What is the difference between an update and an upgrade?


What is the difference between an update and an upgrade?

Summary: This document describes the difference between an update and an upgrade.

Affected Suites:
Affected Products:
Affected Operating Systems:

Total Protection
Internet Security Suite
PC Protection Plus
VirusScan Plus

Data Backup
Personal Firewall
Privacy Service
Wireless Protection

Windows 2000
Windows XP


The version number indicates whether a McAfee product has been upgraded or updated. A change to the first digit indicates an upgrade, while a change to the digits after a decimal point signifies an update. For example, going from version 8.1 to 9.0 is an upgrade. Going from version 8.1 to 8.2 is an update.

Product Upgrades

A Product Upgrade is a full new version of the product. Upgrades usually contain major product enhancements, design changes, or new features. An upgrade is indicated by the first digit in the version number.

To upgrade your product to the latest available version, please visit McAfee's on-line store at:


Product Updates

Product Updates usually add relatively small enhancements to the product. These enhancements may improve existing functionality or add new functionality. To get the most out of your McAfee products and to stay protected against new security threats, you must keep up to date with these product updates. Product updates are available foranyone with a valid license.

Product updates are indicated by the digits after the decimal point in the version number.

To manually update McAfee products

McAfee products update automatically at regular intervals; however, you can also manually check for updates at any time.

For instructions on how to update your McAfee products, first determine which product you have, indicated by the icon in your taskbar.

For McAfee 2007 products, indicated by the McAfee icon, click the link below:

For older McAfee products, indicated by the McAfee icon, click the link below:

VirusScan and SpamKiller updates

When updating VirusScan, the Virus Definition, or DAT, files and the Scan Engine are also updated. For more details about VirusScan updates, click the link below:

SpamKiller updates include updates to the Spam Filter. For more information about SpamKiller updates, click the link below:


Last Modified: 11/13/07
Modified by: slp

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