Can I say 'I updated something with something else?' Meaning, I replaced this with that ? Or should I use 'for' maybe? Concrete example :

I updated images with icons

Thanks !

  • 1
    This usage seems to be quite common in IT development. Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 12:53
  • 1
    There are two examples in Oxford Living Dictionaries under update entry, which shows that this usage is OK.
    – haha
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 13:48
  • Oh you are right, haven't come through these, thanks ! Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 14:19

1 Answer 1


ngrams and analytics suggest that update to/from might be best. Example:

Update from images to icons

Note that the "from" is idiomatic. "Update the images to icons" seems fine too. This is generally in the sense that the newer version replaces the older version, I.E. the icons replace the images. This usage is common in technology as currency is seen as binary. E.G. only one version of a driver or software is used at a time.

Alternately, you could use with if specifying something being made more current. For example, if you images are RAW images from pre-2000, you might generate thumbnails and store those thumbnails as file icons in the RAW file. Since you are adding a newer feature to the images the correct usage would be:

Updated the images with icons

Although the average reader may not know the inner-functioning of image file formats (ref my username) that phrasing does seem to imply that the images have been modified rather than replaced. Nonetheless, perhaps that is the intent!

Let me give you two more examples.

Update my operating system from windows 7 to windows 10

Update my computer with windows 10

Here are further sentence examples from Merriam Webster

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Brad Bowman. —Thomas Novelly, The Courier-Journal, "Is Matt Jones in for a 'rude awakening' if he challenges Mitch McConnell for Senate?," 26 Mar. 2018

Noteworthy rooms include the kitchen, which has been updated with custom cabinets, island and stainless steel appliances. —Joey Morona, cleveland.com, "Charming colonial steps from the lake asks $585k: House of the Week," 23 Mar. 2018

USA TODAY Sports Editor's note: Text has been updated to reflect Loyola University's advancement to the Elite Eight. Byron Mccauley, Cincinnati.com, "Updated: Loyola's Sister Jean has this Cincinnati extended family rooting for the team," 22 Mar. 2018

  • Hey thanks for the answer ! Indeed I have thought of 'from/to', but felt like it could be replaced by 'with' instead, but I'm glad to hear that. In my case it actually kind of matches your 'raw images' example since I replaced some old images for (with??? ahah) new ones ! I'll stick to 'with', thank you ! Commented Mar 30, 2018 at 8:08

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