MacBook Air Tips & Tricks

May 18, 2016

Updating Software & Web Browsers

All installations and updates of applications and software are now down through Self Service. If you try to update a browser or install an application somewhere else you will be prompted to enter an admin username and password. You do not have administrative rights to your computer so your username and password won't work. See the directions below for updating software, web browsers, and plug-ins.

Updating Browsers

Firefox and Chrome release a new version of their browsers every six weeks. While it is not necessary to update every six weeks, if you get too far out of date you will have trouble viewing some content.

To check what version you currently have open Firefox or Chrome. Click on the browser name on the top of your screen next to the black apple. From the drop down list choose About Firefox or About Chrome. A box will appear with the version number.

Before you update you should close the browsers you would like to update. Then login to Self Service, you will see a gray Categories box. Choose Web Browsers and Plug-ins. Click on the browser you want to update and click update.

Updating Plug-ins

What is a plugin? Plug-ins are software components that adds a specific feature to an existing computer program.

You can update your plug-ins at any time, if they are very outdated you may see a pop up or notification from the website you are using that you need to update.


Plugin List Available for Updates

Adobe Shockwave- displays Web content that has been created using Adobe Director.

Adobe FlashPlayer- freeware software for using content created on the Adobe Flash platform, including viewing multimedia, executing rich Internet applications, and streaming video and audio.

Java- allows applets written in the Java programming language to run inside various browsers.

Silverlight-enables interactive media experiences


To update login to Self Service and you will see a gray Categories box. Choose Web Browsers and Plug-ins. Here you can update Java, FlashPlayer, Silverlight, and Adobe Shockwave.

Updating Microsoft Office

You can update any software from the Office Suite ( Word, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, and PowerPoint) through Self Service. Updates will only appear in Self Service when they are available. After you have updated the software to the latest version the item will disappear from Self Service until the next update is available.

To update first close any Office software you have open. Login to Self Service and in the gray Categories box choose Microsoft Office Update. Click on the software you want to update and click install.

*Note- it seems that Office only updates one version at a time so if you are 3-4 versions behind you may need to update several times to get up to date. I updated my Office Suite from 15.19 then 15.20 and 15. 21 in one day before the icons disappeared from the Self Service update area. *

Self Service Downloads Status Check

When you update or download something in Self Service you can track the progress with the download arrow icon on the top right corner. By clicking it will show you the status of an update and report if it was successful. This downloads box clears each time you logout of Self Service.