Software updates

Last updated 17 January 2020

Subscribe to updates newsletterAdobe Reader

Adobe Reader has recently replaced by Adobe Acrobat Reader DC – it’s still a PDF reader but now tries to integrate with (and sell) services on Adobe’s website.
Download Acrobat Reader DC here.  If you still use Adobe Reader X then you should download and install Reader DC: it’ll replace the old version, and then keep itself up-to-date.  As of January 2020 the current version for Windows 10 is 19.021.

Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office

Check the Support Dates page for full information on currently-supported versions of Windows and Office.

In summary you must use Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, and Office 2010 or newer to be safe today.  Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP are dangerous to use and should not be on any computer which is still connected to the internet.  Office 2007, Office 2003, Office XP and Office 2000 are also dangerous and should not be used.

Adobe Flash Player

You shouldn’t really have Flash Player still installed on your PC: modern web browsers have begun phasing out support, and Adobe themselves will withdraw support during 2020.  Check in Control Panel on your PC: if you see “Adobe Flash Player” installed, then remove it.


Firefox is currently at version 72: you can download it here


7-Zip is currently at version 19: you can download here. 


Skype for Windows has been withdrawn.  You need to install the ‘app’ from the Microsoft Store.  Check in Control Panel on your PC: if you see “Skype” listed in the Programs & Features list, then remove it.  Open the Microsoft Store app from the Start Menu and search for Skype: install it from there.  Once you install it this way, it’ll keep itself up-to-date automatically.

Libre Office & Open Office

Libre Office is currently at version 6: you can download it here

Open Office is currently at version 4.17: you can download it here.  Consider using Libre Office instead, though.


There are serious security problems with Java.  Unless you know that you specifically need Java, uninstall it.  You should go to Control Panel, then Add/Remove Programs, and remove every version of Java, Java 5, Java 6, Java 7, Java 8, Java FX, and Java VM.

You can download the current version of Java from here, and you can check which version you have here.  While you are installing the Java updater, you’ll be prompted if you’d like to install the Ask toolbar – choose no – it’s junk and you don’t need it.  You should always uninstall old versions of Java, and at the moment you should uninstall all copies of Java: even the latest version.  If you can live without it, do!  If you must have it installed, it is really really important that you keep it up to date.

Microsoft Silverlight

You can check that you have the current version of Silverlight, and install it if not, here.