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Find, download and install software updates with OUTDATEfighter

15 March 2013, Mike Williams

There are plenty of tools around to check your PC for missing updates, but most have significant issues. Soft4Boost Update Checker is good at detecting updates, for instance, but it won’t download or install them – that’s left up to you.

OUTDATEfighter (from the makers of SPAMfighter) is a little more ambitious. Not only will it find updates, but it can also download and install them for you. There’s a Windows update checker as well. And the program is free, so there are no annoying omissions and you’re not forever being nagged to “upgrade”.

Getting started is simple enough: launch the program, click “Scan for Program Updates” and it’ll examine your installed applications, compare their installed versions against a central list, and produce a report listing available updates.

Installing all these updates is as easy as checking the Name box, and clicking “Update Selected Software”. OUTDATEfighter then downloads the various files and launches them for you. These won’t be silent installations – you’ll have to work through each setup program, just as normal – but overall you should still save plenty of time.

If you want more control over your updates, it’s also possible to select particular files from the list. And if OUTDATEfighter can’t download an installer itself, or you need to keep the file to use elsewhere, then the program also provides a direct link to the official download page (click the “Information” icon, and click “Link”).

You can download all your updates in a couple of clicks

Elsewhere, an Uninstall tab lists your installed applications and can launch their uninstaller with a click.

An “Update Windows” tab seems to be an equivalent to the regular Windows Update tool, listing “Important” and “Optional” updates and installing whatever you select.

And there are a few useful configuration options, including an “Ignore List” which tells OUTDATEfighter to ignore particular programs which you’d rather manage yourself.

In our tests, OUTDATEfighter detected only an average number of updates. And for some reason it couldn’t install a Chrome update; we tried repeatedly, but each time were told “Download failed: try again”. Maybe it was a temporary issue, or something related just to our setup, but there was no way to tell.

We had issues with the “Update Windows” module, too. The regular Windows Update tool said our test PC required only one “Important Update”, but OUTDATEfighter listed eight, most of which weren’t important at all (a fax tool for our all-in-one printer, for instance). Not only does this increase the chance that you’ll install files you wouldn’t otherwise have touched, but it also makes it harder to spot the worthwhile updates amongst the rest.

This isn’t necessarily a critical problem. The ability to batch download all your available updates is very convenient, and we’d certainly recommend giving OUTDATEfighter a try, just to see what the program can do for you.

We would also recommend you leave the Update Windows function alone, though. Or at least check what each update does before you agree to install it.

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