How to find out the current version number of a program and compare it to the latest version. To check if your installed programs are up to date you first need to find out the current version number. For example, if you buy a brand new computer you will be disappointed to find that the programs the manufacturer has pre-installed are likely to be months out of date.
How To Find Out The Version Numbers – Some programs may have an ‘About’ option somewhere in the menu (frequently as a sub-menu within a Help option) that tells you the current version number but many don’t – and it is often quicker to view the version numbers of all your programs in one place anyway. This is different for XP and the newer Vista/W7 so we will show you each separately:
XP – Click Start then click Control Panel and open ‘Add or Remove Programs’ to see all the programs installed on your computer.
Click once on the program you are interested in to select it – the program will be highlighted in blue and a shortcut ‘Click here for support information’ will appear under the program name as shown in our example below for Flash Player:
Now click on the ‘Click here for support information’ shortcut to display the Support Info window which gives the program version number (10.2.153.1 in our case below):
Click the Close button when you have finished and move on to the next program or close the ‘Add or Remove Programs’ windows
Vista and Windows 7 – Click Start then Control Panel, Programs, Programs and Features to see all the programs installed on your computer. Notice that by default there is no version number shown to the right of the program size column (if there is then you can skip this section as you can already see the version numbers).
Right click anywhere on the empty space in the light blue menu bar (to the right of ‘Installed On’ and ‘Size’) then click ‘More’ to display the ‘Choose Details’ window as shown below:
Scroll down to the bottom of the ‘Choose Details’ window and tick the box for ‘Version’ then click the OK button. The version number of each program should now appear in a new column to the right of the Size column.
Got the Version Numbers – Now What? Armed with the version number info you can now check the program developer’s website to see if there is a new (later) version of the software available. In our example we would visit Adobe’s website to check for and download an updated version of Flash Player.
[PS – there is an easy way of finding out the current version of your Flash Player by going to Adobe’s website to test it – we have just used Flash Player as an example here because it is software that most people will have heard of and already have on their computer].