Just because Microsoft Office Outlook has been around a while, that doesn’t mean that Microsoft isn’t updating it. Truth be told, there’s a fairly steady stream of Outlook updates coming out of Microsoft labs in Redmond, Washington. One thing they have been good about is continuing to make changes to supported versions of Outlook to fix bugs and protect you against the latest email marketing scams and other junk mail. The only problem with this is that you need to keep installing them if you want to reap the benefits of Microsoft’s diligence. The rest of this article talks about how to do exactly that, and points you to more extensive resources online.

Microsoft has put a lot of time and effort into making the update process as painless as possible. Unfortunately, it can still be confusing. Conceptually, the process is easy. You tell Outlook to check for updates, then download and install any of the available updates that you want. And this is where the first problem can arise.

You don’t have to install all the updates Microsoft offers you. One example would be updates for languages you don’t speak. It’s tempting to not install those. However, the simplest approach is to just install every update that comes along. Doing this will simplify your life by eliminating the need to evaluate whether or not you want each update every time one comes along.

I recommend 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 is the best way to remember to do this.

NOTE: Your company may have a policy about doing software updates which may conflict with this advice. If your company does have such a policy, you should always follow company guidelines instead of general suggestions like these.

While dealing with a continual stream of Outlook updates may seem like a distraction from getting actual work done, over time you will be rewarded with a better-running program and less junk mail than you would otherwise have to deal with. The reduced amount of spam mail alone makes installing updates worthwhile.

Here’s an outline of the steps you need to follow to check for and install Outlook updates:

  1. Use your web browser to go to the Microsoft Office Downloads home page.
  2. Find and click the link that lets Microsoft scan your computer to figure out what updates you need.
  3. Select the updates you want to install and download them.
  4. Install the updates.

 

For step-by-step instructions, go to:

www.living-with-outlook.com/microsoft-outlook-updates.html

 

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