Apr 302013
 

Patch My PC is a small portable application to scan for, and automatically update, the most common third party programs (and Windows updates) found on the average PC – updates can improve security as well as maintain stability or add new features.

It is free for personal or business use so is ideal for running on multiple computers as a quick and easy way to update them all. [The term ‘patch’ refers to an update/fix to programs installed on a computer].

Main Features – Portable so no need to install, just run it. You could also save it on a USB flash drive and run it on any computer from there. 87 Third Party programs are supported – split into Common Programs e.g. Adobe Reader, Flash, Shockwave, Java, iTunes, Skype etc and Optional Software e.g. LibreOffice, VLC, Speccy, Revo Uninstaller, Defraggler etc.

The utility scans for and displays outdated software automatically and offers one click installation of all updates, with options to deselect or ignore particular updates if required.

Using The Program – Download from the official website here.

  • Save the patchmypc.exe program file to your computer (or a flash drive) and run it to begin.
  • It may take a few seconds to open as it first has to scan your computer for installed programs and check to see if they are up to date.

The main program window opens showing the list of Common Updates and Other Software. Outdated software shows as Red, up to date programs show as Green, and programs which are not installed show as Black:

patchmypc1

You now have a choice as to which of the outdated programs you wish to update:

  • To update all the outdated items at the same time – press the ‘Perform Updates’ button and the program will download and install those updates.
  • To deselect a Common Update – select the Common Updates tab and click an entry to display a popup menu then select ‘always skip this update’ OR select the Options tab and tick the entry you always wish to skip. Press the ‘Perform Updates’ button when happy with selection.
  • To deselect Other Software – select the Other tab and untick any program you wish to skip. Press the ‘Perform Updates’ button when happy with selection.

Options & Tools tab – here you can choose a variety of options such as to create a system restore point before updating or to permanently exclude a particular program from the checks.

Startup items tab – this lists the current startup items. Right click to enable, disable or delete. This function is like Msconfig or the Tools\Startup option in Ccleaner.

Windows update tab – install needed critical security Windows updates. This function is like the standard Windows Update. I didn’t test this as I prefer to let Windows keep itself up to date automatically but it may be of use if the standard Windows Update process is broken.

Uninstaller tab – lists all current installed programs. Right click to uninstall – this function is basically the same as the standard Windows uninstall procedure. For programs which can’t be uninstalled in the usual way due to errors (iTunes is a common culprit) I would suggest using Revo Uninstaller to forcibly remove all trace of them.

Comparison With FileHippo Update Checker (FHUC)

I have reviewed FHUC before which also checks for new versions of programs automatically but there are important differences between both programs:

  • Patch My PC is portable whereas FHUC needs to be installed.
  • Patch My PC updates programs automatically whereas FHUC only downloads the updates – you have to install them yourself.
  • Patch My PC only supports 87 programs whereas FHUC supports more than a hundred.

Both programs are useful in their own way – if you have loads of installed programs you could use Patch My PC to update the most common ones and, if there are any unusual ones remaining, use FHUC to check if updates are available for them.

Conclusion

This free utility does a great job of checking for outdated programs and automatically installing updates for them. In my own testing it worked very well – the only minor error was that it was unable to uninstall an old version of Java 6 before it installed Java 7. It did prompt me to uninstall Java 6 manually though so this wasn’t a major issue.

It’s a simple to use free tool to update computers quickly and automatically.

  One Response to “How To Check For And Update Most Common Programs Automatically”

  1. Thanks man. Looks more advanced that the FileHippo update checker.

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