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How to get rid of googleupdate.exe

Google Update is a tool that Google installs on a pc when some other Google software is installed, and runs each time Windows starts; it's supposed to update Google software, but a comprehensive description can be found on this blog.

I tagged this article as spyware, because Wikipedia defines it as

a computer software that is installed surreptitiously on a personal computer to collect information about a user, their computer or browsing habits without the user's informed consent.
Well, in my case I installed Google Earth, and during Google Earth installation there was no mention of Google Update. As most users do, I didn't read the License Agreement - I have something better to do than spend my time reading long, capitalized, boring and incomprehensible texts full of legal terms and obvious concepts.
Point 4 of Google Earth License Agreement recites:
The Software may communicate with Google servers from time to time to check for available updates to the Software, such as bug fixes, patches, enhanced functions, missing plug-ins and new versions (collectively, "Updates"). By installing the Software, you agree to automatically request and receive Updates.
It's vague at least, pretty different than "By installing this software you agree to also install a tool that will constantly run with your system and will periodically communicate with Google servers by itself, without the user intervention and knowledge" (that's what it really does).
So, Google Update is certainly installed surreptitiously because while regular software setups show the components that will be installed, the Google Update application is never mentioned during Google Earth setup, and the only mention of something vaguely resemblant to Google Update behaviour is in the License Agreement, that's a good place where to put information which you want that nobody reads: I firmly believe there is no informed consent about Google Update installation. Moreover, it appears that Google collects information about Google software usage through Google Update, still without informed consent (usage information collection is not mentioned in License Agreement either).
So, Google Update is a spyware.

How to get rid of Google Update

Once I disabled the scheduled task, the service and Firefox plugin, googleupdate.exe was never launched anymore, neither after launching Google Earth. I'll see if the Google spyware will reappear when I will update Google Earth manually (when a new version will be available).

I hope this helps, and if you still can't get rid of it using these methods, or if you find other places Google Update is hidden, please let me know. I'm curious how deep Google decided to fall.



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Posted by: Z24 | Sat, May 02 2009 | Category: /software/windows | Permanent link | home
Tagged as: , , ,


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