What happens if you don't do a software update?

Modern devices and operating systems based on iOS and macOS are often very intrusive in informing users that one of the installed programs or the operating system itself is no longer up to date.

A check runs automatically in the background to see whether the developers – or Apple itself – have released a new version that is available for download and installation.

While it is usually recommended to use these updates for the operating system or individual programs, you should still consider before each update whether this is absolutely necessary. What are the pros and cons of not updating software?

Should you do every update immediately or rather wait? Here's a look at the pros and cons of waiting out software updates.
Should you do every update immediately or rather wait? Here's a look at the pros and cons of waiting out software updates.

Update Waiver: These are the possible benefits

On the iPhone or iPad in particular, it is actually relatively normal to receive information every few days that there is an update for a certain app. Depending on how many apps you have installed, this can even happen several times a day.

Many users let the app updates run automatically - others prefer not to use the automatic updates because they have already had negative experiences with an app updating itself in the background and suddenly no longer working or important features are simply no longer available, as you are used to.

Argument of the update refusers: updates sometimes destroy the work tool

My wife is a typical update refuser, because she moans at every Photoshop update from Adobe, because these updates often overwrite some settings or even throw key combinations or usual workflows overboard.

If, in the case of Adobe, you have also activated the automatic updates, then it sometimes happens that you want to start work in the morning, but Photoshop suddenly can no longer be used. This can have a severe impact on day-to-day work.

With the Cereative Cloud I deactivated the automatic updates for Photoshop, as it has repeatedly destroyed all the plugins I have bought with such updates.
I deactivated the automatic updates for Photoshop in the Creative Cloud, since such updates have repeatedly destroyed all the plugins I bought.

So functionality is an important point to consider when installing the latest update for an app. These updates are often not just limited to so-called bug fixes, i.e. error corrections, in the background, but are also associated with new functions. The way an app can be operated is changing and features are being added or even sometimes removed.

It also happened before: iOS apps no longer work at all after the update

Stability can also play a role. Especially with new versions of programs or apps, errors are not necessarily uncommon. In the past, it was quite common for app developers to put an update in the app store, which then rendered the app itself unusable.

This is particularly annoying because as a developer you always have to rely on the new version of the app going through a review process at Apple and being approved, which can sometimes take a few days. The app can then no longer be used by users because they are stuck on the broken version, until Apple has waved the update through with the bug fix.

The first macOS Ventura problems after upgrading the Apple Mac to macOS 13 can be found here. There are already solutions or solution approaches for some of the common errors. Feel free to write to us about the bug you discovered in the operating system upgrade.
The first readers who have updated to macOS Ventura report various problems that occur after the update.

Be particularly careful with "major" updates to the operating system

How to date on the current case macOS Ventura Update sees, special care should always be taken with major updates to the operating system. Here I always recommend making a backup that you can fall back on in the worst case.

The fact that this is a recommended strategy is shown by the current cases in which users suddenly without working WiFi after the Ventura update stand there and can no longer work productively.

So if you don't want to suddenly be confronted with unexpected changes, you should wait a while before updating the operating system, programs and apps. The experiences of other users will then show whether it is safe to update the app and what the functionality is like.

If it says 13.0 instead of 13.1, you can update with less risk, because then the worst errors in the new macOS are usually ironed out.
If it says 13.0 instead of 13.1, you can update with less risk, because then the worst errors in the new macOS are usually ironed out.

With macOS, there is usually an update within the first few weeks with the urgent bug fixes that iron out the worst errors. When that's released, you can start thinking about updating the macOS on a production system.

I have set the updates on my Mac so that macOS updates are not installed automatically, but system files and security updates are installed immediately. I've done really well with it over the last few years.
I have set the updates on my Mac so that macOS updates are not installed automatically, but system files and security updates are installed immediately. I've done really well with it over the last few years.

Update refusal: These disadvantages can arise

As a rule, of course, there is a reason that the developers of programs and apps decide to release an update. Most cases are minor updates that fix one or the other bug or offer optical corrections.

But there can also be problems with functionality and security, which are a reason for a new version being played out to users - and this is exactly where it would be a disadvantage if you did not update.

New functions are regularly installed not only in games, but also in programs related to productivity, for example in order to be able to keep up with the competition on the market. So if you decide not to update, you also decide not to receive any new functions. But that can also be completely ok if you are satisfied with the app as it is.

If you start with an old operating system, bank websites often refuse to connect to online banking (Photo: Unsplash).
If you start with an old operating system, bank websites often refuse to connect to online banking (Photo: Unsplash).

Problematic: Online banking is discontinued for security reasons

Another aspect is security. On the one hand, the developers may have discovered a security gap in their own app, which they now want to close with the update, on the other hand, it is also about the external security infrastructure.

For example, many banks regularly update their own security systems and the corresponding apps have to be adapted to these new standards. If an update is not carried out, it could be that you can no longer use certain functions or, for example, you can no longer log into your own account with the app.

This has often been the case in my circle of acquaintances when people try to use online banking with very old Macs, iPhones or iPads. The banks recognize the old OS version or the outdated one Browser and decide that this is too much of a security risk. As a result, users receive an error message and are unable to use online banking.

The automatic updates of macOS should definitely be deactivated, because large macOS updates often cause problems when interacting with other apps - especially with anti-virus programs.
The automatic updates of macOS should definitely be deactivated, because large macOS updates often cause problems when interacting with other apps - especially with anti-virus programs.

Conclusion: Is an update always the right way?

In general, it can be said that most apps and programs should always be kept up to date for security reasons. Especially with apps that you use a lot in everyday life, it can be worth waiting a while before updating. This gives you the opportunity to get an idea of ​​possible changes based on feedback from other users and only then to decide whether these changes are also something for your own requirements profile for the app.

If you want to be on the safe side, turn off automatic updates, make regular backups and try to import all updates manually. This way you don't have to take the risk of suddenly having a non-working program and you're still reasonably up to date.

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2 comments on "What happens if you don't update the software?"

  1. Thank you Jens for your experiences and reports.
    Luckily I can find entries on all relevant topics from you and I am very grateful for that.

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