Why People Don't Update Their Computers

By Special Guest
Patrick Boblin
July 13, 2018

When the WannaCry ransomware attacked companies all over the world in 2017, experts soon realized it was meant to be stopped by regular updating. Even after such a major attack, nearly 50% of desktop users don’t update their systems regularly. They find it frustrating and sometimes detrimental to update their software.

If you run a company where you’re having trouble getting people to update or putting it off yourself, it's good to know four of the most common reasons users fail to update.

    Patrick Boblin 

1. Compatibility Issues

One of the biggest reasons that people don’t update their software regularly is because of compatibility issues. For engineers, artists, or people who use specialized software, there’s always a fear that the latest operating system won’t jive with their most trusted tools.

Even if it does, sometimes users are required to re-enter their registration or user information. If this update isn’t vitally essential, it might not be worth the risk of being locked out.  If you then dig out your serial number just to find there’s a compatibility issue, you’re sure to be doubly frustrated.

2. They’re Uninformed

Some people are uninformed about the reasons that updates offered so frequently. Many people think that it’s just a marketing scheme or a conspiracy for getting you to buy more products and software.

The truth is that many updates are virus-related. Often when you’re asked to update your software, you’re getting small bug fixes and code changes that make you immune to the latest viruses.

Instead of leaving yourself open, research what the changes are when you’re offered an update and be sure you know why you’re being asked to update. If there are “security changes”, you should definitely update. If there are added features, it might not be so urgent.

3. They’re Comfortable

Many users won’t update because they’re comfortable with their setup. They’ve found a work environment that meets their needs and doesn’t add unnecessary complications.

This camp of people comes from the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” school of thought. They may even see updates as just another annoying popup to click out of. When updates are nothing more than an annoyance, it can be hard to sell their worth to users.

While your old system might be good enough for now, one that’s more than 5 years old could be overdue for an update. When you stay out of the loop, you never find out what you’re missing.

4. One Bad Experience Has Turned Them Off

Many people have experienced malfunctioning, slower processing, or other issues after updating. Apple has even admitted that they’re slowing down certain phones following certain updates. This is alarming but not surprising to many Apple computer users.

Updates can be useful, as they aim to take advantage of all of the possibilities the latest tech has to offer. The problems start to arise when your tech falls out of date but the updates keep coming. Newer browsers could end up using more processing power than you can spare and lead to slower computing.

If you’ve had something stop functioning or start to slow down after an update, you might be averse to updating as well.  It’s okay to wait a day or two for an update if you haven’t had time to read what people are saying about it.

Update Even If You Don’t Want To

To maintain a secure system, you should always be updating your software. The number of minor security issues that hackers use to exploit systems can often be fixed by a simple update. The constant efforts of malicious actors provide us with the constant need to be on alert.

If you’re struggling to figure out which software needs to be updated right now, check out this helpful guide.

About the Author: Patrick Bobilin is a writer on politics and technology. He's interested in the intersection of social interactions, online personas, and the politics that they result in. He has a new web series called "What Is Politics", all about New York politics.




Edited by Maurice Nagle
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