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Even Homeland Security thinks you should uninstall QuickTime for Windows

A pair of hands on a laptop keyboard with two displays.
Image used with permission by copyright holder
If you have QuickTime installed on your Windows computer, just uninstall it already. Apple isn’t patching it, and the security risk is high enough that the Department of Homeland Security put out a statement advising users to ditch the ancient video playing software.

“Exploitation of QuickTime for Windows vulnerabilities could allow remote attackers to take control of affected systems,” says the statement. The zero-day exploits allowing this takeover may never be fixed, because Apple no longer supports QuickTime for Windows, Endgadget is reporting.

The exploits in question were discovered and reported by Trend Micro, which stated that the only way to protect yourself is to uninstall QuickTime. Apple, for their part, have been encouraging users to uninstall the Windows version of their video player for a while now.

Apple no longer supports QuickTime on Windows, a video player that came bundled with iTunes for Windows until 2011. The software remains on many PCs, however, largely as a legacy of previous bundling: users would install iTunes to manage their iPhone or iPod, and end up with QuickTime installed as well. A security update for the video player was offered three months ago, but Trend Micro says that’s no longer the available.

The exploits are not a problem on computers running Apple’s Mac OS X, and QuickTime remains supported on Apple’s operating system.

As a video player, QuickTime for Windows isn’t worth using at. Videos in 4K generally cause it to crash outright, it’s not particularly strong when it comes to battery usage, and it doesn’t play many formats. While some legacy software does depend on the video player, Apple still recommends users uninstall the software, going so far as to provide official instructions on how to do so.

So head to your PC’s control panel and check if QuickTime is installed. If it is, uninstall it. There’s no reason to keep it around, and every reason to get rid of it.

Justin Pot
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Justin's always had a passion for trying out new software, asking questions, and explaining things – tech journalism is the…
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