Nearly half of consumers fail to update software regularly – survey (infographic)

23 Jul 2012

Forty per cent of adults don’t always update software on their computers when initially prompted to do so and about 25pc of adults don’t clearly understand what software updates do, a recent survey of consumers in Britain, Germany and the US reveals. One-quarter of survey respondents also don’t understand the benefits of updating software regularly.

In looking at the impact of automatic update notifications, the survey found that while 75pc of adults received notifications on their computers telling them to update their software, more than half said they needed to see a prompt between two and five times before downloading and installing an update. Even for those consumers who recognised the benefits of upgrading, 25pc didn’t know how to check if their installed software even needs updating.

The survey results come on the heels of International Technology Upgrade Week (ITUW), a global initiative companies such as Skype, TomTom and Norton by Symantec have joined to encourage consumers to regularly download free software updates to their computers, smartphones and tablets and other mobile devices.  

The focus of ITUW is to address consumers’ concerns and educate them on the value of keeping their software up to date, especially when many updates are free. The benefits of updating software include bug fixes, new features, and better performance.

The main reasons survey respondents gave for updating their software included keeping their computer safe from viruses/hackers, ensuring their software is free of bugs and crashes less often, having the latest and greatest software features, and upgrades are often free.

Survey respondents’ top reasons for not downloading software updates included worry about computer security so I don’t download everything I’m prompted to, there are no real benefits in doing it, upgrades take too long, and lack of understanding about what the update(s) will do.


Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic