Mac computers have been rising in popularity since the 1990s and now account for 10% of all active personal computers. Given that PCs are manufactured by dozens of different companies, this percentage is incredibly significant.

The problem is that when switching from a PC to a Mac computer for the first time, you may not recognize the warning signs that something’s not quite right. Like all Apple products, Mac computers run on their own unique operating systems that take time to understand.

To make things easier, we’re going to take a look at some of the signs that it’s time for a Mac update–or even a Mac replacement. In most cases, you’ll know it’s time to replace your Mac if the most recent update doesn’t solve your problems.

Read on for seven signs that it’s time to update (or replace) your Mac computer.

1. You’re More Susceptible to Viruses

If you’re skipping updates, it’s probably because a) you’re not sure how to do them or b) you don’t understand what they’re for. You can learn how to update macOS here, but in the meantime, we’ll explain one of the reasons that they’re so important.

People often say that Macs are less susceptible to viruses, and this does ring true. However, part of it is that the Mac operating system simply isn’t as widely used as PC, which makes them less of a target for hackers and viruses. That doesn’t mean Macs will never get a virus when someone detects a weakness in the Mac operating system.

If you’re getting viruses on your Mac computer, clear them out and update right away. Chances are, the latest update has patched any holes that are letting these viruses through. At the very least, your update will offer better protection.

2. Your Mac Is Slow or Glitchy

Another reason that updates are important is that they account for changes in software compatibility. If you find that your Mac computer is slow to turn on, slow to load, and struggles to run applications, you are probably at least one update behind.

In addition to running the latest update, you can also try reinstalling macOS or freeing up some storage space. If none of this contributes to a faster, smoother user experience, it may be time for a new Mac computer.

3. You Don’t Have the Latest in Mac Capabilities

A lot of times, Mac users realize that they’re at least one update behind because their Mac can’t do all the fancy new tricks that other Macs are doing. Apple is constantly looking for new ways to enhance Mac capabilities and improve user engagement. That means that updates tend to come with some new capabilities that range from practical (ie better video editing capabilities) to downright fun (ie new facial recognition and mirroring technology, new emojis, etc).

4. There are Apps in the App Store You Can’t Use

Let’s say you opened the app store to search for a new app you’ve heard about. The problem is that when you try to download it to your Mac computer, it tells you that the action can’t be completed. In some cases, you may be able to download it only to discover that you can barely use it.

Chances are, this is because the app in question requires the latest operating system. The app may take advantage of the latest capabilities or require a certain amount of space and speed to run. Try updating your Mac computer and see if this makes that app work properly!

5. Need More Space? Time to Replace

File sizes are getting bigger and bigger, which is why newer Mac computers tend to have a larger amount of storage space than the older models. Of course, there are ways that you can keep using a Mac that is stretched thin on storage. You can store files on cloud-based systems, external hard drives, or even thumb drives.

The only problem? This can be a time-consuming and messy process. In the end, you’re going to have a much better experience if you invest in a new Mac computer.

6. No More Updates for Your Device? Time to Replace

If you didn’t already know, Apple likes to “retire” older devices. Older models will eventually become obsolete by Apple’s own design. In other words, if you have an older device, anticipate that soon, you won’t be eligible for any more updates.

Keep in mind that the “age out” period differs from device to device. For example, the 10.15 Catalina version of macOS was available for Mac minis made in 2012 or later, but if you had a MacBook made before 2015, you were out of luck.

Notably, Mac does tend to announce these “age out” periods in advance. If you’re worried about your device, head to their website and see if they’ve recently announced any devices that are geared for retirement in the next six months.

7. Serious Hardware Damage? Time to Replace

There’s no easier way to know that it’s time for a new Mac computer than when yours has sustained serious hardware damage. This can include problems with the charge port, keyboard, screen, or shell. If it’s going to cost more to repair than it would to replace, you know what to do–replace!

Keep Your Mac Computer Up to Date For Optimal Functioning

If you have a Mac computer, you’ve probably fallen in love by now and have no intention of going back to your old PC ways. If you’re committed to Mac for good, it’s important to stay on top of updates and recognize the signs that it’s time for a replacement.

Ready to learn even more about the tech you use every day–and the stuff you haven’t even heard of yet? Take a look at our tech section to find out what’s new in the tech world.