Patch My PC Updater is a free program for Microsoft Windows PCs to run update checks on all installed software programs.
We reviewed the program back in 2011 for the first time, and the release of version 4.0 was incentive enough to publish a new review.
As is the case with update-related programs, it is limited by the supported software programs that it has in its database. You can, however, download and install updates that are available using Patch My PC Updater.
You can run Patch My PC Updater directly after the download as it does not need to be installed. The program requires an active Internet connection, however.
Patch My PC Updater scans the installed programs on the PC it is run on when you start it. It supports more than 300 different programs in the latest version with new programs added regularly to the database.
Programs are sorted into groups such as Media Tools, Browsers, or Plugins & Runtimes. Applications that are out of date are highlighted in red. The application lists the total number of detected applications and the number of applications with updates in its interface.
First-time users may want to open the program options on the first run to customize the program's functionality. It may be a good idea, for example, to enable the creation of a system restore point before updates. Other options worth exploring are to enable a download-only mode, disable the silent installation of applications, or to enable verbose logging.
All outdated programs are selected by default. Patch My PC Updater 4.0 lacks options to start with a clean slate (remove all checkboxes) or filter the application listing.
Updates happen silently in the background by default. This is comfortable as you don't need to have to interact with program installers this way. The downside to this is that you have less control over the process. If you want full control, uncheck the silent installation option the program settings.
The new version of Patch My PC Updater comes with a right-click context menu that you may use to enable or disable the automatic updating of applications, remove a program, add and remove from auto-installation, and to open the developer website. The latter is especially useful for research, as you may want to check Patch My PC Updater's findings before you hit the install button in the software.
One interesting feature of the program is that you can schedule updates so that checks and the updates happen automatically. While that may not be for anyone, as you lose quite a bit of control when you let a program do all the updating automatically, some users may find it helpful keeping their systems up to date with minimal effort.
You may have programs that you don't want to update. This can be a commercial program that you purchased a license for that would expire if you upgrade or a program for which the developer published an interface redesign in a newer version. Patch My PC Updater takes that into account and lets you block programs from being updated.
Programs that are not installed on a PC may be installed as well. Just check the entry and click on the update button to install the application on the Windows machine.
Patch My PC Updater includes additional nice-to-have features. It suppresses reboots, and may also install 32-bit versions of programs on 64-bit versions of Windows.
Patch My PC Updater 4.0 is a well-designed program for Windows to help keep the software on a Windows machine up to date. It comes with the right customization and automation options, as it allows you to block updates or schedule updates so that they run automatically.
The program would benefit from a few options that increase usability. An option to unselect all items, to display only programs with updates or options to display the release notes of programs with updates would be useful in my opinion.
Now You: How do you keep track of program updates?
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.