Using up to date software, including R, RStudio, and R packages can save you a lot of pain and time. Some of the problems that slow your progress may result from bugs that have already been fixed in newer versions or arise from the interaction between the software you care about and other software that you may not realize has a role in getting your work done. In the long run, it pays off to update R, RStudio and R packages. Here is how to do it with minimal effort.

Updating R

The package installr helps you update R. installr lives in CRAN so you can install it with


Now you can update R with


Run this confidently. Your time won’t be wasted if you are using the latest version of R – you will only see this message saying that your are good to go.

But if a newer version of R is available, a sequence of windows will pop-up guiding you through the update process. Just follow the instructions and make the decisions that make sense to you. This is very personal; what I generally do is this:

  • Although it is not recommended, I complete the process from inside RStudio (not from R).
  • I request my packages to be copied (not moved) from the old to the new installation of R because I prefer to have a backup.
  • I request the packages not to be updated because it takes time and I prefer to control what packages I update on a case by case basis.

Updating RStudio

You can update RStudio from within RStudio, from the menu bar at the top:

Help > Check for Updates

Updating R Packages

From the menu bar at the top:

Tools > Check for Package Updates…

Same from the Packages tab:

Similar from the command line:

Further reading

Other blogs about packages