How To Update Discord: Common Issues & Fixes

How to Update Discord

Forget actual revolutions – if any image should appear next to ‘revolutionary’ in the dictionary, it’s Discord.

This app has streamlined the way gaming enthusiasts communicate with each other, providing a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service more efficiently than any software before it.

But the app’s automatic updates leave many users wondering how to update Discord, especially when they encounter bugs like the Discord update loop’ issue.

Although we no longer live in the dark ages of TeamSpeak and Ventrilo, Discord still has its occasional issues.

It’s important to keep the app updated to avoid bugs, protect against malware, and keep Discord running in an optimized manner.

In this article, we’ll run through how to update Discord on PC, how to check for Discord updates, and how to fix any bugs/issues that you might run into when updating Discord.

Are Discord Updates Automatic?

Any new Discord update will be automatically completed. Every time you open the Discord client app, you will see this window appear:

Discord client Starting

This window signifies that Discord is automatically checking for any new updates. If there is an update to be installed, the app will begin the installation process.

Automatic updates are a fantastic development and are becoming ever-more present in modern software. Without the need to manually install updates, the user experience is far more streamlined.

Compare this to the process of installing mods for games; imagine if, for every Discord update, you had to manually overwrite the current version with a fresh install of the latest version. No thanks!

Discord checking for updates automatically is usually a massive timesaver.

Nevertheless, automatic updates aren’t a perfect system. If you’re facing an issue with updating Discord, there’s no way you can simply delay the update (unless you literally never close Discord or turn off your PC).

If the update can’t install, then you can’t open Discord.

This issue has caused a lot of headaches for gamers. Let’s run through the three methods of updating Discord, and then discuss some fixes to Discord update problems.

How To Update Discord

The most surefire way to keep Discord updated is to close the app and shut off your PC regularly.

As Discord checks for updates automatically on startup, it’s important to make sure you’re opening it up relatively often.

Method 1: Update on Opening Discord

  1. Open the Discord client. If you can’t find it on your desktop, then type ‘Discord’ in the search bar at the bottom of your screen.
Select Discord App from Search
  1. Allow the app to check for updates. Don’t close this window – you can’t run Discord without allowing this process to take place!
Discord App Checking for Update
  1. If there is an update, the app will install it. Once the update has finished and Discord is open, a pop-up titled “What’s New” will list all the update’s new features, bug fixes, and any other miscellaneous information. 
What’s New pop-up

Method 2: Update Discord on PC Startup

If you want Discord to search for updates every time you start your PC, you can set Discord to open on PC startup.

  1. To do this, go to ‘User Settings’ – the gear icon next to your name and profile picture.
Discord User Settings Icon
  1. Go to ‘Windows Settings’
Discord Windows Settings
  1. Check the box next to ‘Open Discord’
Check the box next to Open Discord

Discord will now launch whenever you turn on your PC, automatically checking for and installing any new updates.

This is purely optional though – if you don’t want Discord to open all the time, or you want to minimize your PC’s startup time, this method is likely not for you.

Method 3: How to Refresh Discord & Update While it Runs

If you want to update Discord while it runs, there is a method of doing so – however, keep in mind that many updates will require that the app be restarted anyway.

  1. Maximize the Discord window
  2. Press Ctrl+R on your keyboard. This will refresh Discord, causing it to check for updates and install them.
refresh Discord
  1. Often, you will need to close and re-open the app for the latest Discord update to install anyway. It’s up to you, but most of the time the most surefire way of installing Discord updates is simply to restart the app. 

What to do if Discord Isn’t Updating Properly?

Most of the time, Discord’s updating process is clean and efficient. Not many users will run into update issues – but they certainly do occur. 

Perhaps the most infamous Discord update problem is the ‘infinite update’ bug. As the name suggests, this issue causes the Discord update window to… well, refuse to leave.

The first solution to Discord’s update issues is probably one you’ll groan at: patience.

While you can expect most updates to only take a maximum of 5 or 10 minutes, it’s possible to see it last for upwards of 30 minutes.

Any number of factors may affect how fast an update progresses – from its size to the congestion of Discord’s servers, to your network bandwidth.

Play a game, watch some videos, do the dishes; just don’t keep restarting the update a few minutes in.

If your Discord update has lasted around 30 minutes, then it’s safe to say that something’s gone wrong.

There are three primary methods that can usually solve update issues, and luckily, they’re all quite simple

Let’s run through them.

Method 1: Running Discord as Admin

This is a pretty common – and effective – solution to misbehaving apps. 

Put simply, apps like Discord need to make changes to your computer to update. This might sound threatening, but you have no need to worry – it’s standard.

Sometimes, these changes get automatically blocked by your computer, like an overprotective parent stopping their kid from going down a slide.

They’ll be fine – they just need a little nudge!

You can nudge it by:

  1. Right-clicking on the Discord icon
  2. Selecting ‘Run as Administrator’
Select Run as Administrator
  1. Clicking ‘Yes’ on the pop-up

You have now given administrator permission for Discord to run its update.

Method 2: Turn Off Windows Defender (if You Use Windows 10)

If running Discord as an admin didn’t work, then it might be time to bypass Windows’ second overprotective parent, Windows Defender.

Don’t worry – if you want to keep antivirus protection, you can turn Defender back on after the Discord update is complete.

  1. Type ‘Settings’ into the search bar at the bottom of your screen. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Click on ‘Update and Security’.
Windows Update and Security
  1. On the left-hand side, click on ‘Windows Security’.
Select Windows Security
  1. Click on ‘Virus and Threat Protection’.
Select Virus and Threat Protection
  1. Under ‘Virus and Threat Protection Settings’ click ‘Manage Settings’.
Virus and Threat Protection Settings
  1. Turn ‘Real-Time Protection’ off.
Turn off‘Real-Time Protection

After this is complete, run Discord as admin like we discussed before, and the update should proceed correctly.

Method 3: Reinstall Discord

If nothing else has worked, as the old saying goes, turn it off and turn it on again.

You could simply go to the Discord website and install it again while overwriting the old files, but the cleanest – and by far most efficient – method is to do a clean install.

This involves uninstalling Discord completely, then reinstalling it.

  1. Type ‘Add or Remove Programs’ into the search bar at the bottom of your screen. Open the ‘Add or Remove Programs’ window.
  2. Scroll down the list of apps until you see Discord, or simply type ‘Discord’ into the search bar above the list.
  3. Click ‘Uninstall’.
Uninstall Discord from Add or Remove Programs
  1. Once the uninstall is complete, reinstall Discord from their Discord.

This is the most surefire way of ensuring Discord’s update problem gets fixed. If you’re still encountering issues, contact Discord’s support team.

Conclusion

This was our guide on how to update Discord, along with how to tackle any problems you encounter. Remember to regularly close Discord so that it can automatically check for new updates on startup.

If you’re pulling your hair out trying to fix an update issue, make sure to give these fixes a go. Run the client as administrator, and/or disable Windows Defender (or any other antivirus software you own). 

If all else fails, go back to the ol’ reliable – uninstall and reinstall!

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