I have to admit that when it comes to keeping a PC completely up-to-date with all of the required patches and updates, I fall far short. I might remember to enable Windows Update or maybe upgrade Chrome occasionally, but all of the other software that I run usually falls behind in versions until I try to do something with that software that it can’t do because it’s out of date.
After reading reading Tina’s article on why you should keep Windows updated, and Justin’s article on why you should keep Ubuntu updated, I think it’s fairly obvious how important it is to keep everything on your PC up to date and completely patched.
The problem remains – it takes time, and time is something that I really don’t have a lot of these days. Thankfully, there’s a really cool application called Patch My PC [No Longer Available] that helps you manage and schedule patches of not only your Windows OS, but also a whole list of other commonly used applications you likely have on your PC.
Letting Patch My PC Manage Your Updates
Everyone knows that having old versions of anything from Firefox or Chrome to MS Word or Flash can introduce security holes in your system, because you don’t have the latest patches that developers have issued to “patch up” issues that hackers have exploited with that software.
The thing is, how is a person supposed to realistically go through everything you’ve got installed to upload and install updates? Just think of the time that would consume. However, with Patch My PC, you can have a tool to check whether you need updates, and that can automatically install all of those updates for you in one click.
When you first launch Patch My PC, you’ll see a full list of all of the most common applications that the software can check and update for you.
You’ll find programs like Skype, various popular browsers, plugins like Quicktime or Flash, or other apps like iTunes and CCleaner. If you want to see whether your own software installations are out of date, click on the “Re-Check Software” button.
There are also other programs in addition to the most common ones on the default list. To see them, just click on the “Other” tab and browse through the additional apps that Patch My PC can update for you. I added Audacity to my list, but if you scroll down you’ll see a whole lot of other applications available.
Patch My PC will also deal with Windows Updates for you. Unlike your standard automatic Windows Update that you can enable with Windows, Patch My PC provides convenient visibility to a description of all of the critical patches your system doesn’t have. Rather than just blindly updating your PC, it’s nice to see exactly what updates are needed so you know exactly what’s getting installed on your PC.
You can customize how the software scans your PC and updates software by clicking on the “Options” tab in the right pane. Here you can have the software not update some of the programs, and you can configure exactly how you want the software to behave – like auto-update on PC start or auto-restart after applying updates – with the check boxes in the right pane.
Another useful feature built into this software that’s similar to other PC startup configuration apps we’ve covered here at MUO, is the “Startup Items” tab. This is where you will see all of the programs that are configured to launch when your PC boots. You can quickly enable, disable or delete items by right clicking and making your selection.
The Uninstaller tab also gives you quick access to the sort of Add/Delete Programs items that you’d find in your control panel. This makes it pretty convenient to quickly remove troublesome or old software – all you have to do is right-click and uninstall. Do you have a pesky app that is uninstalled but won’t delete from your list? Just click “Remove Program Entry” and Patch My PC will take care of it for you.
All of those special features aside – the core of this software is really all about keeping your OS and programs all up to date and patched with one click. When you do click on the “Perform Updates” button, you can watch in the status area as the software works through your selected software list and updates each of them, one at a time.
If there are any problems or errors, the software will pause the process and wait for you to fix the problem – like closing windows for example.
Once the updates are done, you can sleep better at night knowing that your OS and every common app (the ones that hackers are most likely to target) is completely patched and up to date – meaning that your PC is better protected.
How do you keep your PC and software up to date and patched? Do you think Patch My PC would help you save time and energy? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Image Credits: Time to Upgrade via Shutterstock