10 Free Software Updater Programs

Update your outdated software with one of these free tools

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A software updater is a program you install on your computer to help you keep all your other software updated to their latest versions.

Install one of these freeware software updaters and it will first automatically identify all of your software and then determine if an update is available. Then, depending on the updater, will either point you to the newer download on the developer's site or maybe even do the downloading and updating for you!

By no means do you have to use a software updater to update your outdated software. Checking for a new version yourself, and then downloading and updating manually, is certainly an option. However, a software updater makes the process really easy. The fact that all of these excellent ones are completely free is even better.

01
of 10

Patch My PC Updater

Screenshot of Patch My PC Updater 4 in Windows 10
Patch My PC Updater 4.

What We Like

  • It's easy to see what's outdated

  • Installs updates for you

  • Can run on a schedule

  • Supports hundreds of software programs

What We Don't Like

  • The interface isn't as clean as most software updater tools

Patch My PC is another free software updater that I like, not only because it's completely portable, but also because it will install software patches — no clicking and no manual update checks!

It's easy to quickly tell the difference between applications that are already updated and ones that are outdated because the green titles indicate up-to-date software, while the red ones show outdated programs. You can update all of them at once, or uncheck the ones you don't want to patch (or, of course, let the scheduled auto-updates do it for you automatically).

There are lots of optional settings you can enable, like disabling silent installs, enabling beta updates, forcing programs to shut down before updating them and many others.

Patch My PC can also work as a simple software uninstaller.

The only thing I don't like about Patch My PC is that the user interface isn't quite as friendly but I wouldn't skip trying this tool just on those grounds.

I really like the fact that it works so quickly, can be run from a flash drive and supports truly automatic updates. These are certainly the most important things I look for in a software updater.

Patch My PC Updater should work with all versions of Windows. I tried it out in Windows 10 and Windows 8 and it worked great.

02
of 10

FileHippo App Manager

Screenshot of FileHippo App Manager v2.0 in Windows 10
FileHippo App Manager v2.0.

What We Like

  • Very clean and easy-to-use interface

  • Lets you scan custom folders for outdated software

  • Can update software to beta versions

What We Don't Like

  • No one-click, update-everything button

  • Updates a relatively limited number of programs

FileHippo App Manager, previously called Update Checker, is a very minimal and easy to use program that scans your computer for updates and then lets you download them directly through the program.

The results list that shows which programs need updated, is really easy to understand because it shows the version number for the edition you have and then tells you hold old it is (e.g. Your version: <number> was released over a year ago.).

FileHippo App Manager can optionally hide beta updates, scan for outdated programs on a schedule every day, add custom install folders, and exclude any program from showing up in the update results.

The setup files for FileHippo App Manager is less than 3 MB and takes just a couple seconds to install.

FileHippo App Manager can be used on Windows 10 through Windows 2000, as well as with Windows Server 2003.

03
of 10

IObit Software Updater

IObit Software Updater beta

What We Like

  • Very easy to use

  • Automatic updates

  • Bulk downloading and updating

  • Recommends other software

What We Don't Like

  • Works with relatively few programs

  • Must manually mark programs to update automatically

IObit has this really simple and easy to use software updater that has all the features you need in one of these programs.

As you can see in the screenshot above, the current and new program version number is clearly stated so that you know how outdated the program is. Maybe you'll want to skip a version or two if it isn't a huge deal, but either way, you can very obviously see on this screen how much newer the update really is.

The program supports single updates, bulk updates, and even automatic updates. To use automatic updates, use the menu next to the Update button to toggle auto-updating on, and then let it do its thing from now on to always keep that program up to date.

In the settings are options for when IObit Software Updater should check for new program updates. It can update automatically for you or just notify you when updates are available.

04
of 10

Thor Free

Screenshot of the Thor Free software updater
Thor Free.

What We Like

  • Fully automatic (scanning, downloading, and updating)

  • Settings can be tweaked to your preference

  • Recommends new program downloads

What We Don't Like

  • Updates an extremely minimal number of programs

  • Shows several things that only upgraded users can take advantage of

Thor Free (previously called Heimdal) is useful if you want to keep your security-critical programs up-to-date without having to think about it. This program will automatically and silently download and install patches when necessary.

Thor Free can work in what's called "autopilot" mode to keep all compatible programs updated automatically or you can choose a custom setup.

A custom configuration lets you choose which installed programs should be monitored for updates and which ones should be auto-updated. This means you can have Thor Free monitor some but not update them, or not monitor or update others — it's totally up to you.

Thor Free checks for updates every few hours by default but you can turn off automatic scanning if you prefer. It also includes recommended programs and makes them just one click away.

This program has the unique feature of checking for and updating programs automatically, but it's not very user-friendly. Then again, you shouldn't really need to have the program open often because it will do everything in the background, so you can really just install it and forget about it.

Since this is the free version, you don't get the features that are only in the pro edition, like malware detection and website blocking. Follow the download link below to see which programs Thor Free is capable of auto-updating.

During the installation of Thor Free, choose the free option and then enter your email address to activate the free edition.

05
of 10

OUTDATEfighter

Screenshot of OUTDATEfighter
OUTDATEfighter.

What We Like

  • Automatically performs a virus scan on all updates

  • Updates can be found for lots of programs

  • Also works as a third-party Windows Update tool and software uninstaller

What We Don't Like

  • Didn't seem to locate as many outdated programs as similar tools

  • Can't set up an auto-scan schedule to find outdated programs automatically

OUTDATEfighter does just as the name suggests — it protects your computer from outdated software by acting as a free program updater.

It just takes one click to batch download or installs updates in OUTDATEfighter. This means you can place a check next to all the programs that need to be updated to have OUTDATEfighter download them all one after the other and then start launching the setup files. Before downloading updates, the setup files are even scanned for viruses, which is really helpful.

At any time, you can open OUTDATEfighter to check for software that requires updates. You can also ignore any update to prevent update notifications for that particular program.

I really like the fact that you don't need to open a web browser or search for the updated setup file on the internet. Everything is done from inside the program, and you can clearly see the old and updated version numbers (and sometimes release dates) for comparison.

There's also a program uninstaller and a Windows Update utility included in OUTDATEfighter.

OUTDATEfighter can be used on Windows operating systems from Windows XP up through Windows 10. Windows Server 2008 and 2003 are also supported.

06
of 10

Update Notifier

Screenshot of Update Notifier v1.1.6.141 in Windows 7
Update Notifier v1.1.6.141.

What We Like

  • Gets updates from the program's original source

  • Set up a scan schedule

  • Check for updates in custom program installation folders

  • Portable version is available

What We Don't Like

  • You have to download the updates manually from your web browser

  • Updates aren't installed automatically

Update Notifier installs in seconds and can monitor software installations in the background to notify you when a program needs to be updated. A schedule can be setup to check for updates every so many days and hours, like every 3 hours or every 7 days, for example.

Updates must be downloaded via a browser because Update Notifier does not let you download files directly through its program. However, the files from Update Notifier's website are pulled directly from the official websites of the applications, which help guarantee clean, up-to-date, original downloads.

You can also configure Update Notifier to scan a particular folder outside the regular program files location. This would be ideal for finding updates to portable programs. Like some of the other program updaters from this list, Update Notifier also lets you ignore updates.

A Watch List can be built if you sign up with Update Notifier so you can get alerts by email when new software updates are available.

Update Notifier can also be run as a portable program if you choose that option during setup.

You can use this program on Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, and 2000.

07
of 10

Software Updater

Screenshot of Software Updater
Software Updater.

What We Like

  • Works quickly

  • Downloads updates without leaving the application

  • Lets you auto-scan for outdated programs

  • It's easy to see what needs updated and what's already updated

What We Don't Like

  • Can't download or install updates automatically

  • Finds less updates than similar software updaters

  • The lack of settings makes it way less customizable than other programs

Software Updater loads in basically no time and has a very straightforward interface that anybody can understand, even if you've never updated a program before.

Results show up in the program and updating your apps is just a few clicks away. Version numbers are clearly indicated so you know which version you're currently using and what the updated version is.

I'm really glad Software Updater makes it easy to download program updates. After clicking Update next to an outdated program, the setup file is downloaded for you and then opens, ready for you to click through the installation wizard.

Software Updater doesn't seem to find as many outdated software as some of the other programs from this list. There also aren't any many settings that come bundled with it, so you can't do things like hide programs from being updated or enable beta updates.

This program works on Windows 10 down through Windows XP.

08
of 10

Glarysoft's Software Update

Screenshot of Filepuma showing program updates from Glarysoft Software Update
Glarysoft Software Update Results.

What We Like

  • The updater can start with Windows

  • Lets you enable or disable beta software scans

  • Updates can be ignored

  • Results are easy to read

What We Don't Like

  • Makes you download the updates manually

  • None of the updates can be installed automatically

  • Setup tries to install another program along with the updater tool

Glarysoft has a free program update checker for Windows that isn't much of a program itself, but when you run the checker, it opens the results in your browser and gives you direct download links to the program updates.

Software Update sends the scan results to a file download website called Filepuma that's owned by Glarysoft. From there are download links to the program updates.

You can customize the updater program to ignore beta versions and to run when Windows starts, but that's about it. The results list can be customized too so that you can ignore updates for specific programs or ignore just this one updated version for any program.

Clearly, Software Update is not as advanced or helpful as some of the updaters at the start of this list that can download and update programs for you, but it's still a functional program that's really lightweight and can run all the time without affecting performance.

Once Software Update has finished installing, but before setup closes, you're asked if you want to install Glary Utilities. If you don't do anything, the program might install automatically, so be sure to uncheck that option if you don't want Glary Utilities.

09
of 10

Avira Software Updater

Screenshot of Avira Software Updater in Windows 10
Avira Software Updater.

What We Like

  • The list of outdated programs is displayed within the software

  • Checks for outdated software automatically

  • The interface is minimal and easy to use

What We Don't Like

  • Download links open in web browser

  • Can't download more than one program update at once

  • Won't install any updates for you automatically

  • You can't customize the scan schedule

You can quit searching for updates manually if you have Avira's Software Updater program installed. With just one click it will check your entire computer for outdated applications and tell you which ones need updated.

The program is quick to find an entire list of old programs and gives you download links to open in your web browser so that you can download the updates yourself.

Compared to similar programs, this updater seems to find a good number of outdated programs but unfortunately, it's limited in a number of ways.

Avira Software Updater is just the free, limited version of the paid edition that has additional features.

For example, Avira's free updater will not download or install program updates for you. Instead, just use the link next to any program's "Update" button to find the download page online.

This program also does not let you choose when it should automatically scan your computer for outdated programs, but it does seem to do so periodically. Otherwise, you need to open it and use the Rescan button each time you want to check for outdated software.

During installation, Avira Software Updater asks you to install some other Avira software but you can just avoid those requests if you don't want them; they won't install unless you click them.

10
of 10

SUMo

Screenshot of SUMo v5.4.0.374 in Windows 8
SUMo v5.4.0.374.

What We Like

  • Finds newer versions of lots and lots of software

  • Distinguishes between apps that need a minor and major update

  • Lets you choose the folders in which to look for software updates

  • Can be run normally or from a portable location

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't show the download page to update the software

  • Searches are usually slow because of the vast number of apps it supports

  • Won't find outdated programs on a schedule; you have to open the program yourself

SUMo is a free software updater for Windows that's absolutely amazing at finding updates. You can install SUMo to a computer or launch it portably from a custom folder.

The program takes quite a while to scan your whole computer for outdated software, but it definitely found more programs that needed updates than any other tool in this list.

Every program it finds is listed out, even those that don't require an update. The ones that do need updating are labeled as requiring a minor update or a major one so you can quickly decide which programs you may want to update. The version numbers are clearly visible so you can quickly glance at the outdated and updated versions. It can even search for beta releases.

SUMo not only searches for programs installed in the regular installation directory of your computer, as you can even add custom folders and files for it to scan, like if you have portable software stored on another hard drive.

A huge downside to using SUMo is that it doesn't provide links to the download pages for updates. Instead of providing a direct link inside the program, or even just linking to a download page, SUMo simply lets you search for the program on the internet, where you'll then need to find the download yourself, manually.

I tested SUMo in Windows 10 and Windows 8 without any issues, so it should work in other versions of Windows too like 7, Vista, and XP.