[QUICK] Uninstall QuickTime for Windows

Category: Security , Software

Windows PC users who have the Apple QuickTime video player installed should uninstall it immediately to prevent its exploitation by hackers, says Apple, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, security experts at Trend Micro, and anyone else you may ask. Here's why, and how…

QuickTime for Windows: Unsafe

I'm not sure I would take computer security advice from the Department of Homeland Security. But there are two good reasons to uninstall QuickTime for Windows. First, Apple has ended all support for it, including security patches. (QuickTime for Apple products is still supported.) Second, Trend Micro has discovered two unpatched critical vulnerabilities in QuickTime, and Apple is not going to fix them.

Trend Micro revealed the two zero-day exploits when Apple announced it isn’t going to patch them, in accordance with Trend Micro’s “Zero Day Initiatives Disclosure Policy.” Normally, security experts don’t reveal vulnerabilities publicly until the affected vendor issues a patch. But in cases where the vendor drags its feet, or flatly refuses to patch holes, disclosure enables users to be on guard, and may inspire a third-party developer to come up with a patch.

The first vulnerability, dubbed ZDI-16-241, requires user participation. A hacker must persuade a user to visit a malware-infected site or open an infected file, such as an email attachment, using QuickTime. If successful, the hacker gains the ability to execute any program he wishes on the target device.

Time to remove QuickTime for Windows

The second vulnerability, ZDI-16-242, does not require user participation, making it more dangerous than the first. By injecting a malformed index into a portion of QuickTime, the hacker forces a memory overflow that allows malware to escape the memory “sandbox” and act throughout the affected device. That action could be anything a malware program can do.

These vulnerabilities have existed since 2005, at least; that’s the last time Apple updated QuickTime for Windows. Even QuickTime for Mac hasn’t seen a major new version since 2009. Apple long ago gave up on its quest to make QuickTime's MOV format the video file standard. But some programs still use it.

Will You Miss It?

Windows 7 has supported .MOV files without needing QuickTime since 2009. QuickTime won’t be missed in most cases. A handful of obscure applications may require QuickTime in order to work properly.

Currently, only Trend Micro’s TippingPoint IPS provides protection against threats that seek to exploit these two QuickTime vulnerabilities. I expect to see similar protection added to other security apps in the very near future. (You are getting automatic updates from your internet security software, right?)

To uninstall QuickTime for Windows, click Start, open Control Panel, then click Programs and Features. Find QuickTime in the list of programs, right-click, then select Uninstall. Don't be surprised if you get a scary-looking popup asking "Do you want to allow the following program from an unknown publisher to make changes on this computer?" That's just the QuickTime uninstaller. Click Yes, and QuickTime will be removed from your computer.

Oddly, the program remains available for download from Apple's website. Apparently, Apple thinks there will remain some users who just can’t live without it, even with these critical flaws.

QuickTime joins the ranks of other orphaned or high-risk programs such as Windows XP, Java (but not Javascript), and Netscape. These neglected programs should not be used, as they become more vulnerable to hackers with each passing day.

Do you still use QuickTime on Windows? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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This article was posted by on 18 Apr 2016

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Most recent comments on "[QUICK] Uninstall QuickTime for Windows"

(See all 27 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

18 Apr 2016

Totally agree with your comment about Java. Unless you need to have it installed - and most people do not - the best option is to remove it.

Posted by:

Ivan White
18 Apr 2016

I removed the apple quicktime player. I never used it anyway, am not at all fond of apple products. It is better to be safe than sorry and I have learned the hard way too many times now. If you do not use it, you do not need it, that is about as simple as you can get. Do not load your computer down with things you never use... I do not use iTunes as far as I am concerned it is nothing but junk. Being a computer tech, I have learned what not to do or put in my computer now...It took me 69 years to learn this... :)

Posted by:

18 Apr 2016

Not only does Quicktime remain available for download from the web page, but it is also still listed if you run Apple Software Update. WTF?

Posted by:

Bill L
18 Apr 2016

Glad to get this warning. QT is history on my Win10.

Posted by:

18 Apr 2016

My Windows 7 PC has Quick Time 7, not QuickTime for Windows. Does your warning apply to Quick Time 7 also?


Posted by:

Stuart Berg
18 Apr 2016

Concerning Java: I require Java for a couple of programs I run on my Windows 10 laptop. People need to be aware that Java can be turned OFF for Internet use, where it is quite dangerous to use, while being perfectly safe to run locally on your PC when needed.

Posted by:

18 Apr 2016

When any video file fails to play in any player, it is always recommended to try VLC FREEware video player that technically no Windows system should be without. VLC has been known to render practically any video format that you can throw at it… including QuickTime formats (*.mov and *.qt).
Some sites are reporting that if your internet browser (Firefox and/or IE) has a special plug-in for QuickTime, it should be disabled/uninstalled manually via your browser’s “Options” menu.
I was never an iTunes or QuickTime fan, but have learned the hard way that there are approximately, six (6) separate iTunes applications that get installed in WinOS. One of which is the Bonjour service that has free reign on your network. There used to be special instructions and actual utilities that would assist WinOS user s to detach the nasty iTunes tentacles from a Windows system, including the cleansing of the registry. YMMV

Posted by:

18 Apr 2016

BUSTED!!!! - Just YESTERDAY - I clicked on a link a friend sent me and it said I had to download the 'new release' - I have an OK firewall and good protection - so I started, and then hit hit me: the date of the release was the same date 17 April 2016!!! - quick STOP THE DOWNLOAD!!!! - OMG I CAN'T!!! UNPLUG THE COMPUTER - then spent the rest of the day doing what I normally do later on in the season - spring cleaning - scrubbing my hard drive clean with all antivirals back-to back, doing deep cleaning that I hate because of my limited knowledge but no crashes this year (have a backup just in case - thanks Bob!!!) and BOY HOWDY what a wake up THAT was! -- now my computer SCREAMS like it used to, and all it took was but 10 hours - and I had a very good book to keep me occupied. So, now -- a once MACNATIC - who quit with the Power Mac (slower than a slug on granite in a Minnesota February)- and finally broke down and bought a PC AND about double it's price in software - and have NEVER looked back since. (BTW, my Mac Plus STILL works!!!! Battery is shot so need to adjust for that, but dang! what a beauty THAT was - and still is actually TBT). Power Mac's Sunk me on Apple and I can't say I miss it at all, my Old Apple II still runs those old twin floppy's of WordStar II in one and a blank floppy in the other - and I can still remember how I LOVED keyboard short-cuts, no need for a mouse really. But the spell checker!!!! highlights the word, but you need a dictionary to look up the spelling!!!!!! -- but I wander THANKS AGAIN BOB!!!! AWAY GOES APPLE FROM MY LIFE FOR THE SECOND TIME!!!! And yeah, for me you were literally a day late so I got BUSTED!!!! And DANG! I KNEW better, but out of habit hit 'download' and it sure looked right until I saw the date and had to pull the plug. And I nearly finished the book! I needed the day off!

Posted by:

18 Apr 2016

Can we just disable QuickTime, and run it manually when needed for viewing or editing videos that are already on our computers?

Posted by:

Sue B.
18 Apr 2016

I found a QuickTime.mpp file that's an Adobe Reader plug-in . Does this warning apply to this plug-in as well? How would this be removed, please?

On my external hard drive, I also found a QuickTime.qtp file as well as some QuickTimeInstaller.exe applications. Does this warning also apply to them? How would these be removed, please?

EDITOR'S NOTE: You can delete those files manually if desired, but uninstalling QT should take care of the problem.

QTP = QuickTime Preferences

Posted by:

Susan M.
19 Apr 2016

Under my programs list (not easy to find with Windows 10) I have Quick Time 7, Apple Inc. I do use ITunes to sync my little shuffle so I can listen to books but other than that, is there a way to tell if any of my other programs are one of those obscure programs that might use it?

Posted by:

Maura K
19 Apr 2016

Thanks for the warning, Bob. I have used QuickTime only because video created with my Kodak camera required it. I will have to explore other ways to play those files.

Posted by:

19 Apr 2016

Whew - That was a close one, for me! I did have it on my Computer, but, about a month ago - I reinstalled Windows 10 and many of the things I have been removed, Quick Time was one of them.

Yes, Bob - I finally took the plunge and have gone with Win 10. My daughter decided she wanted Windows 10 after I had updated, cleared out all unnecessary junk and older programs she wasn't using anyway.

I finally saw the ease of installing Win10, that I hadn't seen before. Plus, it really seemed more like a Windows Operating System. I found many similarities, which didn't seem to be there before. Of course, I installed both Win 10 before the Nov. Update.

It was at that time, I decided to install Win 10 on my hubby's and my computers. Bottom line, I am very pleased with the end results. I am still on the learning curve with Win 10, but it really becomes easier even time I use my computer. :)

Posted by:

19 Apr 2016

Java is required by the US government for some of its websites such as the US Patent and Trademark Office for those who file patents electronically. Is it dangerous to use, even though it is being regularly updated by Oracle?

EDITOR'S NOTE: It's hard to say, because you might have the latest, patched version of Java, and still be vulnerable to a bug that hasn't been discovered, reported, or fixed. If you MUST use Java, limit it to one browser that you use only for that purpose. Turn it off in the browser you have for daily use.

Posted by:

19 Apr 2016

So, it's time for quicklime on your QuickTime.

Posted by:

19 Apr 2016

After uninstalling QuickTime for Windows, you'll no longer be able to view/edit .mov files from within Picasa 3 (which is also legacy software now). Guess that will speedup our switch to another pix/vids organizer/editor. Meh.

Posted by:

19 Apr 2016

Is QT-Lite also dangerous to use? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QuickTime_Alternative

EDITOR'S NOTE: QT-Lite was discontinued in 2010. So chances are, it's best to avoid it as well.

Posted by:

Tom Treise
19 Apr 2016

Thanks for all you do to assist us with potential problems. I have an old version of Quick Time installed that is required by my Olympus camera software program. I've never had it function as I do not use it for viewing videos. Also I do not use this software or any of the other Apple software for listening to music or other functions they provide. Having QT installed as described does this still present a problem....Thanks again......Tom T

Posted by:

Mike Mehary
20 Apr 2016

What do if your smart daughter convinced you to buy a MacBook - it says you can't uninstall b/c it's needed for their OS X - but they won't support it or provide security patch ? Any thoughts ??

EDITOR'S NOTE: As mentioned in the article, QuickTime for Apple products is still supported.

Posted by:

30 Aug 2016

Unfortunately, I cannot remove QuickTime. I'm a radio disk jockey whose noncommercial program is nationally distributed by the Public Radio Exchange (PRX). PRX's distribution system REQUIRES QuickTime in order for the network to distribute programs to its member stations. The system cannot function without it. I've alerted PRX to QuickTime's vulnerability two months ago, but to date, I've received no response. Although PRX is inthe process of redesigning its website, I have no idea if the network is replacing QuickTime as part of its revamp. So I'm stuck.

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