Samsung’s SW Update Tool Actively Disabling Windows Update
Every Samsung computer ships with a little utility called ‘SW Updater’, which is responsible for keeping all the manufacturer’s software and drivers updated, as well as any other included bloatware. In other words, this typical OEM tool is pretty standard fare for any Windows laptop from the South Korean electronics giant. This is how Samsung describes its update tool:
You can install relevant software for your computer easier and faster using SW Update. The SW Update program helps you install and update your software and driver easily.
But as Microsoft MVP Patrick Barker noted in a teardown on his blog, SW Update tool appears to be actively disabling Windows Update on at least some of the Samsung’s computers. More specifically, the update tool features a file inconspicuously named “Disable_Windowsupdate.exe,” which – to our surprise – disables Windows Update, preventing it from finding or installing new updates.
Even if you try to re-enable Windows Update, SW Update will disable it whenever you reboot your computer.
Barker found that SW Update downloads Disable_Windowsupdate.exe as part of a zip file from Samsung’s website, but we have no exact figure on how many Samsung computers the update tool has downloaded and activated the executable in question.
It’s also not clear as to why Samsung chooses to disable Windows Update; most likely the two didn’t play nice with each other. Windows updates are simultaneously and there are chances it could break some proprietary piece of Samsung software. So Samsung might have thought turning Windows Update off altogether could be the best and simple fix to the problem.
But again, it’s still a guess; we can’t say anything for sure until Samsung releases a statement to clarify the situation. Whatever the reason is, disabling Windows Update results in creating critical security problems as it patches major security flaws almost every Tuesday.
Gohar is the lead editor at TechFrag. He has a wide range of interests when it comes to tech but he's currently spending a big chunk of his time writing about privacy, cyber security, and anything policy related.