Choosing and/or Updating Your Internet Browser

The internet browser you are using plays a significant role in shaping your internet experience including how you experience websites like Medtronic Academy, the extra functions you have access to, and most importantly, how safe you are online.  With changing browser technology,  the browser you're currently using might not be providing you with the best user experience and there may be better options to optimize your internet experience. If you are using Internet Explorer, or are running any browser on a Windows operating system, these updates are particularly important.

NOTE:  Many courses and quizzes may be accessed via tablet and mobile; however, loading and operating performance is most optimal on a laptop or desktop browser.

Outlined below are the most popular browsers along with description of each to help you identify the browser that best suits your needs. 

     Mozilla Firefox is a versatile, feature-rich browser that’s good for both casual browsing and intensive research. It also does a good job of blocking phishing schemes and malware downloads.  By default, Firefox is set to update automatically but you can always do a manual update. A manual update will still let Firefox download an update but it won't install it until you restart Firefox.
Here's how to set it up:
  1. Click the menu button, then click Help, and select About Firefox. On the menu bar click the Firefox menu and select About Firefox.
  2. The About Mozilla Firefox Firefox window opens. Firefox will check for updates and download them automatically.
  3. When the download is complete, click Restart to update Firefox.
Important: If the update didn't start, didn't complete or there was some other problem, you can go to the Systems & Languages page to download and install the latest version of Firefox for your system and language or you can use this download link (see How to download and install Firefox on Windows for more information).

Firefox is a browser that’s not created by device manufacturers. It’s available on Mac, Windows, iPhone and Google Android.

Reasons to use it: has plenty of features aimed at keeping you safe online, including a scanner that checks items you download when surfing the web. It stops adverts following you around the internet without having to turn your cookies off.

Cons: you can only set up parental controls on a PC and are automatically tied to the settings you have set up.

Best for: those that want to stay safe when they are browsing the internet.

Opera is a freeware web browser for Microsoft Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, and Linux operating systems.  It differentiates itself from other popular browsers because of its distinct user interface and other features, including a built-in VPN, an ad-blocker, and a battery-saver mode, all of which make it well worth downloading.  To download the recommended version for your operating system please visit the Opera webpage.


  • Built-in ad blocker, VPN, and battery saver
  • Fast performance
  • Helpful speed dial start page
  • Turbo mode speeds up slow connections, reduces data usage
  • Gestures for easy navigation.  


  • Some sites balk at an urecognized browser
  • No reading mode or reading list
  • Lacks social sharing tool

Microsoft replaced its Edge browser with the updated, Chromium-based version on January 15th, 2020. Windows 10 users will automatically be transitioned over.   

Background:  Microsoft Edge is now powered by the same open source technology as Google Chrome.   Building Edge around Chromium works wonders for compatibility with websites, extension support, and improved security feature development.  Note:  Edge was originally launched with the release of Windows 10 to replace Internet Explorer. Though IE will still come with Windows, the older browser is being relegated to "legacy compatibility" duties. Microsoft is urging everyone to use Edge for its faster performance and improved features.

To download and install Microsoft Edge Chromium with Windows Update, use these steps:
  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & Security.
  3. Click on Windows Update.
  4. Click the Check for updates button. Microsoft Edge Chromium download with Windows Update.

You can learn more about the NEW features and download the latest version by navigating to the Microsoft Edge website.

For Mac computers, the Safari web browser is installed and updated as part of macOS. For PCs, Safari updates are no longer available.

To keep Safari up-to-date for the version of macOS you're using, install the latest macOS updates.

The most recent version of macOS includes the most recent version of Safari. For some earlier versions of macOS, Safari might also be available separately from the Updates tab of the App Store.

On your computer, open Chrome.

  1. At the top right, click More More.
  2. Click Update Google Chrome.
    • Important: If you don't see this button, you're on the latest version.
  3. Click Relaunch.

The browser saves your opened tabs and windows and reopens them automatically when it restarts. If you'd prefer not to restart right away, click Not now. The next time you restart your browser, the update will be applied.  

If your computer doesn't let you complete these steps, contact the person who has administrator rights to your computer to complete the Chrome update.

If you continue to have issues, click here to access Google Chrome Help for additional information and instructions for updating your browser on your computer, android, iphone and/or iPad.  

Chrome is the default web browser for Android devices and Chromebooks, you can put Chrome on your Windows computer as well as iPhones and Apple Macs.

Reasons to use it: lets you search your web browsing history and can create strong secure passwords for your online accounts automatically. Even better, if you have a Chromecast, you can show websites on your TV. It will also automatically translate pages if they’re in another language, whereas for other browsers this feature has to be downloaded. It has themes too that change the browser’s look and feel.

Cons: can be slow on inexpensive computers.

Best for: those that want to browse the internet on their TV.

​Internet Explorer is being phased out and relegated to "legacy compatibility" duties.  Microsoft Edge is the replacement for Internet Explorer (IE) and Microsoft is urging IE users to switch to Edge for its faster performance and improved features.  Note: You will encounter issues with some of our courses if you are still using IE so we strongly recommend updating to Edge or a different browser.  Download and installation instructions for Edge can be accessed on this page under the section titled: Microsoft Edge Chromium-based

If you are still using IE and are not yet ready to make the switch, follow the instructions below to update to the latest version. of IE:
  • download and install it from Microsoft.
  • locate your language from the list on their site (English, for example),
  • then choose either the 32-bit or 64-bit link to get that version for your computer.

If you're not sure which download link to choose, find out which version of Windows is installed on your computer.

NOTE: After 10 years, support for Windows 7 is coming to an end on January 14, 2020. We know change can be difficult, so we are here to help you with recommendations for what to do next and to answer questions about end of support.  If you are using Windows 7, please click here for information and recommendations .  

Last updated: 
04 Nov 2019