Here’s how to update Google Chrome on basically any device
The process is simple, regardless of your device.
You’ve probably seen a hundred articles talking about security patches or new features coming to Google Chrome, but how do you make sure that your browser is updated to take advantage of those?
For the most part, Google Chrome silently updates itself in the background, keeping it in tip-top shape. In some situations, it doesn’t manage to update itself automatically, needing a bit of user intervention at those points.
Thankfully, the days of needing to hunt for update packages is over, with Chrome being really easy to update nowadays. We’ll show you how on Mac, PC, Android, and iOS, so keep reading.
Auto or manual
Just like your driving style, this is totally down to you. Google Chrome automatically checks for updates every 23 hours and 20 minutes, so you won’t have long to wait for it to do its stuff. There are some times you’ll want to manually update, such as if you see a news headline saying something like “Go drop everything and update Chrome, now!” or if you just can’t wait for the latest features. If Chrome is updating automatically, it’ll prep the update for when you close and open your browser, and you won’t have to do a thing.
You can also check the publicly posted schedule for when the Chromium project will update. That’ll let you know if you should be expecting a jump to the next numbered version, although it won’t tell you if there are any pending security updates. For those, and for updates for Android and iOS, you can check Google’s Blog, which is periodically updated.
With so many users, Google staggers any updates so it can mitigate any potential issues. Don’t worry if you see that you’ve gone past the date posted on the blog, you can always wait a few more days or force the update manually.
How to update Google Chrome on desktop
If you haven’t closed your browser for a while, like me, Chrome will notify you that there’s an update waiting. Look up at the three-dot menu icon, to see what color it is. If it’s grayish, you don’t have an update ready. Otherwise, the icon will be colored based on how long it’s been ready to update:
- Green: An update’s been available for 2 days.
- Orange: An update’s been available for 4 days.
- Red: An update’s been available for 7 days.
If there’s no notification, or if you just want to check which version number you’re on, clicking on that three-dot menu and then Help > About Google Chrome will get you to the page below. If you’re up to date, it’ll tell you, plus the version number that you’re running. If you’re on a prior version, just opening this page will trigger the manual update of Chrome, which will display a progress bar, then ask you to restart the browser. Don’t forget to do this, as your Google Chrome won’t be upgraded until you’ve closed it and opened it again.
This is the same if you’re using Google Chrome on Windows or on macOS. If you’re using Linux, you’ll have to update Chrome from your distro’s package manager.
On iPhones or iPads, the only way to update Google Chrome is through the App Store. Open the App Store, tap the Updates icon on the bottom row, and check if Google Chrome is mentioned in the Pending category. If it is, tap on the Update button next to it to update.
If you’ve got a newer iDevice, chances are that you already have Automatic Updates turned on, as it’s the default setting for iOS 7 and above. You can check by going to Settings > iTunes & App Store > Updates and seeing if it’s toggled on or off.
Just like on iOS, for Android you want to head to the Google Play Store. Open the Play Store app, tap the hamburger menu on the top left, and tap My Apps & Games. If Google Chrome is mentioned in the list of pending updates, tap on it to update to the latest version. If it’s not mentioned here, you’re already running the latest version.
Hopefully, now you now know how to update your Google Chrome apps in the rare case that they don’t automatically update.
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