How to Update Your Web Browser

Keeping your browser updated ensures a safe and enjoyable internet experience.

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Last Updated: Dec 20, 2023
Phone with various web browser apps on the screen
Updating your web browser is quick and easy when you have all the steps. (Image: Shutterstock)
  • Keep your personal information secure online by staying on top of web browser updates designed to protect you.
  • You’ll enjoy better performance, compatibility, and experience with the latest browser update.
  • In most cases, you can update your web browser in as little as five simple steps.

Keeping your web browser updated ensures a smooth, secure, and efficient online experience. With a multitude of web browsers available, from Google Chrome to Mozilla Firefox, it can be challenging to navigate the process of updating each one. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to update your web browser, regardless of the platform or browser you prefer. This way, you can stay on the cutting edge of web technology, while safeguarding your online presence. Whether you’re a Google Chrome loyalist, a Safari aficionado, or a fan of a more obscure browser, we will equip you with the knowledge you need to surf the web smoothly.


Why You Need to Update Your Web Browser

Updating your web browser might seem pointless when juxtaposed against your already endless to-do list. However, it’s an essential step to protecting your safety online and creating the best browsing experience. Typically, updating your browser is as simple as following a few instructions. It’s best to take the time when you can to avoid potentially irritating issues in the future. Here are some reasons why you need to update your web browser:

  • Security enhancements: Browser updates frequently incorporate security patches that fix vulnerabilities to protect you against cyber threats. Hackers often use outdated software to gain entry into your system or steal confidential data. Updating your browser is crucial to staying one step ahead of potential security breaches.
  • Protection from phishing and malware: Up-to-date browsers often have built-in mechanisms to identify and warn users about phishing websites, helping to protect you from online scams and fraudulent websites. Newer browser versions also have improved anti-malware features that can detect and block malicious websites and downloads, safeguarding your computer from malware, adware, and spyware infections.
  • Website compatibility: As technologies advance, websites are optimized for the latest browser versions. Using an outdated browser can result in compatibility issues, making certain sites appear broken or preventing you from accessing their full features.
  • Improved performance: Browser updates often bring performance enhancements and optimizations that make your web pages load faster and run smoother, resulting in a more efficient and enjoyable browsing experience.
  • New features and functions: Some browser updates introduce new features, app extensions, and functionalities that can enhance your internet experience. These features may include built-in password managers, ad blockers, and improved developer tools.
  • Enhanced privacy controls: Many updated browsers offer improved privacy features, such as enhanced tracking protection and stricter cookie controls. Staying up to date ensures you can take advantage of these privacy options.
  • Bug fixes: Browser updates address software bugs and glitches that may hinder your browsing experience, like crashes, freezing, or unexpected errors. Regular updates help resolve these issues.
  • Synchronization: Many browsers offer synchronization across multiple devices. Keeping your browser updated ensures a seamless experience as you switch between your computer, tablet, and mobile phone.
  • Accessibility: Features like improved font rendering, better screen reader support, and customizable settings are often refined in browser updates, making the web more user-friendly for individuals with disabilities.
  • Compliance with industry standards: Maintaining a current browser version ensures you comply with industry standards and regulations, which may be necessary for certain online activities, like e-commerce or online banking.


How to Update Google Chrome

Screenshots of Google Chrome update process
Google Chrome checks for updates often to keep your web browser up to date.
  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Click the three vertical dots in the top-right corner.
  3. Select Help.
  4. Navigate to About Google Chrome.
  5. Click Update Google Chrome.
    • If this selection isn’t available, you’re already using the latest version
  6. Select Relaunch.
    • If you don’t wish to relaunch immediately, select Not Now, and the browser will update on the next restart.


How to Update Safari

Screenshots of Safari update process
Appleā€™s Safari update process requires you to check for global software updates.
  1. Open Safari.
  2. In the top left corner of your screen, click the Apple Menu.
  3. Select System Settings from the dropdown.
  4. On the sidebar, click General.
  5. Select Software Update from the choices on the right.
  6. Click the Update or Upgrade Now button to begin the download and installation.
    • If the button is unavailable, you’re already up to date.
  7. Agree to the license agreement, and enter your Administrator Password to complete the software installation.


How to Update Microsoft Edge

Screenshots of Microsoft Edge update process
Microsoft Edge updates in a similar fashion to Google Chrome.
  1. Open your browser.
  2. Click the three horizontal dots in the top-right corner.
  3. Select Help and Feedback.
  4. Select About Microsoft Edge.
  5. Based on your view, follow the below steps
    • If the view says, Microsoft Edge is up to date, you’re using the latest version.
    • If you see Update is available, select Download and Install.
    • If it says To finish updating, restart Microsoft Edge, Restart the browser.


How to Update Mozilla Firefox

Screenshots of Mozilla Firefox update process
Like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox has you check the status of the browser to apply an update.
  1. Open your browser.
  2. On the top right, click the three vertical lines.
  3. Select Help.
  4. Click About Firefox.
  5. Firefox automatically updates browsers, so you will see one of two options in this new window:
    • If it says Firefox is up to date, the latest version is ready and in use
    • If it says Restart to Update Firefox, restart the browser to complete the update


How to Update Opera

Screenshots of Opera update process
Opera keeps its update and recovery settings in one location.
  1. Open your browser.
  2. In the top left corner, click on the Menu button, which features the red O brand logo.
    • Select the Opera Menu from Apple’s icon if you’re using a Mac.
  3. Select Update & Recovery.
  4. Click Check for Update.
  5. Once the update downloads, select Update.
  6. Relaunch your browser once completed.


How to Update Internet Explorer

As of June 15, 2022, Internet Explorer’s support was terminated, with no further updates available. On certain versions of Windows 10, Microsoft Edge permanently disabled Internet Explorer 11.

For an improved and faster browsing experience, Microsoft suggests switching to Microsoft Edge. This browser is more modern and secure. Continued use of Internet Explorer could prove slow and cumbersome for internet users, so it’s a good idea to make the switch over to Microsoft Edge or another internet browser alternative.


How to Update Your Web Browser on iPhone

Screenshots of iPhone web browser update process
Updating your iPhone browsers require you to look at updates for all your apps.

Updates for your internet browser on your phone are completed through your device and the browser’s app. Your device will let you know when a new system update is available, which is just one step in ensuring all app updates can operate properly. Ensure you keep your system updated to the latest version to use the most up-to-date app versions.

You can set up your phone to automatically update your apps, so you don’t have to lift a finger. To update your apps manually, follow the below steps.

  1. Open the App Store.
  2. At the top right of the screen, tap your Profile Icon.
  3. Scroll to view Pending Updates.
  4. To update all apps, you can select Update All, or you can select apps one at a time by tapping Update next to the app you wish to update.


How to Update Your Web Browser on Android

Screenshots of Android web browser update process
Android web browser updates are also in the application updates section, much like iPhone.

To keep your phone’s internet browser functioning at its best, it’s important to keep both your device and the browser apps up-to-date. Your device will alert you when a new system update is available, which is crucial in ensuring that all app updates can run smoothly.

Android allows you to keep apps automatically updated so you can let it run on autopilot. If you want to manually update your apps, follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Google Play Store.
  2. At the top right of the screen, tap your Profile Icon.
  3. Select Manage apps & device.
  4. Apps with an available update will be under Updates available. Tap See details to see the entire list, or tap Update all to update all apps.
  5. To update your specific browser, select Update next to the app.