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software updateWhen you open a program to work with it, do you have the nerve to download and install an available update first? I didn’t think so. But will you do it after you’re done? Probably not.

Keeping all of your software up to date is essential for several reasons. Updates typically address security, compatibility or internal issues; as Karl has pointed out FileHippo Update Checker Keeps Your PC Software Updated FileHippo Update Checker Keeps Your PC Software Updated Read More . So it’s in your best interest to keep all your software in top shape. However, if you are a download junkie Download Junkies, Update Your System With RadarSync Download Junkies, Update Your System With RadarSync Read More and you have over 100 programs installed, that’s a tedious task. Fortunately, there are tools available that will make your job so much easier.

SUMo, which stands for Software Updates Monitor, is such a tool. It’s small, lightweight and fast. You can run SUMo to automatically detect installed software and check for updates or patches.

There are five quick steps to secure a top notch system when it comes to software updates:

1. Schedule SUMo

To benefit from SUMo, you must make sure that you will actually use it. Hence, schedule the program to pop up in regular intervals, say once a week.

Tim recently explained how to Run Programs Automatically Using Windows Task Scheduler Run Programs Automatically Using Windows Task Scheduler Run Programs Automatically Using Windows Task Scheduler Read More .

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task scheduler

Pick a time when you will likely have the time and patience for this task, and don’t forget to test whether your scheduled task works properly.

2. Scan Your System With SUMo

When SUMo pops up for the first time, hit the Scan button, so that SUMo can detect installed software. On my system, it recognized 130+ products within 5 seconds. You can re-scan anytime, but SUMo will remember previous scans and will load that list the next time you use it.

3. Check Software with SUMo

Now, hit the Check button and come back in 3 to 5 minutes to see which software requires your attention. In my case, SUMo reported a baffling 60+ available updates. I’ve clearly been slacking off on software updates…

program update

A green checkmark is a good sign indicating that the software is up to date. A yellow star means a minor update is available. You definitely have to act on the warning triangle for major updates.

4. Get Updates

You can sort the results by Update, mark all programs you would like to update and hit the Get Update button. For each piece of software, SUMo will open a website that breaks down all recent updates from the latest available down to your version or even older ones, including percentages of how many people use these versions.


Beta releases are marked and most popular installs are highlighted in green. This information will eventually help you make a final decision whether you really need this update.

5. Find and Download Updates

Yes, you still have to manually download and install the updates yourself. But it’s fast and painless. Use one of the suggested file hosts or search Google. For standard software like Skype, you should instantly find the relevant update and in a jiffy and you no longer have to worry about bugs or security holes.

If done regularly, the amount of software that turns up with major updates will remain low and easily manageable. It’s only tough the first time you do it — that’s if you’ve been as lazy as me and that’s an accomplishment.  ;)

Are you a responsible and thorough software updater or could you care less? What is your strategy? Let me know in the comments.

Image credits: iprole

  1. nhat truong
    August 20, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    thanks you for write
    tuyen dung

  2. Oron
    June 19, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Thanks for an excellent article. I used to use SUMO, but since I discovered Update Notifier I have switched to it. It is simpler, quicker, and the download option is far superior to SUMO's.

  3. Hiqutipie
    June 13, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    I checked Sumo & initially I liked it...It found alot of the programs & found 70 it could justify...The only problem I didn't like was the link to download Update...Rarely was it clear or direct like all the other Updaters which go to clear & precise Updates...Then it has those search for update...LOL...Hello...I could do that on my own...So I Uninstalled it...

    But Thanks Heart...I use Update notifier on Firefox Add-ons but didn't realize they had this Updater...Works very Well Thank You...

  4. Steve
    June 13, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Thanks Tina.

  5. Steve
    June 13, 2009 at 1:11 am

    When I tried to install this program, AntiVir notified me that ADSPY/Relevant.O was present in it. I downloaded the file from the software site. I think I will skip this one.

    • Tina
      June 13, 2009 at 7:34 am

      thanks for mentioning this!
      Apparently, the warning is caused by RelevantKnowledge, which is bundled with SUMo in its latest release, but not in previous ones.
      Someone just recently posted about this issue on the German Avira forum. They contacted Avira support, the Avira virus lab ran a test and concluded that SUMo was clean!
      Since the false alarm was reported only two days ago, I recommend to wait for the next AntiVir update and see whether SUMo will be tolerated then. Alternatively, you can either ignore the warning or install SUMOs lite version, which does not contain RelevantKnowledge.
      In any case, the latest release of SUMo from June 9th is CLEAN!
      SUMo lite:

  6. JK the Fifth
    June 12, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    I have used filehippo update checker before (and didn't know of any alternative until now :D ). I will definitely try this one.

  7. VenomIreland
    June 12, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    What theme is that called? The OSX Style one? Also, very, very handy, I was literally looking for something just like this, will do very handy for installing software on new computers also.

  8. heart
    June 12, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    I am using the update notifier from cleansoft
    my impression after testing this one, and SUMO, update notifier seems to recognize and find more programs as well as is easier to use.

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