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How to Update Applications Software

Part of the Fix Your Own Computer For Seniors For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If you don’t know how to perform software updates, you won’t benefit from application improvements, bug fixes, and new security defenses (including virus and malware attacks). Follow these instructions and get the new software versions online. These steps show how to manually update applications, but you can set up your computer to automatically update.

  1. Check the File and Help menus for update instructions.

    You should be able to find the software version number also on the Help menu.

  2. Choose Start→Programs→All Programs.

  3. Look for the install directory of an application you want to update. Look for an update program option.

  4. Point your Internet browser to the software manufacturer's Web site and look for update instructions.

  5. Download a newer version than the version you’re running.

  6. Install according to the software directions.

  7. Run diagnostics and use a defragmentation utility, which differs depending on your operating system:

    Windows XP:

    1. Choose Start→All Programs.

    2. Select Accessories→System Tools.

    3. Click Disk Defragmenter.

    4. Select the drive you want to defragment.

    5. Click Defragment.

    Windows Vista or Windows 7:

    1. Choose Start→Control Panel.

    2. Click System and Security.

    3. Choose Defragment Your Hard Drive in the Administrative Tools section.

    4. Choose the drive you want to defragment.

    5. Click Defragment Disk.

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