Just because Outlook has been around a while, that doesn’t mean that Microsoft is finished updating it. In fact, there’s a continual stream of Outlook updates coming out of Microsoft. One thing Microsoft has been effective with is making fixes and modification to supported versions of Outlook. These correct bugs and protect you against the latest email marketing scams and other junk mail. The only problem with all these updates is that you need to keep installing the updates that come out if you want to get their benefits. The rest of this article talks about how to do exactly that, and points you to more extensive resources online.
While Microsoft has tried to make this process easy and smooth, it still isn’t intuitive or without quirks. In principle, the process is simple. You start by checking for updates, then downloading and installing (any of the updates you want) them if any are available. And this is where the first problem can arise.
Some of the available updates may not apply to you. One example would be updates for languages you don’t speak. It’s tempting to not install those. However, the best answer is to just install every update that comes along. It simplifies your life by eliminating the need to evaluate whether or not you want each update every time one comes along.
My suggestion is that you check for updates about once a week, ideally on Thursday or Friday to best work with Microsoft’s usual release schedule. Normally they don’t come out that frequently, but if there is an emergency release, you won’t want to be without it for long. It only takes a moment to do if there aren’t updates available. If there are updates available, you want to get them installed as soon as possible. Setting up a recurring task to remind you to check is the best way to do this.
NOTE: Some companies have a policy about doing software updates that conflicts with the advice here. If your company does have such a policy, you should always follow company guidelines instead of general suggestions like these.
While incorporating ongoing Microsoft Outlook updates may be a pain in the neck, if you incorporate the updates over time you will be rewarded with a better-running program and less spam mail than you would otherwise have to deal with. The reduced amount of spam alone makes keeping Outlook updated a net time saver.
Here’s an outline of the steps you need to follow to check for and install Outlook updates:
- Go to the Microsoft Office Downloads home page.
- Find and click the link that lets Microsoft figure out what updates you need.
- Select the updates you want installed and download them.
- Install the updates.