Installshield Update Manager

By Deane Barker on May 5, 2005

Talk about stupid background processes — I found this in my system tray this morning. Does InstallShield really need an update manager? I can’t imagine a program I use more infrequently.

Couldn’t it just check for updates when it’s run? Why does every company program feel like they’re so important that they need to take up memory on machine?

What Links Here


  1. I’ve often wondered about that myself and have often times thought that those programs that monitor your processes in real time (possibly defeating the purpose, huh?) and then give you info on who published that process, if it is critical or not, etc….I mean, sometimes its easy to tell that LEXMKPD is for my lexmark printer but other times its not nearly that simple….

  2. Media Players are the worst at this. Both Quicktime and the Realplayer insist on running at startup, and if you delete their registry key it will just be recreated whenever you open their player next. What possible reason could I have for wanting Quicktime or Realplayer to be running all of the time?

  3. The InstallShield Update Manager not only checks for updates to InstallShield products, but for updates to all applications that make use of InstallShield’s Update Service, which works somewhat similar to Windows Update but can be used by any third party.

  4. “How do you get rid of it?”

    This thing has been a thorn in my side for quite some time as well. I decided to Google it this morning and found this link, rated as 1. I haven’t tried the uninstall utility yet, so I can’t comment on the efficacy of it – all I can say is that if it works, then glory be!

    Oh, click on Stefan Krueger’s name – it looks like a promising link.

  5. All I would like to do is send a money-order for these services. I do not put any vitals in these gum-ball machines for security purposes…………s.o.s.

  6. Forget it, that “uninstaller” mereley almost disables it. Running programs that are set up to use the installshield update manager will sometimes activate and run the installshield manager, after this utility supposedly uninstalls it.

    The only effective way is to clear the associated entries from your registry and delete the files under “update manager” in “program files/common files/install shield/”. At least that’s the only luck I’ve had with it.

  7. I would like to know if you could publish all the registry entries that you had to clear to remove this program.

    It infuriates me that companies would install this crap on my system as part of regular updates I do to my software, this is done even without notifying me at install time.

  8. Does anyone know how to get rid of an installshield “Update Manager” message that pops up every time I boot up my desktop on my new Dell Inspiron? It says: “The old version of the agent is installed” Then it directs me to go to the Installshield web site, which is uninformative! Thanks.

  9. It’s annoying enough that this program seems to have just magically appeared on my system. But what’s worse is that the automatic update functionality of the InsallShield Update Manager does not seem to work at all.

    On many machines, I have the Update Manager set to Check for Updates weekly (under “Update Settings”). The description of this setting is that “The InstallShield Update Manager will automatically check for updates on the frequency you specify. If updates are available, you will see an icon alerting you that updates are available…”

    But this is not what happens. What happens is just that the Update Manager opens every week. It does not check for updates. I have to manually check for updates by clicking “Check for Updates Now” on the main page after it opens. This is, it is not automatically checking for updates, as it should be.

  10. Yeah, only because macs account for a small percentage of the personal computer market, and software developers generally don’t give a shit about that platform.

  11. Nice one Chuck. Another useful comment by another typical mac user. I bet that the answer to all questions in life isn’t it?

    Q. I can’t find the remote for the TV. A. “buy a mac.”

    Q. I have a flat battery in my car. A. “buy a mac”.

    Q. Hey there’s no cheese on my hamburger. A.. “buy a mac”.

    How naive are these mac users? I believe the marketing campaign for mac users should be “Buy one if you are hopeless with computers”.

  12. I was hunting for my installshield remover this morning and quite enjoyed the posts here even though I have not yet been able to remove the stuff from my laptop ;)

    Any case, a Mac can be a beautiful piece of furniture in your home. There is not much use of it other than being a show piece. My two cents.

  13. I uninstalled Corel Paint & Photo Album from my new Dell – trial versions that were really annoying – and InstallShield Manager seems to have disappeared! Maybe it will work for you too if you can track down the software it is linked too, as I accidentally seem to have done

  14. Well, Dragon Naturally Speaking (by Nuance) is one culprit that installs this unvited guest. I really find it offensive that this software has been installed on my computer without my permission or a way to remove it. I also believe that it stays on your computer AFTER you have installed the original program! Also, it tries to update other programs without my permission! This seems to fit the classification of spyware to me…

    I really thought this kind of thing would be illegal in this day and age…

  15. I meant to say that it stays on your computer after you have uninstalled the original application!

  16. The concept is good I guess, but I totally agree with AnnoyShield. When installed without my permission and no way to easy uninstall it then it suck! I think I got it with the game Dark Messiah from Ubisoft. And after I uninstalled the game the InstallShield Update Manager is still there and as mentioned before the Uninstall program available from InstallShield isn’t working at all. If I lived in USA, the land of idiotic lawsuits, I would certainly try to earn some bucks from Ubisoft. I’ll go clean up the registry manually now.

  17. I got this crap installed on my computer when trying out corel draw, but it stayed on even though I removed coreld. I removed all I could find by simply removing keys in the register. But I still have the icon in the control panel, anyone found any kind of solutiong, otherwise I seem to have gotten rid of it.

  18. I got this annoying thing when downloading Corel Wordperfect trial. How do I get it gone! Pretty please. (cries)

  19. How naive are these mac users? I believe the marketing campaign for mac users should be ?Buy one if you are hopeless with computers?.


  20. Crap like this Update Manager is what makes all of our computers run slow. Have you ever noticed how fast your computer runs after you do a factory restore on it? Then after installing all of your software all of the sudden its running slow because every software maker on the planet believes that their software is so important that it should run everytime you start your computer. I have a firewall that tells me when I am installing something if it is trying to set itself to run everytime my computer starts and some software even manages to get past my firewall and still starts itself on startup even when I tell it not to.

    I have the update manager set on my system to never check for updates for anything but yet it still pops up wanting to check every week or so. Unfortunately I also use Installshield X Express and if I uninstall the Update Manager it will not run. Oh well time to look for another installation solution. It seems like these companies all lose their minds when they get too big for themselves and they start to lose touch with reality and start losing their customers.

  21. I suspect mine was installed along with the game, “The Mystery of the Mummy” by Frogwares/Viva-Media, as itself and the game are the only two programs listed for “updates”. The documentation being very spotty/nonexistent, with no developer listed, no entry on the Windows Start Menu or Add-Remove Programs, etc., I’m leary of it and have decided to block access through my computer’s firewall. After checking out the games’ respective websites, somehow I get the impression they’re not going to take credit for this one. :(

  22. You can see what programs are updated and change settings via “Program Updates” in Windows Control Panel.


  23. Thanks for all the tips – I just downloaded the two utilities from IntallShield, and I seem to have gotten rid of it – thanks everyone!

    As for Macs… I’ve had macs, and I’m the IT director for a company that uses PCs but still have a number of users with Macs at home. Saying that buying a MAC solves problems like this is a bit like saying, buy a brand-new BMW 7 to solve all your car problems. The Mac is more expensive than the PC, and has far less software available for it. The main reason it IS (undoubtedly) more stable is because they don’t allow anyone else to ‘clone’ the machine, so they get to control both the overall quality and the components used, and they have strong controls over the (limited) software that runs on it.

    Ironically, in order to survive/thrive, Apple are leaning towards more and more generic hardware components – they now use standard ATI video cards, standard PCI bus, IDE/ATA drives, etc. Remember when Macs were pure SCSI, etc?! Gosh, they are even using Intel processors now! So it’s likely their hardware superiority is going to drop, although they will still likely maintain a slight advantage because even though they are using generic/standard components, they still have more control over the final package. From a hardware perspective, I’d say the MAC is still a superior device.

    Software, well that’s a more complex story. Since there is such a (relatively) limited amount of software available, the opportunity for trouble is less. One thing that plauges the Windows platform is that companies in Taiwan and China are churning out cheap and flakey hardware boards, with equally flakey software drivers. Add to that the fact that everyone and their Uncle AND their 10 year old nephew is churning out crappy applications, apps that people happily download and install without thinking. So on a typical PC, you are almost GUARANTEED to be running a unique, never-tested-together combination of software, hardware, and drivers. If you want mainstream applications, and don’t mind paying serious $ for them, then the Mac is ok. But if you NEED to run a huge variety of stuff, there’s just a whole lot more of it out there for the PC. Some of it is even good :)

    Ironically, I’d say the Mac is actually worse than the PC for issues such as the one discussed in this thread – but on the Mac, you are really not encouraged or expected to look at ‘what’s running behind the scenes’ – it’s all just magic, it works, so who cares what’s actually happening.

    I’ll buy another mac when they sell them in black (white sticks out like a sore thumb!), ship and fully support two-button mice out of the box, and stop behaving like they are God’s gift to technology! What seriously pissed me off about the Mac was when Apple sued Microsoft for stealing the UI (user interface) when it’s extremely well documented that Steve Jobs stole the Apple UI from Xerox!

  24. One other thing about ‘the Mac’ in this context … Quicktime :) I installed iTunes for the sole purpose of loading music on my iPod, but it also installs Quicktime, and now quicktime shows up in my tray and is hard to deal with; it keeps trying to take over my associations with jpeg files, etc (I much prefer irfanview). Also, iTunes constantly nags me to update software and firmware.

    Also – Mac related, since Adobe are a big Mac software vendor – what used to be a nice, simple, lightweight ‘viewer’ – adobe acrobat reader – has now become a friggin monster program that is constantly wanting to update itself, and, of course, demands a reboot each time, and, of course, has running background processes all of it’s own … all I want is to open stupid PDF files from others! So much for the Mac being better in this regard!

  25. I just found this same icon on my desktop tray this morning. Searched it in google and came up with this awesome website. :-). I tried the supposed “uninstall” link, but like almost everyone else, to no avail. I located the program under program files/common files/installshield/updateservice as moonrim so kindly pointed out and then proceeded to Virus scan it with 2 programs, AVG and Adaware, but they didn’t find any viruses. From what I’ve read and figured out on my own this still sounds like a useless program… was wondering if I could manually delete all the files under that folder “updateservice”?

  26. I got the useless thing installing WinDVD. There is an application that helps me with that and other apps taking up memory space in the background. Check out the INAC Startup Manager. It doesn’t get rid of anything but it does stop it from loading the unwanted stuff. There may be other applications like it out there but this one works. I don’t remember where I got it, it was awhile ago, but it’s on their site, . At the Installshield site: they suggest contacting the people that stuck it into the application that stuck you with it.

  27. Uninstalling the InstallShield Update Manager that comes with many 3rd party programs including Corel programs is not impossible. The uninstaller available from InstallShield that is referenced in this forum did not uninstall the program. If you just delete the files in the folder C:\Program Files\Common Files\Installshield\update service, they will be reinstalled the next time you click on the Program Updates link either on the Start menu or by way of the Control Panel applet.

    To remove the program, you must locate and remove three keys in the registry. Search the registry for the phrase ?Update Manager.? I found quite a few references to this as I also have Veritas Update Manager for another program. Patience revealed the locations of the needed keys, however, by looking for references to Installshield in the associated listings. I found the following:


    HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Installer\User Data\S-1-5-21-975913111-2585518181-23334


    In studying these, I was directed to the folder C:\Windows\Installer and two files in that folder, namely 1659a5c1.msi and 1659a92d.msi. Clicking on the first one of these had the same effect as running the Update Manager.

    I deleted the three keys and the two files listed. Then I deleted the folder:

    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Installshield\Update Service

    This seems to do the trick. Clicking on the Update Service link in the start menu brought up an error message that this action could only be performed by an installed program.

    You may delete that link. To remove the listing from the Control Panel, it is necessary to use a program such as The TweakUI program from the Microsoft Power Toys at that permits removing a listing from the Control Panel.

    To clean up the registry, I used CCleaner from to remove the broken and now useless links from the registry.

  28. Its completely frustrating that Linux (debian) solved the problem that makes this program marginally useful 9 years ago.

  29. Yes, Installshield Update Manager == MoronsRUs. Not only not needed but it doesn’t even function correctly! I get 1/4 of the wizard from the top down and 1/4 of the function button. What geeks would build such garbage and then put it on our computers?

  30. I my case, forcing the Windows Installer to uninstall the InstallShield Update Manager worked well:

    MsiExec.exe /x{F428D0FB-765D-40EB-BDD8-A1E7F5C597FA}

    (This GUID is used by Update Manager 4.60 installed by the CorelDraw 13 trial version. It may not apply to all versions of the ISUM. Scan the registry branch HKEYLOCALMACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UserData for the correct GUID of the Update Manager.)

    I had already uninstalled the CorelDraw before but the ISUM was still left. I do not know what happens if you to remove ISUM without removing the applications using it.

  31. This program has been bugging me for almost a year now, with your help I have tracked down the software that installed it, turned off automatic updates, downloaded a 20mb SDK just so I can run the uninstaller… I hope it is finally dead

  32. To be honest all these applications that install these days seem to love installing some kind of updater, I know Adobe, Sun/Java, Microsoft, Apple and Logitech all include updaters. Now it seems any program using Install Shield will install this handy little updater. They could at LEAST give us the option to install the updater or not, it’s my computer darn it!

    Oh, and don’t be mean to the mac user, the same is also true for Linux and there is more incommon with OSX and Linux than Windows. All these little PC annoyances do add up, and do make shifting to an alternate platform more tempting.

  33. keep getting this error when trying to install a web cam , installshield engine (ikernel.exe) could not be launched library not registered, I been told my installlshield is bad , how can i fix it?

  34. i searched out everything called InstallShield and deleted them–but my computer wouldn’t let me delete two files: issch and isdm (install shield scheduler and install shield update manager, i believe). i forget exactly what the message is that pops up at me when i try to delete these two. how can i get rid of them?

  35. i searched out everything called InstallShield and deleted them–but my computer wouldn’t let me delete two files: issch and isdm (install shield scheduler and install shield update manager, i believe). i forget exactly what the message is that pops up at me when i try to delete these two. how can i get rid of them?

  36. there are a couple of files from the InstallShield that my computer wouldn’t let me delete: USDM and ISSCH. i forget what the message says when it pops up telling me i can’t delete them. anybody know how to get rid of such things?

  37. Alternatively, open the installshield manager icon, under control panel you will find “change update settings”, there you can find what software is linked to the installshield manager…

  38. How to get rid of the Update manager:

    (I got it when I installed the demo of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Lockdown, propably). I use Win XP Pro.

    1) Open start/run and type msconfig

    2) In the last tab, “startup”, uncheck the “issch” and “ISUSPM” bullshit that you’ll find there.

    3) A prompted reboot ensues. (By the way, I’m a total newbie to XP, and they seem very weird to me. I loves my WIN98SE. Loves ’em).

    4) Use the so called “SoftwareManagerUninstall” that these bastards provide at their site, IF YOU LIKE. It only removed the icon I had in my start menu. I don’t know about any registry entries, and surely it didn’t remove any files.

    5)Having done that (just in case), you then go to: C:/Program Files/Common Files/InstallShield, choose the folder “Update Services”, and HIT DELETE!

    With a certain satisfaction I might add. I can assure you that no XP will stand in your way.

  39. to get rid of the two files mentioned above i had task manager open and killed the process and deleted them, quite tricky as you have to be fast, then the normal clean out of the registry, i use wintools and it has a great search function in the registry section. real pain in the ass to get rid of, i got it with win dvd and the sad part is i cancelled the install of win dvd due to i found better software at last minute, now when i try to install any new program this ficked up program trys to finish the install of win dvd. glad to be rid and wary now what comes with new software.

  40. InstallShield is a nuisance! run regedit delete installshied in registry got to c:\program files\common files and incinerate installshied in common files


  41. You’re all so quick to uninstall it, have you thought about the possibility to remove it from the start menu and telling it not to automatically update? Of course not, that would be too easy.

  42. The problem, Tim, is that even telling it not to automatically update, it keeps popping up to annoyingly remind you that you’ve told it not to automatically update anything.

    At least I, when I tell something to stay away, assume it will stay away, but not the update manager thingy of InstallShield. I cannot say whether InstallShield as such is crap or not, but that annoying behaviour is, well, annoying. Therefore many around want to have it ripped out of their systems, especially since it’s not possible to either opt-in or opt-out to it.

    Sadly, this mentality is very common amongst lots of software vendors, that they believe what they do is the right thing and it’s what the end-users want. In many situations it’s probably okay, but not in all. There should at least be an option to disable it, but since there is none…

    Otherwise, you’re correct – lots of applications have the ability to alter their default (annoying) behaviours. It’d be a good thing, though, if one at installation time had the option to select whether things started automatically etc, with whatever default options selected.

  43. What seems to have worked pretty easily for me…

    1. Ran in Safe Mode the uninstall utility that is available at Not sure whether Safe Mode was necessary, but I assumed it wouldn’t hurt.

    2. Deleted the Update Services Folder from the Install Shield Folder inside of Common Files inside of Program Files

    3. Ran the registry analyze/cleanup from CCleaner

  44. i have windows XP. i deleted Sonic, a recording software. after i deleted it, a popup started coming onto my computer, “missing um.msi file”. i went on the internet searching for something to get rid of the popups and downloaded an isum hotfix. Well the popups stopped…yay! but now, I am trying to install a software program on my computer and the InstallShield isnt coming up. i looked in the Add or Remove Programs, and Sonic update manager is on there, but the InstallShield is not there. my game wont install. the games installed before i deleted the Sonic program, but now they wont. The InstallShield isnt on my computer, so i looked on the internet for it, and had InstallShield on it’s website. The InstallShield 2008 costs $4000! i would rather get a new computer than get the installshield. so Is there another program or something? Help me out what I should do.

  45. I have used a program called Startup Control Panel ver. 3.1 for several years and it allows me to choose which programs will, or will not, start when windows starts. It saves me a lot of time at startup and frees me of the pesky popups of such programs as Real Player and all those I don’t want. This particular program was a product of AKSOFTWARE. I just did a check and it does not seem to be there any more. However there are others I saw and they say they are freeware. They describe them to be very similar to the one I use. Google “Startup Control Panel”.

  46. I had endless problems with this thing trying to update my antispyware software even though I already had a good antispywayre program installed,before I used Revu Unistaller to delete both it and all it’s registry entries in one hit.

  47. IRONY OF IRONIES in the I.T. world: there is no UNINSTALL feature for ISUSPM or the Install Shield Updater. 1d10t’s

  48. I tell InstallShield Update Manager not to update anything and it still pops up. It’s a total nightmare.

  49. Install WinDVD 8 and when it warns to shut down InstallShield in the process, just igonre and let it skip. After having finished installation and restarted, it stops working in the Control Panel (greyed out)..

  50. Hey everyone..can someone help me. I am having problems installing Dragon Naturally speaking 9 , I have windows xp. It is telling me something about installshield runtime error, I believe. Does anyone know what I am talking about ? and how I can fix it ? Thank you

  51. My work laptop recently got ghosted and had the longest boot-up sequence ever added to it… by accident I found that spyware terminator (freeware via removed the installshield updater registry entries as they were invalid, I believe they are added during the updater installation process but are never used again, but windows still searches for them at startup, hence the long boot-up.

    My system flies now!

  52. I couldnt uninstall the installshield thingy as well but i think did manage to get it under control though; the trick is.. block it using a firewall in which in this case I use comodo firewall and set it as a quarantined files. anytime I needed to use it again I just remove or change its name in the quarantined list. works fine with me

  53. …. game requiem come with installshield program update… well when i dont want play anymore … format c:….

  54. Actually I would like to use it, but find no way to populate it with programs in my progrm files. Does anyone know how to do that?

  55. I fucking hated this program. Even though I had it set to never, ever, ever check for updates unless I told it to do so, it kept reappearing daily. And the funny thing is, it was only checking for updates for itself. No other programs. It was there simply to justify and maintain its existence. The only way I got rid of it was by using msconfig to prevent the process from appearing at startup.

  56. Everything has a purpose in life, and the “MAC”, as in “BIG MAC”–two all beef patties…or are you talking about the thing under my beer?

  57. Everything has a purpose in life, and the “MAC”, as in “BIG MAC”–two all beef patties…or are you talking about the thing under my beer?

  58. About a month ago I started getting this pop-up “Smart Update” asking me which languages I want installed on my computer. I was supposed to check only the ones I wanted and the rest would not be installed. I selected English. Ever since then this stupid Smart Update comes up constantly while I’m trying to use my computer and forces me to select another language to add. I’m not allowed to uncheck all of them and if I cancel out, the pop-up just comes back again…and again…and again. I don’t know what this thing is but it’s making me crazy and I just want it to go away. Can someone help me?

  59. After much experience I find that Innstallshield is associated with software programs that monitor usage and piracy. It is used by Nero 9, Cyberlink 9, Convertxtodvd4 and some other widely used programs -particularly, pricey ones

    The instalshield remover (from system trey or the Control panel) is provided by the same company. However, it hides somewhere else. If you try to remove it from there, you get a Bluesceen of Death.

  60. We should all start picketing software that installs startup programs automatically when you install them. AOL stuff, Adobe, Nero, Java, all kinds of audio software, they are so loaded with crap its not funny. Let me decide what starts up with my computer… I don’t need Adobe quickloader to start everytime I turn on my computer so the once a week I open a PDF file it saves me a split second in time to open it.

  61. I have read all the crap on Yahoo answers written by stupid high school kids that claim having Installshelid on your computer is completely necessary. Well it’s not. I have two computers that do not have it and they work just fine. You can run other programs and install software without the help of Installshield. Most computer related software problems are caused from all these programs coming on at once and demanding you give them some sort of priority. (Ever notice when windows does an update it’s a signal for every damned program on your computer to click in and demand you update them too.) Phuck that $hit.

  62. To get rid of Installshield, go to REGEDIT CURRENT USER & LOCAL MACHINE software in both then delete INSTALLSHIELD, then go to c/programfiles/commonfiles/installshiled…….and delete that. That should fix the problem.

  63. FINALLY!!!! A goddamn link that actually takes you to a valid web address, with an actaull uninstaller link downlod included there! I have searched for about three hours looking for this very uninstaller file!

    Thank you KG! I’ll be keeping this little gem on my Utilities XD card to remove this COMPLETELY needless POS

  64. The uninstaller does not delete the program files, according to the developers, only removes registry entries and contro panel icon… the real problem is that this program does not work or update anything, just annoying and takes up memory on your system -.-… Are you sure is safe to delete de entire folder c/programfiles/commonfiles/installshiled ?…

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