I know that people hear a lot of bad things about software updates, but when you really think about it most of the people who say they have issues with software updates are the people who are using Windows computers. Mac computers do not have the same issues (Or the issues with updates are not as common)
Windows and Apple updates are diffrent
So before you think that I’m going to be bashing Windows computers you have to understand they are just different. With Windows computers, the updates have to work with hundreds of different brands of computers, each with different kinds of hardware requirements and drivers. This makes it difficult for a software update to work perfectly across all the different brands. While this sounds like I am badmouthing them I have similar issues with Linux computers.
With Apple computers not only do they control the software they control the hardware as well. I can tell you for when I worked at Apple in Tech support they spend a lot of effort to make sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible. While it is impossible to make it so there is never an issue with an update. I can tell you software updates fixes more issues than they create.
Why are software updates important
Software updates will occasionally add new features to the Mac operating system. However most of the time they are fixing a problem before you encounter it. While it seems like software updates are a waste of time they are very important.
- Software bugs
- Security holes
- Malware protection
- Making the computer easier to use.
Sometimes Apple will find a bug in the software that needs to be fixed. For the most part, these bugs are small and are only a minor inconvenience. Others can be very serious and could lead to data loss. In both situations, the way that Apple will fix this is by providing a free software update.
If you are worried about being hacked you should always make sure you have the latest software update. When Apple discovers a new way to hack a Mac computer they fix the issue with a software update.
While Apple computers are very resistant to malware they still can be infected. Just like the security update the way Apple will fix this problem is to provide a software update.
Making the computer easier to use
I teach a lot of seniors how to use Mac & mobile devices. Many of them fear that a software update will force them to learn something new. What they do not understand is that software updates/upgrades actually make technology easier to use. I have a vintage mac that I pull out during my classes every once in a while to demonstrate how things have improved over time.
Though these updates will not make a major change to how software is used they seldom make it harder.
What happens if you do not update your Mac?
When I was teaching tech support one of the things I always tell my students is to always run software updates first. The reason for this is that there is always a chance that the issue could be fixed by the update. There is no reason to spend hours troubleshooting just to find out that a two-minute update fixed the issue.
Websites will stop working
The other day I had a customer who had some serious issues with her Macbook Air. She was not able to visit many of the websites she needed for running her business. The reason for this was that she was running a much older version of the operating system. The security software on her Mac was so old that websites did not trust her mac and would refuse to allow her to buy anything online.
I had updated the Operating system to the highest version that would run on her computer. This gave the computer a few more years of life before she will be forced to upgrade if she still wants to use it for her business (Basically saving her $1600 for a new computer)
Software updates fix more issues than they cause. While it is not impossible for a software update to cause a problem in the last 20 years of working with Mac computers I have only seen software updates cause a problem a few times.