Windows Computer Users: Uninstall Apple QuickTime, US Government Urges

April 18, 2016 Updated: October 5, 2018

If you use Windows operating system and still have Apple QuickTime media player installed, you should get rid of it, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advises.

Apple issued last update of QuickTime for Windows on Jan. 7 and, according to Trend Micro, there will be no further support.

Since then, two new security flaws were found in the software that would allow hackers to hijack Windows computers with QuickTime if the user opens an infected file or visits a malicious website targeting the flaws.

You can check what programs are installed on your computer, and if you find QuickTime, consider uninstalling it immediately.

On April 14, the DHS issued a statement saying the “only mitigation available is to uninstall QuickTime for Windows.”

The good news is you most likely don’t need it.

About a decade ago, it was common for Windows users to have QuickTime installed, because chances were your camera shot video in the QuickTime video format that Windows Media Player couldn’t open. In fact, back in 2002, QuickTime was installed on almost every third computer.

But since then, QuickTime has been supplanted by competitors on the Windows platform. If you use Windows 7 or newer, you should have no problem opening QuickTime video files even without QuickTime installed.

That doesn’t mean, however, that you don’t have it installed; perhaps you’re not using it. You can check what programs are installed on your computer, and if you find QuickTime, consider uninstalling it immediately.

Here’s how to find what programs you have installed and how to uninstall them on Windows 7, Windows 8 (use option 2), and Windows 10.

Follow Petr on Twitter: @petrsvab