Mac or PC. Android or iPhone. Doesn't matter what equipment we use, we're all going to be receiving notifications in the near future that our device's operating system has an update. Brand spanking new, shiny, perky; ready for us to install on our equipment simply by clicking or tapping a few buttons. Before you push that OK button, consider these three suggestions to save yourself some stress.
1 - Back up your important files
The documents, spreadsheets, and presentations you created, photos your took, music you listen to, and videos you captured are invaluable. Whether you use an automatic-uploading cloud-based solution like Dropbox, or a local external USB drive, it's important to have a copy of your important data located somewhere other than your computer or phone. In case something goes wrong with the OS update, rendering your device difficult or unable to use, you will still have your data available.
Takeaway: If your computer's hard drive goes south (God forbid) and you need a professional tech to get things working again, we can reinstall your operating system back to a previous stable state, and we can reinstall the software applications on your computer or phone, but we won't be able to reinstall those important files from your personal or professional life unless you have them backed up somewhere.
2 - Wait
Don't update your operating system immediately after the company has released it to the public. That's what us pros do. Here's a secret we don't normally share with our clients. We install the newest OS versions on Virtual Machines, which are kind of like dedicated technology sandboxes that don't affect our "production" machine, so we can test features out and learn about any gotchas or bugs that you, our clients, might encounter. We take the tech bullets for you so your equipment doesn't get wounded in the early stages of an OS release. Plus, we'll be able to show you where the new paths are for accessing your programs, or how to change settings, or where your printer is now located.
Takeaway: Patience is a virtue. Let others experience problems with a brand new operating system update instead of taking it on yourself.
3 - Talk with a professional
If you are really itching to get your device updated to the latest and greatest, your tech may have tools to clone your computer, in its current working state, before you upgrade. That way, once things are updated, and you encounter lots of stress from errors and bugs from the new OS, your tech can return things back to the previous state as if nothing had changed before you made the update. Also, if your tech is worth their salt, they may be able to show you a demo of the new operating system, since they most likely have been working with the pre-release beta versions for some time. You could see for yourself what things look like and get an inside peek at what you'll be contending with once you update your software.
Takeaway: Put your trust in a Tech Sherpa when visiting new territory. They won't leave you out on a limb.
May your tech life be enjoyable, and less stressful, by taking precautions to ensure your success.