Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Google Updater Service

I'm a big fan of Google. I don't mind a couple of ads in exchange for free services and software.

Not a single day goes by without me using Gmail, Calendar and Documents, the great SketchUp and - of course - Google Earth.

But that's exactly it: Google Earth. When I was about to download the latest version, something changed...
Instead of downloading the program I got this Google Updater thingy.

I never even thought twice about it: "Cool, an updater that will download just the changed bit and save bandwidth, proceed."
However, this Google Updater Service isn't just a Google Earth Update thing, it is a program that's installed as a service and keeps running on my computer 24/7!

Worst of all, it doesn't ask me if I want it to do that. There's no way to disable it from running.
Now... if I can turn off even more critical Windows Updates, why shouldn't I be able to disable Google from updating its programs?

Ok, some will say I'm being paranoid, that if I trust Google enough to keep all my emails, then I shouldn't complain about a small update service running in my PC.

Well, having an option, would be nice, wouldn't it?

Anyway, there's lots of ways for you to deal with it, manually.

Here's what happens when you install the updater.

1. When you try to download any Google program, you might end up with a Google Updater package installed at: "C:\Program Files\Google\Common\Google Updater".

2. This will add a service to your registry at:


This "gusvc" service will be set to automatically start up whenever you boot your PC, causing GoogleUpdaterService.exe to show up on your task manager processes.

3. This means that "GoogleUpdaterService.exe" is always running on your PC for as long as it's turned on. We assume that most of the time it will be idle, doing nothing, and just check for updates every once in a while, but who's to say? Google only info about it is:
The Google Updater Service is a Windows service that updates Google software that users have chosen to install. It ensures users have the most current software available. It is being distributed to ensure users' Google Toolbar search bars are Vista compatible
Well, but I don't even have Vista, and I prefer to do my updates manually, so...?

4. So, what can you do about it? - That's easy. Just head to the task manager, and terminate the "GoogleUpdaterService.exe" service. However, if you reboot your computer, it will be running once again.

5. To make it go away permanentely even after rebooting, you need to execute "services.msc" from the command line and search for the "gusvc" service. Stop it and set it as disabled. The Google updater will still be installed, but it will no longer run when you boot your computer.

6. Of course, you can also uninstall do Google Updater; or dive into the registry delete the key shown on step 2.

7. One last alternative is to simply delete the executable file: "GoogleUpdaterService.exe"

As an added annoyance, after countless Google Earth updates, the one provided by this updater service continuously fails to run and properly update my Google Earth.


  1. I had a similar situation where "GoogleUpdaterService.exe" was left in "C:\Program Files\Google\Common\Google Updater" with no uninstaller entry.

    With the help of Process Explorer´s strings-feature I found out that there is a command-line uninstall option of the service.

    At a CMD prompt type:

    GoogleUpdaterService /UnregServer

    This will stop the service and delete it´s entry so that the EXE can be deleted.

    Verified with version 2.0.767.25472

  2. It will return long before you reboot your computer - I've closed it twice while reading this post, and it keeps returning.

  3. @Richard,

    Have you tried any of the tips mentioned here, like the one martin said: running at a CMD prompt

    GoogleUpdaterService /UnregServer

  4. Goddamn it! I'm really pissed off by this FUCKING Google Updater Service! I'll fuck its programmer to hell!

  5. I had a slow logoff problem. I decided to disable unusefull sevices using "msconfig" and found that Google Updater Service is the only one I dared to disable. Now, it is MUCH faster!

  6. Call me old fashioned, but I would prefer to have a program warn me of updates when I execute it - instead of having such a "guard dog" always executing in the background.

    More so, why have that kind of service when I still had to update Google's Chrome manually?

  7. I went to Add/Remove Programs in WinXP and removed it.

  8. I've never installed *any* of google's apps on my computer and the thing is still there. I use Gmail, but I've never downloaded anything.

  9. If you are using firefox as a browser, download the free add-on called "no script". Then google updater will not execute its update without your permission.

  10. In the same folder as the main executable is a single subfolder. You can run GoogleUpdaterSetup.exe and set it to "Let me check for updates myself". Close the program and about ten seconds later your process list is free of google*.exe entries from the updater.

  11. thanks for that tip, for the people still "stuck" with it.

  12. Start
    >Run: Services.msc
    >scroll down to Google Updater Service
    >Right click
    >change from automatic to disable or manual.
    >grin willingly...

  13. I uninstalled Google Updater from the Add/Remove Applications applet, and it seemed to do something. But when I looked in my Services (services.msc), it was still going to start at boot.

    I think that the googleupdater.exe file was exploited on my previous XP installation. I don't quite trust it much, so I've disabled all the startup hooks for it. The best utility for finding these services is Autoruns (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx)

  14. well. a program that installs itself without asking and keeps downloading stuff you don´t want is regarded as a trojan, no?

  15. Absolutely unwanted behavior. Yesterday I uninstalled Google Update, set its services to Disabled, and used msconfig to remove it. I even killed it in Task Manager. Despite all that, it still appears as a running process after awhile. Finally I renamed the executables and that killed it for good.

  16. You should also check scheduled task and remove it from there :)

  17. to set the google updater preferences, re-install the updater. then the preferences tab will show up and you can configure google updater to NOT get updates automatically.

  18. Ok! the renaming the file(s) have worked for me. All other suggestions failed.


  19. I Google searched for "trust google updater" got hear by choice, didn't check other links. My firewall keeps asking me if I want to BLOCK or ALLOW googleupdate ... Since I don't know what its doing and I'm paranoid, I BLOCK it. This and other spooky things. What's it doing even if it s BLOCKED?

  20. Well, even if you block its access to internet, it will keep trying for as long as its running, trying to check for updates to your Google products... Hence the reoccurring popups requesting access.

  21. Other people use Google Updater to put trojans in Your PC with it.

  22. "You should also check scheduled task and remove it from there :) "

    Nice... I never thought to look in there, nothing else is ever set as a scheduled task, my thanks mr Anonymous :D

  23. Scheduled tasks. .. . indeed, after all of this, 4 instances of the updater sitting in there . . . the 'spark' for my continued annoyances. thanks

  24. Did you manage to get rid of this GoogleUpdaterService.exe problem?
    Did anyone read the terms of the update? Is this officially Google?

  25. The hyperlink in the original
    "Google only info about it"
    no longer works.
    I can't find anything similar on Google.com.

    I would like to be able to control (a) how frequently it checks for updates, and (b) whether update installations are automatic or not.

    1. 4 years is too long in internet terms. :)

      But indeed, there seems to be no way to control that anymore today than it was back in those days. The Google update works behind the scenes with no user control whatosever. :(

  26. Regarding any uninstall process, Google provide some useful information at https://support.google.com/installer/answer/98805?hl=en-GB


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