Automatic updates with Patch My PC | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Automatic updates with Patch My PC

Keep your software up-to-date with this portable freeware.

It's important to have up-to-date software, but the best time to update a program isn't while you're trying to use it. Patch My PC can automatically update Oracle Java but also Adobe Reader, Flash, Air, and Shockwave; Mozilla Firefox; Skype; Google Chrome; Apple iTunes and QuickTime; and many others. It's portable freeware that runs immediately when you open it, without needing to be installed.

Patch My PC's compact interface is packed with information. Though it's small and busy, it's also a standard Explorer-style layout underneath, with a toolbar/tabbed navigation console and main window displaying a list view of all our applicable programs color-coded by availability of updates. The console's tabs displayed "Common" programs, such as our browsers and plug-ins, and "Other" programs ranging from 7Zip to Yahoo Messenger, each with a check box for adding it to Patch My PC's scans. The Options/Tools tab let us select programs to skip, have the program delete desktop shortcuts after installing software such as Reader, and many other choices. A startup manager and uninstaller add extra capabilities. The program can also check for Windows Updates.

We made our selections, which basically involved adding Other programs to the scan and excluding some from the main list. We clicked Re-Check Software. Patch My PC turned up seven Common updates and three Other updates. We clicked Perform Updates, and the program automatically downloaded and installed all the updates we'd checked. We could click Cancel and Close to terminate the process. Patch My PC notified us of any outdated programs and even uninstalled them and reinstalled the updated versions, and also asked us to close our Web browser for an update. Patch My PC updated Google Earth and Chrome, VLC, Microsoft Silverlight, Skype, and others in just a few minutes. Running this simple but effective tool regularly can help you keep your system current.

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