Difference between Upgrade and Update?

Difference between Upgrade and Update?

Summary: upgrade and Update are two different processes to make changes to an operating system or application. But the major difference is the number of changes made and what is the importance of those changes. A software upgrade changes the version of a software and a software update small required improvements includes bug fixes, and other requirements

There are scenarios when you have to update some things on your computer/Laptop, and then there are scenarios when you have to upgrade your computer/laptops‘s configuration. Surely, there is a big difference between updating and upgrading your computer/laptop or some other device. Although, both of them involve making new and latest required changes to the software running on your computer/laptop or some other device.

And what’s an upgrade?

When a bunch of changes made to software, we can call it an “Upgrade”. That is why making a switch from any current version to a new version would be called an upgrade, not update.

An upgrade mostly includes important changes to variety of new features and to the GUI and options which are not available in the existing version of software or an operating system. And as you might have guessed, its file size can go up to few gigabytes.

So, what is an update exactly?

When we are going to perform an update, it involves making required changes to an application, software or an operating system is such a way that it doesn’t affect its core primary structure. So, most of the regular and frequent changes made to your computer/laptops like security patches, bug fixes, newer hardware and adding new support for drivers etc. You can be termed as an Update.

An update is often smaller in size, and it might take a few minutes to perform. The word ‘small’ is relative. For instance, an update meant for a single application can range from a few “KB” too few “MB” in size, while an update for an operating system can go up to a few hundred MB.

Upgrade Vs Update

Upgrades are bigger and complex

The required time to install an update is less than an upgrade. Performing an upgrade is more complicated as the amount of data/source that needs to be replaced or copied is bit of large. It might take couple of hours to upgrade a software or operating system.

An upgrade released for a software or operating system makes a big change to the existing version number. I.e. Windows 7 to windows 8, or Windows 8 to Windows 8.1.

Updates are free

Maximum time Updates for a software or operating system is free. Because their price is included when you buy the software or operating system. That’s one of the main reasons Windows (operating system) comes so costly and gives you updated without any extra charge.

In the case of a new Upgrade, software providers might charge you. But, nowadays, most of the applications and paid operating systems have a free upgrade.

This was a brief and easy description of the differences between an Upgrade and Update. If you have something better to add, let us know in comments.


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