Preparing for a software upgrade can be overwhelming but doesn’t need to be.
Today I’ll share five ways to prepare for a new version that might look and act differently so you don’t waste time feature hunting and so risk to your work/data/information is minimized.
- Make a backup copy of the important files. You are doing this anyway, right? (Stay tuned for a future tip/tutorial on file maintenance)
- Locate any licensing information and if you can, the original installation materials. The license information may be a sticker on a CD/DVD, an email, or you may need to look into the software to find it. You don’t always need to original installation materials, but if something goes wrong and you want to revert back, knowing where this is now will help.
- Read about the changes, there should be information on the company’s website and depending how big the software/changes are you might find articles about it in trade magazines or online publications. Hopefully someone provides a summary of “what’s new” to help you prepare.
- If available, try a demo. Many demos let you install parallel to your current installation. Unsure or nervous? Ask me or contact the manufacturer.
- If you are really nervous and there isn’t a hard deadline to switch, wait. Search the internet, or ask me to see if others are upgrading and if they experience difficulties. The company may have a user forum, you don’t have to participate, but it can be a valuable place to learn of what might go wrong during an update. (Stay tuned for ways to work out the trustworthiness of an online forum.)
I hope these five tips help your next software upgrade be a pain-free experience!
If you have something you’d like to see offered as a tip or tutorial, please ask.