Time to uninstall QuickTime for Windows
Trend Micro's Zero Day Initiative published two security advisories, ZDI-16-241 and ZDI-16-242, affecting Apple QuickTime for Windows yesterday.
Both vulnerabilities allow attackers to execute code remotely if exploited successfully by getting users to visit malicious pages or open malicious files.
Trend Micro furthermore revealed that Apple deprecated QuickTime for Windows. This means that the company won't release updates for the product anymore including security updates for it according to Trend Micro.
This may come as a surprise as the last QuickTime for Windows update dates back to January 2016. Back then, Apple released QuickTime 7.7.9 for Windows.
QuickTime for Windows
I could not find verification for Trend Micro's claim on Apple's website yet. The QuickTime for Windows download page is still up on the company website and while it is outdated, the last supported operating system is Windows 7, there is no indication that it is no longer maintained by the company.
If you compare that to how Safari for Windows is handled by Apple, another software the company deprecated for Microsoft's operating system, you will notice that things are different. Safari downloads for Windows are not offered anymore by Apple on its website.
Time may be a factor here though and Trend Micro may have received information directly from Apple that the company deprecated QuickTime for Windows.
Fact is, QuickTime for Windows has two vulnerabilities that are not patched right now. If you trust Trend Micro, Apple won't release fixes for the product which means that all versions of the application for Windows will remain vulnerable.
It is suggested to uninstall QuickTime for Windows if it is still installed on PCs to protect against these vulnerabilities.
However, even with protections, ultimately the right answer is to follow Appleâ€™s guidance and uninstall QuickTime for Windows. That is the only sure way to be protected against all current and future vulnerabilities in the product now that Apple is no longer providing security updates for it.
To remove QuickTime for Windows, do the following:
- Tap on Windows-Pause to open the Control Panel.
- Click on Control Panel Home when the window that opens.
- Select Programs and features from the listing.
- Locate QuickTime, for instance by clicking on the "installed on" column to change the sort order to installation date.
- Right-click on QuickTime 7 and select uninstall.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to remove the application from Windows.
Tip: Apple installs other software alongside QuickTime which does not get removed when you remove the video player. Find Apple Application Support and Apple Software Update in the listing and remove those as well provided that you don't have any other product by the company installed.
There are plenty of QuickTime alternatives available when it comes to watching videos on Windows. Even Apple's Trailer website no longer requires QuickTime. Suggested media players are VLC Media Player or SMPlayer.
Side note: it is rather interesting to see how Apple's and Microsoft's strategies vary. While Microsoft is pushing more and more of its products to Android and iOS, Apple seems to do the opposite and keep everything Mac and iOS exclusive.
Now You: When was the last time you used QuickTime on Windows?
I’ve checked four computers so far – no Quicktime found. Two more to check later.
No Quicktime installed for me. Only 6 .MOV files found but they play fine in POT Player.
Heh, last time I installed QT, I think was the early 2000s, then I found out about QTlite (and k-lite codec pack) and never installed it again. QTlite is dead tmk, but I never really had a need to install it again. The only thing I miss though is the apple movie trailers site since all of them were in Quicktime.
Though, I think Apple tries to get you to install QT if you install itunes… thank god for Winamp and ml_ipod so I never have to use that crap.
edit: holy crap I can watch apple movie trailers again w/o quicktime installed! yay!
edit 2: Thank god that apple stopped pushing quicktime on windows system, I hope this means they are pushing more “compiant” stuff for the general public
If you use Adobe After Effects apparently you NEED QuickTime player for Windows.
“First, the most basic thing: Make sure that QuickTime is installed. As you can see in the After Effects system requirements, QuickTime 7.6.6 or later is required for current versions of After Effects.”
Just disable the web plugin in Firefox (which should already be click-to-play) and you will be fine. Chrome doesn’t support NPAPI so nothing to do there.
Uninstalling outdated and vulnerable programs is good. Jumping on the bandwagon and uninstalling programs (which are not web-exposed) without research potentially breaking your workflow is terrible.
I don’t think it’s just Adobe After Effects, I seem to remember some features in Photoshop (CS4 onwards maybe?) that also required Quicktime in order to work. I can’t remember off-hand the exact features, but they were video or animated gif creation related features (and required it even when not using .mov source files). I remember declining to install Quicktime and creating the animated gif’s using different software instead, but that was a while ago now, hence the sketchiness.
Many tools as Avid Pro Tools needs it to create audio in sync with video.
Most music and video editing software uses QuickTime for rendering.
I used to install QuickTime up until a few years ago because I thought that Firefox required it to play certain online videos.
QuickTime still exists? Why?
Exactly what I thought. It must have been over 6+ years the last time I had to install QuickTIme on a Windows PC.
QuickTime is old stuff compared to the tons of better way’s to deliver and play media.
Because Apple loves having their proprietary codec. It is almost completely useless on a Windows PC.
US CERT post an alert for it.
I’ve never installed QuickTime so I won’t have to uninstall it. I always disliked and avoided bloated software, moreover when it adds components not included in the software’s removal.
Apple’s attitude here is rather inconsiderate should Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative claims concerning QuickTime be founded together with Apple’s confirmation to offer no update. For a company aiming style one could expect that of its policy as well.
QuickTime wasn’t always bloated, Tom.
If Apple has truly deprecated QuickTime for Windows, then what is next for them? Are they replacing it with a new product? New codecs?
Probably going to do the same as to Safari, maintain a version for Mac/iOS and that is it.
Abandoning other platforms and siloing your companies products to only Apple platforms doesn’t seem very conducive to expanding your name in the market.
The last version of Safari for Windows is 5.1.7 and was released in May 2012, by the way. Apple silently discontinued it afterwards. As to QuickTime, who even uses it anymore?
I have not used iTunes in a while, but did not Apple ship QuickTime with iTunes previously?
Apple stopped bundling QuickTime Player with iTunes on Windows in version 10.5 from October 2011.
I did not know that. Then again, the last time I did install iTunes was probably before that.
QuickTime? Hehe, what’s that? :D
VLC is the ultimate player! :)
VLC intentionally messes with codecs which breaks things. Use mpv instead, even on Windows.
VLC *used to be* the best. I’d highly recommend SMPlayer, or PotPlayer now. They are far better.
I’ll add MPC-HC (MediaPlayer Classic – Home Cinema) to that list. The amount of stability issues I always have with SMPlayer on Windows makes it more or less unusable. MPC-HC has a lot of features while staying compact and fast, it’s pretty amazing how much faster it is compared to VLC.
QuickTime and RealPlayer – seems like such a short time ago that they were essential media players, now all but forgotten.
So why is everyone so quick to believe Trend Micro? So far that is the ONLY source of this information – nothing from Apple. Even the US-CERT announcement says “according to Trend Micro” I guess time will tell, especially since it is all over the news…
“Ultimate” player I said because it’s quite powerful if you know how to use it, and get the most out of it. I’ve had both VLC and MPC; however, I caught MVP using way too much of memory. Plus, with VLC you can record, convert, stream and play with its settings according to your preference. The noise reduction in video and audio is handled much better in VLC. It’s more than a media player and yet so light. 64bit works great on my system.
I had a feeling this was bound to happen someday. After leaving QT floundering at version 7.7.x for years while the Mac version went up to version 10 (!), it was inevitable that they would just pull the plug on it. I’m surprised they waited this long, though.
As for new media players, I’ve taken quite a liking to GOM Player. I find it more customizable than most other players nowadays.
According to the TrendMicro’s author (or at least who published it), this is what he had to say about validation of Apple depreciating QuickTime:
“Christopher Budd Steve Jaspar â€¢
Hi, thanks for reading and your comment. I’m afraid the only announcement we were given was the article on how to uninstall QuickTime for Windows.”
I’ve asked him to explain further on that. It will be interesting to see how they came to that conclusion.
Okay this reads as if Apple did not explicitly state that QuickTime for Windows is deprecated, but that Trend Micro interpreted the message they received this way.
Thanks for digging deeper.
(sorry for the late info)
Apple, itself, hasn’t made a public announcement but supposively, during a call with ZDI (Zero-Day Initiative) they told them that.
IF YOU NEED QUICKTIME FOR ADOBE OR OTHER MEDIA SOFTWARE DO THE FOLLOWING:
1) Uninstall Quicktime.
2) Download latest QuickTime from Apple.
3) Reinstall by going through Custom Install and select just QUICKTIME ESSENTIALS, making sure to deselect Quicktime Player (Optional Features should be okay to install if needed).
4) Finish installation like normal.
QuickTime Player is really the main problem and doing this will allow you to use the rest of the features that Adobe and other media software needs.
Thanks for the very helpful instructions Decent60, as I need QuickTime to run embedded videos in Powerpoint 2010, which I use for my teaching.
A much EASIER way to adjust QuickTime (rather than uninstall and reinstall it) is to go via the Control Panel, then select Programs and Features. Right-click on QuickTime and select “Change” — this will allow you to deselect the QuickTime Player and the browser plugins. The changes seem to take effect immediately, but to be certain I’d do a reboot.
While that is easier, I just didn’t want to take the risk of the main program being left in there (plus it also made sure you had the latest version, if you only used needed it for media editing), as remote code could just activate the program using a command line string.
Is there any video player that can show the closed captioning in QuickTime MOV files?
Nearly any video player nowadays can play MOV files, subtitles included. Several of them have been mentioned in these comments.
What is it with video editing and large tech companies? Lately I’ve seen Windows security updates break Corel Videostudio on Windows 7: KB3126587, KB3126593 in February, again with KB3140410 in March and again with KB3146706, KB3147071 in April. Although Windows 10 works fine with the exact same version of Corel Videostudio! So, it’s not patched on Win 10 then??? Your only options are to upgrade to Windows 10 or buy the latest version of Corel Videostudio. Can’t wait for the next disaster Tuesday to come – “Honey, I Borked the PC Again” or “Microsoft Strikes Back – Return of The Event Viewer”.
Now uninstalling Quicktime will break further video editing software on Windows (particularly Adobe) – you can’t remove Quicktime without other video editing software breaking in the process. So, do I have to upgrade all that software too or is Apple hoping that I’ll bin Windows and jump on the OS X bandwagon? Sorry I meant “Mac OS” as they are removing “X” or “ten” from their operating system name too. Sounds like the two OS’s were too closely named and Apple doesn’t want “ten” being an issue, and let’s face it, Windows 10 sure is one giant Turkey.
Between the two of them I am now in the process of checking out Kdenlive, Lightworks and Cinelerra on Linux. Wine runs Video Redo, GSpot and ImgBurn quite happily. Add to that mix DVD Styler, Brasero, K3b, Handbrake and Bombono DVD and I don’t think I’ll be using Windows or Mac OS again in the near future. Luckily Linux seems to provide a stable user space to work in, especially as video editing is deadline sensitive. When are tech companies going to learn that you can’t just break software that people depend on for a living?
“Why don’t we write code that just works?” Linus Torvalds.
You don’t need the QuickTime Player itself to run video editing software. You just need the Essentials, which are part of the QT installer.
Just disable the player in a custom installation and you’re good to go.
“When was the last time you used QuickTime on Windows?”
Around the same time I last used the Real Audio player. Time flies! :)
Thanks Graham – you’re a star!