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A Software update or Patch is a piece of software designed to update a computer program or its supporting data, to fix or improve it. This includes fixing security vulnerabilities and other bugs, with such patches usually called bugfixes or bug fixes, and improving the usability or performance. Although meant to fix problems, poorly designed patches can sometimes introduce new problems (see software regressions). In some special cases updates may knowingly break the functionality, for instance, by removing components for which the update provider is no longer licensed or disabling a device.

Patch management is the process of using a strategy and plan of what patches should be applied to which systems at a specified time.