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I'm looking for a program that will automatically detect the software on my system and search for updates to it. I'd like to be notified if it detects updates so I can choose if I want to update each program. Here are the factors I'd like to consider:

  • Number of supported programs (for instance, Ninite looks like a fantastic program, but it only supports 92 programs)
  • How much the user has to do (do I have to follow a link for each program, click through a setup for each program, or just sit back and relax?)
  • Bloat (does it, by default, ship with bloatware? Can I opt out of it? How much will it slow down my system when it's running in the background? When it's updating my software?)
  • Overall usability (How pretty/intuitive the UI is)

Here are my requirements:

  • Must be free
  • Must work on Windows 7/8/10 (and, preferably, server)

I had Glary Utilities on one of my computers, and it did pretty well on most of these counts. However, it would be preferable if I had a program dedicated exclusively to this, so unnecessary resources aren't consumed.

  • One way to limit the number of applications that require traditional updating is to use the Portable Apps Platform from portableapps.com . The Portable Apps Platform takes care of the updates for you. It will only work on applications installed through their platform, but it can help reduce your workload. – RockPaperLizard Aug 23 '15 at 5:04
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    I recommend you look at big GNU/Linux distributions. They all have something like this; they are built around it, in fact. – Raphael Aug 23 '15 at 9:17
  • @Raphael Yeah, there's no beating apt-get upgrade, but a lot of the software I'm trying to update isn't compatible with Linux, and messing around with Wine has never, in my experience, actually gotten a Windows program to work :) – KnightOfNi Aug 23 '15 at 14:16
  • @Raphael Unfortunately there is no decent speech recognition software for GNU/Linux distributions…not usable for me as desktop OS (unless in VM). – Franck Dernoncourt Aug 24 '15 at 4:38
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    @FranckDernoncourt I've been using aptitude for years on multiple machines now, without a hitch. (Myself, I'm happy I only use Windows for gaming every time I boot that machine. It's so cumbersome, bloated and sluggish!) – Raphael Aug 24 '15 at 6:13
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You can use Patch My PC Updater:

  • free
  • Windows 7/8/10
  • no dialog boxes/confirmation boxes: it automatically installs all updates at once without the need of human intervention.
  • update third-party applications
  • portable
  • light (401 KB for the current version)
  • support about 100 applications

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  • This is pretty good! It's convenient, but I'm finding that the tradeoff for convenience is usually a pretty small database of programs. I have a question about this site, though: since posting, I have tested 3 pieces of software, and would like to add info on them. Does convention dictate I do this as an edit to my question, or by answering my own question? – KnightOfNi Aug 23 '15 at 3:32
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    @KnightOfNi answering your own question, and one program per answer. (you can submit several answers) – Franck Dernoncourt Aug 23 '15 at 3:38
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You could try Chocolatey it works similar to apt and you can make custom packages for software it doesn't currently support

  • Currently has 2900 unique packages, this does include different version of some things

  • Mostly fire and forget when updating or installing, it is package dependent but they are meant to all be silent installing

  • it is mostly powershell scripts and only accepts packages that don't install extra stuff into the repo

  • easy for someone who has used apt it is very similar with different commands, people that have used cmd or term should be fine learning it, not sure how easy it is for someone used to using an installer it would be

Have been using it for most of my apps on my work pc for a few years now without much trouble, ever now and then it will error on an update and ask if I want to rollback or not. It doesn't have a built in auto updater but it can be added to a scheduled task in windows.

There is a GUI for it, I haven't used this so can't comment on how good it is

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    This is a great idea. However, based on my limited experience with apt, I'm assuming Chocolatey doesn't support the updating of packages it didn't install. ie. I want to update, say, Firefox and Java on a computer that didn't use Chocolatey to install them. Will it work for this purpose? – KnightOfNi Sep 4 '15 at 21:06
  • not right away, I've had success with telling it to install something that is already there and it just running the installer and the installer just returning that it is installed, it is most likely a per app kind of thing based on the installer they use – Gilsham Sep 6 '15 at 20:21
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"Review" for Secunia Personal Software Inspector:

Secunia PSI didn't start out well - the website requires you to register for an e-mail list, so I assume my spam account will be even more inundated than it already is. Then, it told me the Windows Update program is missing, when Windows Update has been part of the Control Panel since Win 8. However, I assume that means that in Win 7, PSI can check for Windows Updates too. I've read that it also supports updating some drivers, but haven't tested that myself. PSI is highly security-oriented, which means they skip over what they consider to be "minor" updates, or updates to programs that don't have a large impact on your security. It found 0 updates on my system. However, PSI does download and install programs for you, and it's very customizable.

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  • Since Windows Vista, Windows Update has been a Windows program in the control panel – Canadian Luke Aug 23 '15 at 15:33
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    @Luke I assume that even though it was accessible from the control panel, it still had its own files, whereas 8 just integrated it completely. I haven't really checked it, though, so you might be right. – KnightOfNi Aug 23 '15 at 15:42
  • It's its own program, since Vista. Just like each properties window for various sections- display, system, etc. – Canadian Luke Aug 23 '15 at 15:44
  • I have been using Secunia on and off and never got any emails from them. – user416 Aug 24 '15 at 11:03
  • Try to find Secunia PSI 2, the installer is still available on some sites. Current version (v3) has more modern look, but it's missing many useful features. v2 is still fully functional, it uses the same update database that v3 does so it's perfectly safe to use. I've used it on XP, 7, 8.1 and 10, it works flawlessly. – gronostaj Aug 24 '15 at 15:55
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"Review" for SUMo (Software Update Monitor):

SUMo also didn't start well. Their "regular" download comes with bloatware, and it's surprisingly tricky - I actually clicked the "accept" button and was on the verge of clicking "Next" and installing when I realized something was wrong. They do, however, warn you of the bloatware on the download page, and you can opt out of it. After that, SUMo did one thing very, very well. Even after FileHippo AppManager had updated Skype, SUMo quickly found 6 more updates, each to very obscure programs on my computer.

Unfortunately, SUMo is incredibly bad at the actual updating part. Clicking "Get Update" for said obscure products took me to a page where I could click on a download link. This took me to another page, with a link to a google search for the software I was looking for. And that link - I'm not kidding here - didn't even work.

As far as user-friendliness, I can't give SUMo very good marks, but it detects EVERYTHING. Overall, I'd definitely use a more convenient program as much as possible to get my system up to date, but this is what I'd use to keep it that way.

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"Review" for FileHippo AppManager

The FileHippo AppManager has a very "modern," intuitive UI. It scans quickly, and found one update (Skype) on my computer. I assume it has access to FileHippo's rather large database of programs, so that's a pro. It downloaded the update for me (and very quickly, too), but I had to click through the install menu.

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