of “supported devices.” Just because your Mac technically can support the update doesn’t mean that it will thrive with a new system. If your computer is five or more years older, don’t immediately update—read some online reviews from other users or consult with an expert first. Once you’re confident that your old Mac can handle the demands of the new MacOS, then you can proceed with the update.
- You currently have issues with RAM usage. More advanced operating systems tend to use more Random Access Memory—they just need it to function properly. Unfortunately, your computer only has so much RAM to utilize at a given moment, and too much of it being accessed all at once can slow the computer down to a crawl. If you’re already having issues with there not being enough RAM to go around (either because you like to run a ton of different applications at once or just a few that are huge data hogs), then an update might just make the problem worse. So, before you download that new operating system, take measures to free up some RAM (guides can be found online), or consider getting more RAM installed on your machine.
Updating your software should be a regular part of your computer-usage routine. In most cases, updates ensure that users have the best experience possible—not just from an entertainment and accessibility standpoint, but also from a security point-of-view. Contrary to popular belief, updating a Mac doesn’t necessarily make it “slower.”
Of course, if you’ve recently updated your Mac and are now having issues, you don’t have to face them alone. Whether it’s a software problem, a hardware issue, or an error of undetermined source, give us a call at 817-756-2241. Our technicians will be able to get your Mac running up and running again!
Photo Courtesy of Jinho Jung on Flickr