I am going to start off by telling you something NOT true: The Operating System (OS) is the most basic programming on your computer. The truth is that there is something called the BIOS which is more basic, but for our purposes, we can think of the OS as the most basic. Simply put, The operating system is the foundation that supports the rest of the data on your computer.
Everything that resides on your compuer, is built on top of the operating system. The OS connects your printers, monitors, mouse, keyboard, and other peripherals to you computer using other software called drivers.
The operating system is updated frequently. I am sure you have seen Windows or MacOS pop-ups that say they have to update your software or we have updated your software please reboot your computer. Often, people ignore these warnings because they don’t have time, or they don’t trust that the update won’t cause their computer to crash or run slowly.
The problem with ignoring these updates, is that there might be newly discovered security flaws that the updates correct. Many people don’t trust Microsoft or Apple. These companies want to maintain the security and performance of their operating systems—otherwise their reputation would suffer in the marketplace. Manufacturers plan and test their updates against the most popular software, but what they cannot test is the software that is installed on EVERY computer in the world including YOUR computer which is why these updates sometimes fail.
In general, over the past 25 years we have seen a few updates crash or slow down computers. Typically the updates are either automatically installed incorrectly, or the updates conflict with software that is already installed on the computer (usually a driver). If there is a problem with an update most of the time this can be resolved by restoring the system to an earlier point in time and re-installing the update.