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Tales of software updates: The process of updating software

Updates alter the way software functions by fixing bugs, changing features, and modifying the user interface. Sometimes changes are welcome, even anticipated, and sometimes they are unwanted leading to users avoiding potentially unwanted updates. If users delay or do not install updates it can have serious security implications for their computer. Updates are one of the primary mechanisms for correcting discovered vulnerabilities, when a user does not update they remain vulnerable to an increasing number of attacks. In this work we detail the process users go through when updating their software, including both the positive and negative issues they experience. We asked 307 survey respondents to provide two contrasting software update stories. Using content analysis we analysed the stories and found that users go through six stages while updating: awareness, deciding to update, preparation, installation, troubleshooting, and post state. We further detail the issues respondents experienced during each stage and the impact on their willingness to update.