Software updates are a necessary evil.
Necessary because you get to have all the good enhancements that get implemented in later versions. They are evil since they need manual intervention.
Until Chrome came along and showed mainstream users on the advantages of automated updates, people either downloaded updates and installed them, or just chose to ignore them.
Modern applications mostly support silent updates. They update themselves, and do not necessarily need any action from your part. But if you are like me, you will end up having a few applications that do not support auto updates – either the developers are too busy doing something else, or the program architecture encourages people to “stabilize” rather than keep moving (Windows Classic Start Menu is one such example).
There are also the other breed of applications that “notify” you about an update and think their job is done. They expect you to visit the website, download the latest program, double click on the installer, sometimes even select the target folder, and get done with it – horror.
Far too much hassle for a lazy person like me.
My first attempts at addressing this problem on my multiple Windows computers was to install the auto update software from free download sites – Major Geeks, Download.com provide such utilities. Soon I found out that they were clumsy, need manual actions far too many times, carry annoying ads, and are generally bloated.
So, I switched to Ninite. The free version of Ninite allows you to check for updates in one window and carry out the updates. You can get an automatic updater for $9.99 /year.
The only problem with the updater software was the support for software they will update. Either they have suppor for “your” kind of software or don’t. You just have to live with it.
Recently I discovered another software that performed similar tasks. But, it is faster, has a smaller footprint, is portable and supports many of the software that I personally use – PatchMyPC.
The Glorious PatchMyPC
PatchMyPC does not really do a lot of things. You can see the software that are up to date, or require to be patched. You then click one more button to update all software.
PatchMyPC downloads software, installs it in the earlier location, and lets you have enjoy that cake rather than worry about software updates.
Don’t like to update all of your software? No worries – you can just flag them as “not updatable”. You can also schedule the program to run automatically and apply updates silently.
This utility can also handle Windows updates. Traditionally Windows does not force you to update every patch that comes out, only the security installs are patched (although that’s changing for good).
While PatchMyPC also uses custom update channel and supports only limited software, it covers some of the crazy software that I tend to use (including Sandboxie!).
Thanks for PatchMyPC, now I get spend more quality time in Panau (I am pathetic, I know).
Alternatives to PatchMyPC
Apart from Ninite that was earlier mentioned, you could also check out other alternatives –
- Outdate Fighter
- Software Update by Glarysoft (love the name)
- FileHippo App Manager (does not automatically download the software)