Keeping your apps up-to-date is important, be it for bug fixes, security patches, or new features. Unless you only install apps from the Microsoft Store, which is a bit lacking to put it mildly, Windows does not provide a centralized feature to update apps. In this article, we will tackle this issue using the excellent free service Ninite and a simple Windows task.
Ninite is an online service that lets you install many popular Windows apps in bulk. Just select the apps you want, download and open the installer, and it will do the rest for you. It will even refuse all prompts to install bloatware, like browser toolbars and extensions, on your behalf.
Ninite offers its own software updater app, with subscription rates starting at USD10 per year. It’s a good deal, and something you can certainly consider to support their useful service, but you don’t have to buy a subscription for personal use if you can’t afford it.
The standard Ninite installer, which is free, will apply any updates it finds when you run it. To fully automate this, you can create a Windows task that runs the Ninite installer file periodically, say once a week.
Open http://ninite.com, choose your apps, and download the installer to your desktop. Make sure you include any apps that are already installed on your PC, along with the apps that you’d like to add. Feel free to skip web browsers like Chrome and Firefox, as they update automatically by default.
The installer file should be saved in your Downloads folder. If you’re like me and clean this folder out periodically, you will want to move the Ninite file to a different location. I rename the file to “Ninite.exe” and save it in a separate folder called “Scheduled”.
Now, search for Task Scheduler and open it from the Windows search bar. On the right pane of Task Scheduler, click “Create Task…”.
You will need a name, a triggering rule, an action item, and some conditions for the task. The settings that I use are a good starting point – refer the images in this gallery and configure your task similarly.
Save the task, and run it manually to verify if everything works correctly.
The Ninite installer will run and update any app that has a new version.
That’s all there is to it. The task will run automatically on schedule and keep your apps up-to-date.