Help Secure Your PC. Free Utility Check Apps That Need Updating.

One of the best ways to ensure that your PC is safe and secure is to keep all your installed software up to date.  In some cases, applications will update themselves automatically, or alert you when a new version is available.  But many apps don't.  And even if they do, we often dismiss the alert box because it's not convenient.

Patch My PC is a utility that scans your computer for dozens of well-known programs, both free and commercial, and alerts you if they need updating.  It'll even apply the updates for you, if you wish.

The program is available as a paid-for commercial product, but there's also a very functional free version too.  You can download it from http://patchmypc.net/download.  It works on Windows XP and above, is only a 0.5 MB download, and is free of malware according to VirusTotal.  It's portable too, so just run the downloaded file and you'll instantly get a report such as the one below.

You can then allow the program to download and install patches.  Or, if you wish, you can make a note of the updates it claims to have found and then source the latest updates yourself from the software vendors' own sites.

 

Patch My PC.  My thanks to Richard Miller for telling me about this great program.

 

 

 

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Comments

by Festeron on 13. July 2013 - 18:09  (109204)

> It doesn't scan your pc looking for apps that need updating.

Sure it does - that is the main point for installing it.

Ninite gets very busy the first time you run it [depending on how much you've asked for], but running it again doesn't touch existing software if it's up-to-date. New versions are installed silently.

That's why it's so great for frequently updated apps like Java. I know there are machines that have Ninite in their Startup folder.

by an0n1m0us on 13. July 2013 - 8:51  (109189)

All I get when trying to run this program is:

PatchMyPc.exe - Application Error

The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000135). Click on OK to terminate the application.

by AJNorth on 13. July 2013 - 9:00  (109190)

Hello an0n,

Two others have reported that to me (Win 7); the solution in their cases was to right-click on the app. and Run as Administrator. Have you tried that?

Regards,

AJN

by AJNorth on 11. July 2013 - 8:42  (109121)

Another free update utility that is worth mentioning is the Belarc Advisor. It has the ability to check not only for the presence of all necessary Windows patches, but also whether they are fully integrated and functioning -- even if Windows Update should report that none are required, in which case Belarc provides direct download links so that the patch (or patches) may be manually reinstalled (then the system rescanned).

Additionally, Belarc provides an enormous amount of system information for the machine it's run on (one word of caution: this is a professional application especially aimed at System Administrators; one result that will almost certainly cause alarm because of its low numerical value is the "Security Benchmark Score," which can safely be ignored).

The vendor's site is http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html (a review by Softpedia may be found at http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/System-Info/Belarc-Advisor.shtml).

by MidnightCowboy on 11. July 2013 - 9:39  (109124)

You need to be very careful with what Belarc says might be missing before trying to install these "fixes" manually (unless of course they are listed as failed installs from the Microsoft update process).

On my system for instance it shows this critical update as missing.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2618451#appliesto

I have IE10 installed however so this does not apply.

See also this thread which is typical of the confusion that can be caused.

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/comphelp/msg0923123630397.html

by an0n1m0us on 13. July 2013 - 8:47  (109188)

Hi MC

Just because you have IE10 does not necessarily mean that previous versions of IE files are removed from your computer. Microsoft's mediocre attempt at developer tools "F12 Developer Tools" for web developers are installed by default since version 9. They allow developers to switch IE to use the rendering engines of older versions. I'm guessing that such functionality is not necessarily built into >= IE9 but instead flips those versions of IE into using older versions of mshtml or what not.

If my hypothesis is correct then Belarc is right to say that you need to patch the older files.

by AJNorth on 13. July 2013 - 9:09  (109191)

Hello an0n,

An excellent point, and one very similar to the Secunia PSI indicating that there are one or more outdated system files that require updating, when in fact the system is fully-patched and the flagged files were not deleted by Windows Update (in which case one uses the PSI to open the appropriate folders and manually delete the files).

Regards,

AJN

by AJNorth on 11. July 2013 - 10:26  (109126)

Thanks, MC.

Though I have been using the Belarc Advisor for over a decade, I have yet to encounter the sort of mismatch you describe. (For example, the MS page you linked specifically refers to, and offers downloads for, versions of Windows from XP through 7, while the page at one of the links provided (http://technet.microsoft.com/security/bulletin/MS11-090) contains a chart showing that the update is needed only for Win XP and Server 2003.)

Nor have I experienced anything approaching the confusion portrayed in the thread you reference (now five years old). Needless to say, anyone using an advanced tool should first familiarize themselves with it; to borrow one of Murphy's Law's, "When all else fails, read the instructions."

In any case, my own experiences with Belarc have been uniformly positive (as they have for other techs I know who also use it), and I personally regard it as a "must-have" utility (along with the Secunia PSI, amongst others). Of course, as "they" always say, your mileage may vary.

Regards,

AJN

by BallyIrish on 10. July 2013 - 14:09  (109101)

Thank you Rob for a very useful program. It updated about 18 of my programs, and got the job done now! I also have Secunia installed, but it is more security oriented, so doesn't look at programs like Google Earth. This was on my Windows 7 Pro. I am going to install one on my old XP Home SP3 as well - still runs so well.
Best regards, BallyIrish.

by JohnnyG on 10. July 2013 - 10:47  (109096)

Patch My PC is free (not free/commercial) as near as I can tell. What they try to sell on the website is SCUP Catalog which is aimed at system administrators.

by jbones42 on 13. July 2013 - 19:11  (109061)

This is a Great Little Program. Very similar to what Ninite does, but this lite weight program does what I need. Kinda limited to programs it scans. But for a Simple Home Network with only three computers works well. Thanks

by Festeron on 8. July 2013 - 15:07  (109047)

As I understand it, there is a different Ninite executable for each combination of software from its own predefined list. This one seems to be one executable from which you can choose to include or exclude your own choices.

Not to knock Ninite, which is also hightly recommended.

by dalchina on 8. July 2013 - 14:23  (109045)

Interestingly it found a couple of windows updates not found by standard windows Update (not hidden either).

However, there was no selection and there were several listed office products I haven't installed, as well as two applicable office 2003 updates.

So as per the article, I installed these manually.

Startup - list helped me to find 3 leftover items I could delete.

Only handles a restricted set of applications.

by Astok on 8. July 2013 - 2:28  (109027)

Thank you updating Now!

by snowbound999 on 7. July 2013 - 17:59  (109023)

Similar to Secunia but that needs to be installed I believe.

by Century22 on 7. July 2013 - 17:13  (109022)

It works.
Very similar to what Ninite has been doing for years.

http://ninite.com/

by zdub on 13. July 2013 - 14:57  (109198)

The program is quite different from Ninite. Ninite allows one to download the latest most popular freeware apps en masse. It doesn't scan your pc looking for apps that need updating. Patch My PC has some overlap with Secunia PSI, Belarc Advisor, the Software Updater portion of Avast, FileHippo, etc.

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