About Software

11 Best Free Software Updater Programs (September 2023)


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 tools, and it will first automatically identify all of your programs and then determine if an update is available. Next, depending on the app you’re using, it will either point you to the newer download on the developer’s site or maybe even do the downloading and updating for you!

Derek Abella / Lifewire

Below is a list of all the best program updaters I have found, as of September 2023. I tried each one on my own computer to see exactly how they work and if they’re worth using. I routinely update this list, adding new great options when I find them, and removing others that no longer work (like SUMo).

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

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  • It’s easy to see what’s outdated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 what I use on my computer. It’s my favorite option 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It’s easy to quickly tell the difference between applications that are already updated and ones that are outdated because the green titles indicate up-to-date software, while the red ones show outdated programs.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. It can also work as a simple software uninstaller.

The only thing I don’t like about it is that the user interface isn’t quite as friendly as what’s offered by some of the other software in this list, but don’t skip trying this tool just on those grounds.

Some things I really like are 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.

It should work with all versions of Windows. I use it in Windows 11, but I also tested it in Windows 10 and Windows 8, and it worked great.

What We Like

  • Modern UI that’s simple to understand.

  • Update in bulk.

  • Automatically update apps on a schedule (no user interaction needed).

  • Several useful options to tweak.

  • Install it or use it as a portable program.

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s more than just a software updater (might feel cluttered).

This program is different from the others in this list because it’s really just a user interface for dealing with software that’s published through various package managers — Winget, Scoop, Chocolatey, Pip, and NPM.

It’s OK if you’re not familiar with those package managers. You don’t really have to think about any of them when you use this program. After opening WingetUI, you’ll give a simple list of all the compatible software on your computer that you can update through this program.

WingetUI is actually a beast of a program. Here are some features I particularly like: updates several programs at once, bypasses prompts so you can update in one click, automatically checks for updates on a schedule (and even update the packages automatically), ignores select programs so you’re not notified about updates, discovers new apps you might want to install, and removes programs you don’t want anymore, and can install an older version of the software.

Although this isn’t necessary related to app updates, this program can also import and export packages so that you can easily install them in the future.

It works on Windows 11 and Windows 10. It can be installed to your computer or used as a portable software updater.

What We Like

  • Portable version available.

  • Download and install updates in bulk.

  • Includes other useful tools.

What We Don’t Like

  • Some features you see aren’t free to use.

Over 200 programs can be updated through UCheck, which scans quickly, is easy to use, and doesn’t make you open your web browser even once to get updates.

Just scan for outdated software, check the box at the top to select all the outdated programs, and then select the update button. All available updates will download one after the other and then install on their own — I can’t stress enough how useful I’ve found automated installations to be!

You can also download and install updates individually if you want to not update a particular program for whatever reason. In the settings is a Windows Update option that you can enable to see updates for the Windows OS in UCheck, too. A program uninstaller is built-in as well.

Exclusions, scheduled scans, changing the cache directory, and some other features are available if you pay.

I used UCheck in Windows 11 and Windows 10, but it should work just as well in older versions of Windows, too.

What We Like

  • Very easy to use

  • In-program updates (no browser needed)

  • Bulk downloading and updating

  • Recommends other software

What We Don’t Like

  • Shows features that are only available if you pay

  • Limits updates to two per day

  • Tries to install unrelated programs during setup

IObit has this really simple and easy to use software updater that has nearly all the features you need in one of these programs. It works with over 500 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. I like this so I can skip a version or two if they aren’t major updates, but either way, you can very obviously see on this screen how much newer the update really is.

The program supports single updates and bulk updates. Automatic updating and updating more than two programs per day are available only if you pay.

In the settings are options for when IObit Software Updater should check for new updates to itself; it can update automatically or just notify you when updates are available. You can also control whether restore points are made automatically before every installation and if installer files should be deleted after setup finishes.

It works with new and old Windows versions, including Windows 11 and Windows 10, and older ones like Windows 7 and XP.

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. 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.

If you haven’t noticed a trend already with the listings above, 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 (trust me, you’ll appreciate this, too). 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 this tool.

It updates software on Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. Windows Server 2008 and 2003 are also supported. I wasn’t able to get it to update Windows 11 software.

What We Like

  • Extremely easy to use.

  • Isn’t littered with other tools.

  • Cheks for updates quickly.

What We Don’t Like

  • Missing features found in similar programs.

UpdateHub is a free program updater that’s straightforward and not at all confusing to use. There are just a few tabs on the left side of the program and only a couple options in the settings.

You can clearly see the app’s current version number next to the latest version number so you can decide if you want to update. If not, it’s easy to ignore any update.

One thing I like is that you can select a potential update to see its download size and user rating, plus view when the update was released. I also like that the settings let you switch the installation mode to silent (versus interactive), letting me spend less time updating an app because I don’t have to click through the setup wizard.

However, this program does not support bulk updating. Also, UpdateHub can supposedly update Microsoft Store apps and install Windows OS updates, but I wasn’t able to get either to work.

You can update your apps with this program on Windows 11 or Windows 10.

What We Like

  • Can check for updates as often as every 30 minutes

  • Lets you update to beta versions

  • Supports a huge number of apps

  • Downloads apps for you

What We Don’t Like

  • Website is full of ads

  • Includes app recommendations you might not care to see

  • Must install each update individually

  • Some apps have to be downloaded manually from their site

  • Incorrectly identifies some apps as outdated when they’re not.

Software Informer is a website that hosts free software downloads. This updater tool cross-references the apps on your computer with the downloads available on their site, providing an easy way to get updates for your PC programs.

The app is really easy to use. There are two tabs: one is for software giveaways and app recommendations, and the other is for updating the apps installed on your computer.

Some programs are downloaded for you within this tool, so for those, you don’t need to visit each download page yourself. However, other programs must be downloaded manually from their site. You also must install each program manually, so the program’s setup will open, and you’ll need to walk through it yourself.

If you select a program’s name, you’ll be taken to Software Informer’s website, where you can learn more about it. But this tool does provide the current and updated version numbers, so you can clearly see what the update will install.

Software Informer also lets you trigger an uninstallation if you want to remove any of your programs. In the settings are options to launch the tool at startup, check for updates on a schedule, enable beta installations, change where downloaded setup files are stored, and automatically erase setup files after the programs are installed.

Overall, I wouldn’t make this your first choice, but if you happen to have some programs the other updaters above won’t update, it wouldn’t hurt to give this one a try.

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

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

Heimdal Free (also called Thor Free) 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.

It can work in automatic 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 Heimdal Free monitor some but not update them, or not monitor or update others—it’s totally up to you.

It checks for updates every few hours by default. 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 open the program often because it will do everything in the background, so you can really just install it and forget about it.

Heimdal is capable of auto-updating several programs, but in the free version you don’t get the features that are only in the pro edition, like malware detection and website blocking.

I used it in Windows 10, but it’s said to also run on Windows 8, Windows 7, and macOS.

During installation, choose the free option and then enter your email address to activate it.

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 an additional program

  • Hasn’t been updated in years

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 Glarysoft’s file download website, Filepuma. 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 isn’t 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.

It works on Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows 2000.

After this program 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 that as well.

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

  • The program itself no longer gets updated

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 it 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.

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows 2000 are the official supported operating systems, but I used it just fine in Windows 10 as well. It can also run as a portable program if you choose that option during setup.

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, I found that this updater does a good job at locating 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, the free edition won’t 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 doesn’t 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.

It runs in Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7.

During installation, you’re asked 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.


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