3 Methods how to update R on RStudio (for Windows & Mac)

When was the last time you update your R and RStudio?

I installed RStudio and R a year ago, and never update it since then. Today I just noticed I cannot install new R packages because of my old R version. So I explore some ways to update R and would like to share with someone who is also looking to update R on RStudio.

The problem

RStudio and R cannot update on their own because some packages may not work after switching to the new version (You can still downgrade R version in RStudio if something went wrong though). After you install the new version, the previously installed packages will not go to next version. So it is required extra procedures to move the packages.

Here are 3 ways you can update R version in RStudio. Note that we need to move the install R packages, which I will show how at the end.

3 Solutions to update R on RStudio

Solution 1) Manually install

The first method is to download a new version of R from R website > CRAN. Then restart your RStudio. The new R version will be loaded automatically.

The new R version appear right after I install R and restart RStudio

Solution 2) Windows only – use installr

installr is the R package which helps install and update software.

The R code you will need for updating R is: (credit goes to Cara Wogsland for the code)

install.packages("installr")
library(installr)
updateR()

You can find the tutorial on how to use installr to update RStudio on R-Statistics website.

Solution 3) Mac only – use updateR

Similar to installr, updateR is the package to help updating R on Mac OS.

The R code you will need is these 5 lines: (credit goes to jroberayalas for the code)

install.packages('devtools') #assuming it is not already installed
library(devtools)
install_github('andreacirilloac/updateR')
library(updateR)
updateR(admin_password = 'Admin user password')

You can find in-depth tutorial on how to use updateR package on this blog.

How to move the previously installed R packages

This is the instructions for Mac OS user (who used solution 1 or 3 above). For Windows user, installr package will do this for you

(credit goes to RyanStochastic and micstr):

1. Move all folders from your old R version to new R version.

/Library/Frameworks/R.framework/Versions/x.xx/Resources/library

Replace x.xx with the old and new R version at a time.

Note that you have to move only the packages that are not currently in the destination folder (because those are the base packages, and you don’t want to ruin them). But if you already did replaced everything, the next step will solve this for you.

If you cannot find the proper path, you can run this command to check: installed.packages()

2. Update the moved packages

Run the following command in R. Type ‘y’ for every question that popped up.

update.packages(checkBuilt=TRUE)

3. Type the following command in R to check if everything went well

version
packageStatus()

That’s it! Hope you guys success in updating R. If not, please check in the reference link below.

Note: If you used R in Jupyter Notebook with IRKernel, upgrading R will render R in Jupyter Notebook unusable. Follow these steps to reinstall IRKernel and it will work again.

References: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/13656699/update-r-using-rstudio


Also published on Medium.

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