Samsung denies claims of disabling Windows Update with its own software

It was only yesterday when Microsoft MVP Patrick Barker discovered a piece of software from Samsung installed on a colleague's laptop. This file seemingly prevents Windows Update from automatically checking for and downloading updates, forcing consumers to use Samsung's own update software instead. As noted above, Samsung has denied this is the case.

Here's the response from Samsung Ireland:

"It is not true that we are blocking a Windows 8.1 operating system update on our computers. As part of our commitment to consumer satisfaction, we are providing our users with the option to choose if and when they want to update the Windows software on their products. We take product security very seriously and we encourage any Samsung customer with product questions or concerns to contact us directly on lo-call 0818 717 100."

It's an expected response from Samsung. That said, we're not entirely sure what to make of a piece of software titled "Disable_Windowsupdate.exe" if it doesn't actually disable the Windows Update feature. Perhaps they should named the file "Does_Not_Disable_Windowsupdate.exe"? Unfortunately for the company, a rep confirmed the the report yesterday, stating that Samsung's software can and will prevent Windows Update from installing updates.

While somewhat good intentions may have played their part (as to not have Samsung laptops affected by updates that break the company's own bloatware), it's still a serious issue, especially given the fact that consumers aren't alerted to the updater tool blocking Windows Update. If you're rocking a Samsung laptop, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Simply uninstall the Samsung SW Updater tool and you're good to go.

Source: Ireland's Technology Blog

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

44 Comments
  • Oh :)
  • This may be a mistake, guys: "especially given the fact that consumers aren't alerted to the updater tool blocking Windows Update. If you're rocking a Samsung laptop, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Simply uninstall the Samsung SW Updater tool and you're good to go". First, HP also has tools that could handle over the WU management and no word on this. Second, all these bloatwares have tutorials. Alerts? There are plenty. Everybody here knows about Windows and bloatware alerts (and they do perform together in many cases - before one handing the other's function over e.g.). In our case here, I asure you, samsung bloatwares have tutorials, cause I have one of their machines, which, by the way, has one of the best costs/ benefits one could find out in the wild. Third, to suggest uninstalling SW Update software may be a mistake, guys. You are not 100% sure about it, are you? If you uninstall SW U., there are lots of citations everywhere, you may have, e.g., hard times getting your backlit keyboard leds to work again. Cause you know, playing with drivers can turn into nightmare... Imagine an average Joe reading this... just my 2 cents.
  • yes, most oems have some kind of software to check for hardware or preinstalled software updates. however, this is the first time i've heard of that software disabling window updates. you could always launch windows updates and install any available update. the guy who discovered this said that he couldn't launch windows update at all unless he shut down the sw update process.
  • Well said. What intrigues me, inclusive, because it affects my machine, is that this only happened to one user. The tendency of bugs which could affect WU may be infinite, so to say. Let's assess WU itself. Lots of WU bugs have disabled itself from working in the past. Wrong registers could also disable it? I mean, the possibilities may vary. Then, we get to the point where we realize pleas may be vague. Only one user? One sample? I don't know. But I see what you mean. Yes, a strong stand point of view.
  • Stop defending them, its more than 1 user. Go Google it.
    Secondly, PCs are PCs are PCs. Windows updates itself, and GPU drivers if you want MS certified ones, or you can get your own updating GPU drivers from AMD or NVIDIA is you have a discrete one. The rest is just OEM bloat, that most people either dont care about or don't want. The only OEM tool anyone needs is for hardware specific stuff, or Bios or other firmware style updates. Windows update is amazing solid given just how many machine types they have to hit, and how many depedencies they have to deal with. Go watch Channel 9 on the WU test lab (there were videos up of it).  2 entire buildings at MS are there just for testing updates.
  • This has nothing to do with defending them. I went to the source, didn't have to google it. Now read what you wrote: "The only OEM tool anyone needs is for hardware specific stuff, or Bios or other firmware style updates". This IS EXACTLY what I'm talking about here AND SW Update will manage them, help you filtering them, the correct ones... only this! No big deal, you see? Of course WU is the most reliable thing. No need talking about buildings and so on... I don't care... I'm all in Windows. There are other several other observations to be made related to this, but since it looks you don't have a samsung laptop there is no need on extending our talk! Cheers, man! No pun intended at all! ; )
  • Microsoft sells the Samsung Ativ 9 laptop through the Microsoft Store as a Signature Edition (like every PC sold by Microsoft).  That means the laptop can indeed run just fine without Samsung's bloatware.  Maybe some of their other models can't, but that's just one more reason why you should never buy a non-Signature Edition laptop. Stop rewarding companies for their bad practices, and they will eventually stop.
  • Even on their Android handsets, Samsungs bloat is a royal pain. The hardware is nice, but software ... ugh
  • Let me try to help with another issue: SW Update's function is to manage (only) bloatware and drivers. One could uninstall all bloatware and maintain SW U. for further references.
  • The people who care will be savvy enough to uninstall it and those who don't care are no worse off for leaving it alone. Complete drama over nothing.
  • That's pretty dumb to think that way. So because my grandmother doesn't know how to uninstall this program, she deserves to be at risk to zero day attacks and potential viruses?
  • Yeah, not everybody is a computer savvy but everybody deserve create user experience.
    This is why many users associate Windows to be buggy, prone to crashes and viruses because of these issues that ruined by OEM but blames MS for everything.
  • Think they must have signed some service and terms agreement with Microsoft, which they have violated clearly.
  • #Shamesung
  • Any Samsung laptop user clarified?
  • I'm using series 3 laptop having w7...i disabled SWU as startup application so I'm able yo download windows updates :)
  • Yeah I did to the guy who discovered it
    He didn't reply back though
  • Of course they're going to deny the allegations. The same thing happened with Lenovo when they got caught out with Superfish.
     
  • Easy, just don't install sw update
  • It comes pre-installed with the value added bloatware...
  • it's preinstalled by samsung on their laptops. you have to uninstall it.
  • The Samsung statement is disingenuous. It does not deny that it disables Windows Update. It answers a straw man argument that it isn't blocking the computer from getting updates - which it does get through the Samsung utility.
  • This. I remember working on a laptop and seeing it having problems keeping updates running. I believe I did solve it by removing the bloatware. Wish I had paid attention to the make and model at the time, but I end up working on so many sometimes they just blur by.
  • Marketing mumbo jumbo. Its like Mcdonalds stating 100 percent beef. But what they don't tell you is what percent of the patty is not beef based. So yes it may have beef that's 100 percent beef but its not strictly only a beef patty. Lol.
  • Thank goodness I can no longer eat McDonald's...
  • You are banned from McDonalds? What a chav.
  • Careful uninstalling SW Update as reports indicate Windows Update is not automatically reenabled. After removal, go to Control Panel/Windows Update and ensure the automatic updates are enabled.
  • Hey, maybe the guy had a virus on his computer that created the file and it had nothing to do with Samsung. Or it's a complete fabrication seeing as only one person in the world has actually provided evidence the file exists.
  • I'm guessing a Microsoft Signature Series is not affected?
  • Shamesung - Proved itself....
  • I have a Samsung laptop and had to reset it multiple times - updating anything other than what SW Update offers (through Windows Update, I mean), drastically reduces the performance of the computer. Mind you, this is top-tier gaming laptop I'm referring to.
  • This is why I completely wipe all of my family's laptops and throw in a fresh copy of windows.  Things run much smoother without all that crap being installed.  This is also why I choose to go with custom built computers instead.
  • His statement says they aren't blocking windows operating system updates. He isn't mentioning the windows updater itself. Since Samsung is using their own updater in place of is all.
  • What like they denied their phone batteries exploded? Samsung really have grown incredibly arrogant
  • They didn't deny that, in fact they gave people free replacement batteries for anyone who was plagued by the issue.
  • They are not denying it now because their attempts to silence users backfired. http://www.tgdaily.com/mobility-brief/82364-samsungs-censorship-of-damag... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QHd-_qncEU Samsung is one of the most unethical company in the world. After seeing this video, I stopped buying anything that has a Samsung logo on it.
  • People actually still say " IF YOU'RE ROCKING"?
  • "It is not true we are blocking a Windows 8.1 operating system update on our computers." - Our customer's computer's on the other hand....
    - And about your Windows 7 updates...
  • I will but only Surface or signature edition devices.
  • irresponsible response, and they just have to uninstall? shake my head then.
    What about something that is SPECIALIZED to that laptop can't work? Work with MICROSOFT then, SAMSUL!
  • These stupid OEMs are the reason why Windows gets a bad name. Personally, I aways DISKPART CLEAN the hard drive and clean install Windows. Unfortunately, not many people do that. I was shocked when I read this.... Shamesung!
  • I use it only for my drivers on mine
    From Hardware perspective I do like mine Samsung laptop except the oversaturated screen 
  • This smells Googlish.
  • If you take security seriously, why would you give the option to a user to NOT patch his system