RIP Quicktime for Windows

QuickTime for Windows has dangerous security vulnerabilities that let attackers take over your computer, but Apple refuses to provide updates to fix them. Because of this it is time to uninstall it.

Annoyingly, Apple only announced this in a statement to Trend Micro. Apple hasn’t announced this on its own website, and doesn’t seem to be making a real effort to warn people about this outdated program. Apple is still offering it for download on their website with no warning which is inexcusable.

If you’re using a Mac, don’t worry. Apple’s QuickTime for Mac is still supported with security updates. Only the Windows version is dead and dangerous.

Why You Should Uninstall Quicktime for Windows… Now

QuickTime for Windows is vulnerable to two security attacks that would allow an attacker to run code on your computer if you visited a web page or played a downloaded file. It’s particularly exploitable thanks to its browser plug-in. If you’re using Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox, which still support the plug-in, you can be compromised just by visiting a web page. Google Chrome no longer does supports these old plug-ins, but Chrome users shouldn’t get too complacent. Even downloaded video files could exploit the desktop version of Apple’s QuickTime.

Unfortunately, Apple is no longer updating QuickTime for Windows, so these flaws–and any future ones–will never be fixed. QuickTime for Windows will just become less and less secure over time.

This is the same stunt Apple pulled with Safari for Windows. Apple simply stopped updating its Windows application without properly informing its users. Although Apple hasn’t asked directly asked you to stop using QuickTime for Windows, you definitely should. Even the US government is advising this.

Follow These Steps

To uninstall QuickTime, open the Control Panel, click “Uninstall a program” under Programs, select “QuickTime” in the list, and click “Uninstall.” The QuickTime uninstaller will remove both the QuickTime desktop application and the QuickTime browser plug-in. If you don’t see QuickTime in the list here, you don’t have QuickTime installed. Problem solved!

A Bad Apple

Apple’s Windows security has been beyond bad. While Apple is battling the US government over the security of its iPhones, Apple can’t even be bothered to inform users of QuickTime for Windows–and Safari for Windows before it–that they’re using old, out-of-date software that won’t receive security updates. Apple should be handling this a lot better.

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