HOWTO: Remove Google Software Update on Mac OS X

A few days ago I wrote about how evil Google secretly installed software update on my computer. Well, even worse than that, when I choose to continue with the update it gives me this message:

Updates Unsuccessful

So every other day for the past two weeks I have been prompted to update the Google Talk plugin, and every single time I choose OK this same error message pops up. I had planned to leave the software update installed, but since it's not working and it's really starting to bug me, I'm removing it.

According to some discussion on Google Groups, the Google Software Update can only be removed by uninstalling any plugins associated with it (Google Earth, Google Talk, etc). Well that's not fair. I never installed any plugins to begin with! Time to do it the hacky way.

Hidden away on a page labeled "What is Google Software Update?", Google provides the single command you need to run to uninstall Google Software Update from your entire system:

sudo /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/ --uninstall

NOTE: Make sure the --uninstall portion of the command actually has two dash characters. It's possible your browser replaced the two dashes with a single dash character.

If you have something like the Google Gears plugin installed in your browser, you should either uninstall the Gears plugin or use it with caution. The Google Software Update is meant to help keep your Gears plugin (and other plugins) updated with any new security patches. Of course, if the Software Update isn't working, then it's really nothing more than an annoying nag screen.

UPDATE 2016-01-27: this comment has several links that may contain more up-to-date information.

UPDATE 2016-02-25: It appears this is the most recent command that seems to work:

sudo ~/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/ksinstall --nuke

Removing the Update Engine from your Home Directory

Several commenters mentioned the update engine was installed in their home directory. If the update engine was installed on a per-user basis (as opposed to system-wide), then use this command instead:

~/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/ --uninstall

NOTE: Make sure the --uninstall portion of the command actually has two dash characters. It's possible your browser replaced the two dashes with a single dash character.

Update: A commenter mentioned that if the file is not found, you can try running the following command instead:

/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/ --uninstall

Preventing Google Earth from Reinstalling the Update Engine

A commenter provided this solution for preventing Google Earth from reinstalling the update engine:

Google Earth reinstalls the software updater when it’s launched. To prevent this I created an empty file at ~/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate, then transferred ownership to root and made it read-only for normal users:

touch ~/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate
sudo chown root ~/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate
sudo chmod 644 ~/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate

Update: As one commenter mentioned, Google now has a page relevant to this discussion.

Update: It appears that at least some of Google's software now gives you the option for disabling the installation of the automatic update engine during the setup process. See this blog post for an explanation.

It appears that now you can plug this into your terminal to disable Google Software Updater from checking for updates:

defaults write checkInterval 0

Google Update Uninstaller Tool

Viktor Petersson from Wireload notified me of a tool they put together to make uninstalling the Google Update engine really simple. If you don't feel comfortable with the command line, download the Google Update Uninstaller.

Write a Comment



  1. I very much appreciate this. Does this ‘updater’ get installed/replaced everytime I do a Google thing. i.e. if I Install Picasa for Mac willit come back do you think ?

  2. Hey Justa,

    I haven’t installed any Google products since removing the updater so I’m not sure if the updater will get installed again, but it might. If you install a Google product I’d love to know if the updater gets reinstalled! (And even if it does get reinstalled, I’m sure you can just run the process to remove it again.)

  3. Thanks so much for posting this.

    And I found it using a Google search πŸ™‚

    Seriously Google is turning into Real Audio or Microsoft.

  4. You’re welcome, Henry!

    Google’s corporate motto is supposed to be “do no evil”. I love Google, but it appears they’re growing so fast that the evil is starting to slip in!

  5. Okay – I’m really green. Once I open what do I do then? Do I type in the string provided above and then click Return?

  6. Hi Dan,

    Yes, that’s correct. Just copy and paste the entire string into a Terminal window and press Enter. Then you can close the terminal window.

  7. Hi Josh,

    Make sure when you paste the command that it all ends up on one line. I know sometimes when you paste stuff into the Terminal window it splits things up, so that may be your problem.

    It’s also possible the Google Software Update that’s installed on your computer doesn’t have the script. Try navigating to the directory with Finder and looking for it.

    Good luck!

  8. Josh, it might be that you installed the google applications as a user, not for the whole system. So instead of:

    sudo /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/ –uninstall


    ~/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/ –uninstall

    the ~ get’s expanded to your home directory.

  9. FYI…
    This blog is cutting of the entire command line. In order to find it, I had to view source.

    For those with the same problem, the path to the script is:


    (as noted above, you may have this installed under your home directory, instead. if so, just precede the path above with ~ )

  10. Joshua, thank you for pointing that out! I didn’t realize there was a problem viewing the command with older browsers (it wrapped properly using Firefox). I have modified the post so that you can see the entire command.

  11. Hi,

    I’ve just installed Google Earth 5 which forced the Google Software Updater to be installed. Like many, I searched for ways to remove this.

    The Updater is installed in my home directory so I’ve used the command with the preceding ‘~’. However, I get this message and am wondering what it means and what I should do next.

    Must specify package name or nuke
    [–install PKG] Install keystone using PKG as the source.
    [–root ROOT] Use ROOT as the dest for an install. Optional.
    [–nuke] Nuke Keystone and tickets.
    [–uninstall] Like nuke but do NOT delete the ticket store.
    Only supported for a user install.
    [–no-launchd] Do NOT touch Keystone launchd plists or jobs,
    for both install and uninstall. For testing.
    [–no-launchdjobs] Do NOT touch jobs, but do do launchd plist files,
    for both install and uninstall. For testing.
    [–force] Force an install no matter what. For testing.
    [–forcetiger] Pretend we are on Tiger (MacOSX 10.4). For testing.
    [–lockdown] Prevent Keystone from ever uninstalling itself.
    [–interval N] Change agent plist to wake up every N sec
    [–help] This message

  12. Hi Steve,

    That output is what is generated when you don’t use the script properly or you misspell one of the options (such as the --uninstall option).

    I have edited the post to include the command you should use if the updater is installed in your home directory. Try copying and pasting that command.

    • Hey Steve and Raam – when I copied / pasted Raam’s command from up above, I had to delete and retype just the “–” part before the word uninstall at the end of the command – for some reason firefox or osx copied that dash character wrong…

      It was weird but once I retyped that part I didn’t get the “Must specify package name or nuke” message anymore. Just thought I’d throw my experience in if anyone else finds their way here.

      Thanks for having this thread, the updater was driving my crazy, too. I don’t even use picasa, I was just trying it out and kept it to help guide some friends that wanted to use it. Ugh.


      • See it did it on my reply just now – those were two dashes in between the quotes when I typed them, now I see my post has been auto corrected to be one continuous character. It’s TWO DASHES before uninstall guys. πŸ™‚

        • Matt, nice catch! That could definitely explain some of the problems people were having!

          I’m on OS X using Firefox and the dashes copy correctly for me, but it’s possible with some other configurations the two dashes get replaced by the single extra long dash character (Microsoft Word has a bad habit of doing stuff like that with the three periods “…”).

          I’ve added a note to the post mentioning this possible problem. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  13. Google Earth reinstalls the software updater when it’s launched. To prevent this I created an empty file at ~/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate, then transferred ownership to root and made it read-only for normal users:

    touch ~/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate
    sudo chown root ~/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate
    sudo chmod 644 ~/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate

    Seems to work so far.


  14. Thanks Bud! I don’t use Google Earth myself, but I can see how that information would be really useful for someone who does.

    I’ve added note about preventing Gogole Earth from reinstalling the update engine to the main post.

  15. The ONLY Google software I have on my Mac is the GMail Notifier. Does this cause the installer to be re-installed?

    I tried to use the script, but this was after several attemps to remove the installer manually. So, there was no uninstaller in /Library/… but I did have it in my ~/Library/… and used that one.

    Now, a couple weeks later, the bleeping POS is back! It was busted by LittleSnitch πŸ™‚

    I ran the uninstaller again, but I suspect that it will come back. Sigh!

    I can’t believe that Google would do something like this. I f’ing hate them now and will be very very very hesitant to ever install any software from them.

    It’s one thing for their software to install that devil software updater, but to not be able to remove it easily when NOT WANTED???. They have got to be friggin’ kidding!!! Morons!

    Google is evil! They should change their motto.

    • I’m not sure if the GMail Notifier installs the updater — I have a GMail address, but I forward all the email to a different (non-gmail) account, so I don’t even use the GMail interface (I hate the idea of having all my email in one, free email account!).

      LittleSnitch is awesome! It has snitched on so many programs. It makes you realize how much chatter goes on behind the scenes!

    • There is another solution. Since the Google page indicates that many of their apps are simply going to re-install update, and since I do want to keep Google Earth, I chose instead to use Little Snitch to block the software updater from phoning home. Why do I care if it phones home? Because if you are trying to maintain some level of privacy, especially using TOR or similar solutions, phoning home to Google spoils all of your hard work at being stealthy. Any firewall capable of blocking applications (anti-spyware) should do the job, but being a mac user I prefer Little Snitch.

  16. thank you for the blog.

    Today, while running my Activity Monitor, i noticed the GoogleSoftwareUpdateAgent. Was a bit shocked for this since i can’t remember anything about it, so i searched and found your blog.

    Very informative. (ps i realized it was few days ago, when upgrading google earth, it did say something to the effect that it’ll install some updater or refuse to download the new version. i blindly ok’d it.)

    for now, i just quit the updater, since i don’t restart my machine often. It might do some security update for google earth.

  17. Using, try the simple instructions given at the following web-site:

    I find it works like a charm, and GoogleSoftwareUpdate & friends are no longer restored when you install new Google things. If you really want to get Updates, you can run GoogleSoftwareUpdate yourself.

    In, issue this command:

    sudo /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/MacOS/GoogleSoftwareUpdateDaemon -onDemand YES >/dev/null 2>&1 &

    That is one long line composed of seven blank-separated parts:


    The /Library…Daemon portion is the longest part. The ” &” at the end says to run in the background, which frees up your session. You can “Quit” from GoogleSoftwareUpdate using the Activity Monitor (Administrative Processes). Just select the GoogleSoftwareUpdate line and click the “Quit” button on the upper left of the Activity Monitor window.

  18. Correction: Leave off “sudo” when running the GoogleSoftwareUpdateDaemon, and you’ll find it under “My Processes” in Activity Monitor. “sudo” gets into Password problems, which are better avoided.

  19. OK, one more try… You CAN use “sudo”, but follow it with -b and leav off the ending & sign.

    sudo -b /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/MacOS/GoogleSoftwareUpdateDaemon -onDemand YES >/dev/null 2>&1

  20. Like some others here have mentioned, I Googled my way here after unexpectedly discovering “Google Software Update” in my Activity Monitor processess. I don’t routinely look at AM unless I have an issue that it might shed light on; in this occasion, I’d had an inexplicable “hang” — spinning beach ball — not dissimilar to the ones I experience when OS X’s Software Update is loading in the background. However, this hang lasted so long, I finally had to quit the applications I was in (Safari 4 Beta). This leads to a question or two….

    Aside from the obvious issue of one’s lack of informed consent for the Google SU, does the covert install of GSU create any real problems in computer usage? (For example, might it be responsible for the spinning beachball?) What risks, if any, does it pose?

    Please, do not consider my questions a challenge to your workaround or to any of the helpful clarifications here. I am most thankful to discover I’m not the sole person to wonder “what goes on here?”. But I must admit, I’m always a bit nervous about tinkering in Terminal and until I clearly understand the risks-to-benefits, I hesitate to open that Pandora’s Box. πŸ˜‰

    • Personally, for me, it was because the updater kept popping up, trying to update Picasa, and failed every single time it tried. So it would try again the next day, and the next, and the one after than, and so on. I got prompted by that infernal thing enough times that I wanted a way to just make it stop. And now? Sweet silence.

      • One of the reasons I originally decided to remove it was because every time it popped up saying there was an update and I clicked OK to let it do it’s thing, it gave me an error saying the update failed. Every-single-time; day after day. I finally got so annoyed that I was being prompted to update and then being told it couldn’t update, that I said screw it and removed it altogether. πŸ™‚

    • Yes, it could definitely be causing the “spinning beachball” that you’re referring to, but then so could any of your other software (in this situation, it’s best to figure out when the “spinning beachball” started and determine what software was installed around that time). I’m always extremely suspicious of anything that covertly installs itself (any legitimate software should at least be informative during the installation!) but I can understand your fear of messing around on the command line.

      I’m not aware of any particular “risks” the Google Software Update poses.

  21. BTW, while I’m Spotlighting random Google deposits, should I be concerned about finding tidbits like “” and “” in a Macromedia flash player file?

    • Probably not. I don’t know much about Flash development, but I’m guessing that any Flash that makes use of ads would probably have something like that inside.

      • doubleclick is one of the largest data collecting corporations on the web. They have TONS of information about almost everyone, all from cookies.

        “DoubleClick is sometimes linked with the controversy over spyware because browser cookies are set to track users as they travel from website to website and record what commercial advertisements they view and select while browsing. However, the company maintains that it is important to understand the difference between DoubleClick’s ad serving tags and the spyware/adware companies.” (from )

        Now Google has bought doubleclick. So, if doubleclick is evil or close to it, then how is Google’s “don’t be evil” policy going to hold up? Hmmm.

        I’ll leave you with one more quote from the above-referenced article:
        “I don’t know if there’s a single ad blocker or cookie filtering program that doesn’t include in its black list”

  22. Now see what you did by starting this conversation, Raam? The respectful and helpful discussion here led to several hours researching the Google S/U topic as it might relate to the Safari 4.0 Beta and my spinning beach ball. Among the best articles addressing the repercussions and contraindications of the S/U was Scott Gilbertson’s “Epicenter” blog at, especially this passage about daemon dangers:

    “Here are a few reasons why an always-active daemon (software speak for a tiny app that runs in the background) for handling software updates is a bad idea:

    It opens up an always-on tunnel to Google. While Google may be confident its update servers will never be compromised, how confident are you? If a third party gains control of that server, it can inject nearly any code it wants into your machine.

    It’s always on, always looking for update. On an expensive, pay-by-the-megabyte EVDO network? Google Updater doesn’t care and will suck down any available updates without asking, costing you money.

    Google updates Google Earth or Picasa or Gtalk, but the update ends up having a bug that wipes data from your drive. Sorry, too late β€” the auto-updater already grabbed the latest version without asking. Kiss your data goodbye.

    Administering a large network that needs to be locked down and tightly controlled? Cross Google software off your list. All the above problems apply, but they’re cascaded across your network for added headaches.” (Find the complete essay at

    Judging by the number of threads in the Google Forums, plenty of Google aficionados are deeply dismayed by G’s covert action and the haters, well, they have more ammo than ever. Generally, I count myself a G-fan, but on this occasion, I’d chime in with Gilbertson’s closing statement, “We hate to break it to you Google, but you aren’t special, and your software updates are no more critical than anyone else’s.”

    Thanks for your help, everyone!

  23. One more thanks from over here, too.

    On a note, this is a liberty I did not expect Google to take on their own, that is, to install any software on individuals’ computers without asking the owner. I definitely think less of them now. They should reconsider what they allow their software engineers to do.

  24. I would just like the update to succeed when I select update. I don’t want to remove it. However, the problem is that it pops up in my wife’s account, which annoys her, then when you say update, it fails. I’d just like to figure out why the updater only launches the checker daemon or whatever from her account.

    I thought it was that it had gotten installed under her account and that it was a permissions thing that was keeping it from working. I found several Google apps did not have admin read/write permissions, so I set those, but it did not allow the updater to work. Then again, the updater did not ask for an admin authentication either.

    I’m going to try uninstalling everything Google, then reinstalling under my admin account.

    • If it’s any help, I can tell you that I only use one account on my Mac and it’s an account with Admin rights. I had the same failed update problem you’re having and the only thing that fixed it for me was removing the software altogether.

      I’d be interested to hear if you find a solution! Good luck!

  25. Has anyone noticed a change in the name of the Google Updater, as well as the resource itself? I discovered this when I got my latest popup notification requesting my password from the Updater. I found this website thereafter, and ran the terminal command, to get a “command not found” result.

    On my MBP running SL 10.6.1, my path looks like this:

    Library/Google/Google Updater/Google Updater/Contents/Resources/Google Updater Launcher

    Perhaps I am missing something.

  26. Wow… this tread is HUGE. All this trouble and wasted time for so many people because Google can’t just make an update interface like everyone else does for Mac where it is OPTIONAL in a control panel or whatever.

    Google, thanks for wasting all of our time. Thanks a lot…. Grrrrrrrrrrr…..

  27. Just an FYI incase it’s helpful.. I have had Google Earth in my computer for over a year. The update issue started only today for me. Last week I had to register for a GoogleGroup for a work project. So it must have installed itself then. I suspect it may be checking my GoogleGroup for new postings?, but I already set up my mail to auto-forward from there to my mailbox. I’ll try to disable the updater.

  28. I wanted to update to let you, Raam, and others know the code is still useful. I worked and Little Snitch helped out again to warn me of the intrusion.

    Bad, Chrome, bad. Now go sit in the corner! πŸ™‚

    Thanks, again, Raam, for the post.

  29. thanks for all of this : it is hopefully gone for ever and I can update all google things manually. Great info congratulations.
    Snow Leo on 20″ iMac

  30. Very informative article. I’ve found your site via Yahoo and I’m really happy about the information you provide in your posts. Btw your blogs layout is really broken on the Kmelon browser. Would be great if you could fix that. Anyhow keep up the great work!

    • Speaking of gears grinding, I finally worked my way to the item on my To-Do list, “uninstall Gears”. From, I entered the Google-provided code and presto-change-o, all the Gears files vanished. I thought.

      With Spotlight, I found a folder “Google Gears for Safari” at /Users/Me/Library/Application Support/Google, 4 items: geolocation.db, localserver.db, permissions.db, & another folder,

      (I do use Google Wave for certain collaborations with my colleages, but I didn’t sense that it ran any smoother after I’d installed Gears last November, than it did before I added Gears as a plug-in.)

      So, is the above-described folder just harmless ghost goo left behind after uninstalling Gears, a necessary don’t-touch-it thingamy, or something else to toss in Trash?

      BTW, Raam, this blog entry has had amazing longevity, hasn’t it? Best to you!

      • Hi Neon,

        I suppose that Gears folder could have been left there because the application was running when the software was uninstalled — I’m really not sure.

        An easy way to see if deleting it would have any affect is to temporarily move it somewhere else (e.g., from the terminal: mv Google Gears for Safari/ /Users/Me/). Reboot the machine and see if anything acts funky. At least that’s the trick I usually use. πŸ˜‰

        Yes, this blog entry certainly has helped a lot of people. I never would have guessed it when I originally wrote it! πŸ™‚

  31. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I don’t know why they think they can get away with never asking if you’d like their durned updates.

  32. Hiya, Raam Dev!

    It’s been awhile (April ’10 & before that, June ’09), but I’m back. Two questions for you & the gang here:

    Question 1–

    Doing some routine maintenance tonight & came across some GSU stuff — again! — and also some other Google goo I’m not sure about. Take a look at these:

    Question 1 — how much, if any, of these Google files, etc. can I remove? Other than doing a LOT of Google searches in connection with my work, Gmail, and occasional use of Google Maps, I don’t have Gears or any other Google downloadables I’m aware of using. Be specific, I’m under-caffeinated right now πŸ˜‰ Also, I’m assuming anything I can toss will be a simple drag-to-trash or highlight & “Move to trash” unless told otherwise.

    Since the GSU found it’s way back somehow — apparently — I ran these again:

    sudo /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/ –uninstall

    ~/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/ –uninstall

    I thought the sudo judo had done its magic but, looked again, and the GSU is still there. Tried the ~/Library, etc. and got the Terminal equivalent of “return to sender, address unknown”.

    Question 2 – Uh, now what?

    Many thanks!

  33. I didn’t have a chance to see if someone already posted this, but there is a less destructive way to turn off the updater.

    Rather than compromising your install of google based software (thus removing your ability to run crucial updates for security reasons), you can just disable Google Software Update from checking for updates.

    Just put this in your terminal
    defaults write checkInterval 0

    Also see:


  34. Raam thank you for your help to everyone on this.

    I have failed to succeed with it though .. on my iMac with 10.6.5 I tried both codes above. I tried the ‘sudo’ code and the ~/library one.
    When I ran the sudo one Terminal it asked me for my password which I entered and it returned to admin$ but I then went to check if Google Updater was still in the Applications folder and it was. So I trashed it and rebooted.
    The updater just popped up again πŸ™

    • Hi Howard,

      I don’t actually use any of Google’s desktop software any more, so I really don’t know what to suggest besides doing more research on Google. πŸ™

      • Raam,

        I have not discovered how to uninstall this shit.

        BUT …

        I have discovered an easy way to STOP THE POPUPS and basically solve MY problem which is the irritation. I like Picassa and Google Earth and don’t want to lose them.

        The Solution:

        Get “Little Snitch” and set all of the Google Updater entries to “Deny Any Connection”

        Ok … it costs about 30 dollars but I had bought it anyway a long time ago because it is a TERRIFIC firewall program that not only acts like a firewall should, but it also has a really cool internet connection monitoring interface. Imho it’s well worth the buy and everyone should get it.

        AND it solved this Irrrrrrrrritating problem.

  35. Thanks a million! Little Snitch kept on popping up with google updates from different IP addresses pretty much every hour – your uninstall trick has saved me from more grief!


    Some balls on that company to install sh1t nobody wants (or needs) without asking. Some balls!

    God, sh1t like this should be punished by law if you ask me.

    //Rant Off

  37. Best article I’ve found. Succinct and clear directions. Thanks! Just goes to show that Google’s “Do no evil” is really based on its own agendas. If this is “open” and “free”, then we should all be apprehensive. Kind of makes Facebook look like a poster child of transparency.

  38. Thanks Raam!

    This update had been triggering Little Snitch every hour or so and I kept hitting “deny once”, as I wanted to (later when not working) look at unchecking whatever application’s “update automatically” was presumably doing this, rather than flatout deny forever on the firewall or deleting the updater without removing its trigger.

    Of course that night I forgot to look into it and after watching a movie with front row in bed, I fell asleep… until little snitch popped up behind front row due to this update hitting it and voiceover decided to read the damn thing out very loudly. Scared the hell out me!

    What I still don’t get, is why they don’t just check for updates when you start the relevant app, like anyone else, rather than having this background rubbish, which without a firewall would have essentially been chatting away over my internet connection without me even knowing!

  39. Something i thought you might be interested in is a little add on for Safari called Ghostery. Its in the safari extensions gallery. I shows and allows you to block anyone whos trying to gather data on you as you use the internet. for example this blog is trying to track me with; Facebook Connect, Facebook Social Plugins, Google Analytics, Quantcast, WordPress Stats. If ya don’t like google prying I’d check it out.

  40. Raam,

    thanks 4 the usefull post and the patience to explain where the ksurl was coming from. good luch and cool runnings on your journeys!

    greatz Tomasz

  41. Ooch, the solution works but the cure is worse than the disease (in a way).
    Thank you by the way. How do I remove the terminal command. Ever since I plugged it in my little snitch goes crazy. so many approval request windows pop up that it almost cripples me. I am sure this would be allot better if I did not have the snitch. But I do and I quite like it, so how do I reverse the terminal command. Thanks for your time.

    • Wait, this is just an uninstall command, correct? If so I wonder what is setting of my little snitch left and right after I executed the uninstall? Hmmmm….

      • Hi Daniel,

        Yes, this command uninstalls the update engine, so something else must be setting off Little Snitch. (By the way, I also use Little Snitch and I love it!)

  42. thanks so much for this, i was getting these notifications from little snitch asking me if the google updater could access the internet like twice a day… glad that it’s gone!

  43. Thank you, as I’m a late victim of the Great Gobbler (Google). You terminal command let breath a sigh of relief after foolishly installing a gobbler plugin into my Iron browser. I am free again!

  44. Nice blog here! Also your site quite a bit up very fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link for your host? I wish my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  45. Heh. This has been bugging me a long time, and I decided to google how to remove it. Guess what popped up? πŸ™‚

  46. The operation couldn’t be completed. ( error -1.)

    What else can I do? I have a minimac, OS10.6

    The message comes on and keeps on even if I click allow, it keeps asking for permission…I’ve clicked it hundreds of times, and it just won’t go away.

    • Hi Tsandi,

      I’m not sure what else to suggest. Perhaps someone else who visits here can offer a suggestion. Otherwise, I suggest continuing to search for solutions on Google. Good luck!

  47. A pity that Google still, after 3,5 years, installs this without asking. Uninstall script still works with 10.7.

    I gave this page a G+ :+) That’s irony for you.

  48. I have just run around the same issue. The funny thing is that Google creates an hidden folder in the libary folder with the Google updater. In my case it was the Android File Transfer application for connecting an android device to your Mac. I tried to delete the hidden folder, but every time you run the Google Android File Transfer application it reinstalls this updater. I find this way of intrusion into my system for something totally unimportant like this tool, which will not need any updates at all, because there is no options besides making MTP readable pretty unnecessary. Also the update intervals that run every few hours are ridiculous, besides being unasked for and even running in the background when the tranfer app is closed.

    I found a program that automatically uninstalls the Google Updater and KEEPS it from reinstalling. This also mentions your website. Funny thing also Google makes it quite hard to even find this in their own search engine. I think Google just has gotten pretty arrogant in some aspects, like Yahoo! back in the days, due to their de facto monopoly, which is never a good thing for progress, because of lacking competition, which results in a lack of respect to their users.

    Here you can find the uninstaller:

  49. THAAAAAAANNKKS!!!!! How ironic that Googling brought me to your web page; thanks so much for taking the trouble to put this info online.

  50. The command line option was perfect for me. I use Chrome on some occasions, but I do not install Google apps without some serious vetting.
    I did, however, install Apple Mavericks. I would love to know where the Google updater actually came from, but for now it is gone. Thanks for your help!

  51. I installed Chrome and hated it. So I deleted it. Some time later I enabled the “parental control” settings on my Mac, so that OSX would try to “limit access to adult websites automatically”. The useful consequence of changing this setting was that whenever ANY software on my mac tried connecting to the internet OSX would prompt me to either allow or disallow that site.

    This is how I discovered Google Software Update! There was no popup box like in your case clearly showing Google Software Update was running! I caught them, because OSX didn’t allow it to connect to google analytics! If I hadn’t turned on this setting I wouldn’t have even known google software update was installed, and it would have kept connecting to Google Analytics without my knowledge.

    This is a complete invasion of my privacy! And completely evil.

    • I’m amazed that so many years later (this post was published 6 years ago) this is *still* an issue.

      Thanks for sharing your story. I highly recommend the Little Snitch app, which is a firewall for Mac OS X. I’ve caught lots of hidden stuff communicating with the Internet that way.

  52. Hi Raam,
    I downloaded the update uninstaller and ran it… and the %***$ google thing come bouncing back about 20 minutes later.
    Its a pox. πŸ™

  53. seems like that is not there anymore (today is Nov 5, 2014), I used a ksinstall app inside the update app and it kinda worked as well:

    $ sudo /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/ –help
    -[KeystoneInstallTool usage] ksinstall:
    [–install=PKG] Install keystone using PKG as the source.
    [–uninstall] Remove Keystone program files but do NOT delete
    the ticket store.
    [–nuke] Remove Keystone and all tickets.
    [–interval=N] Set installed agent to wake up every N seconds.
    [–lockdown] Prevent Keystone from ever uninstalling itself.
    [–force] Perform operation even if it is a downgrade.

    $ sudo /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/ –uninstall

  54. Hey,

    I have google keeps on my mac, but i can’t move it to trash, neither remove it through AppCleaner.
    Help Please!!

  55. Hi, thanks, but I installed it and my system is still automatically updating.
    I deleted it from my apps and reinstalled it and the same thing.

    I just made a rule in LittleSnitch to deny any connection to any server and we will see how that goes.
    But does it make any sense why your GUU is not working for me?


    I am running Macbook Pro OSX 10.9.5

    • p.s. I tried running the terminal command:
      sudo /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/ –uninstall

      and got the message back:
      sudo: /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/ command not found

      The I tried running:
      sudo python /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/

      Contents/Resources/ –uninstall

      And got the message back:
      python: can’t open file ‘/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/’: [Errno 2] No such file or directory

      Any ideas?

      I do not know much about this and I am not so adept in using the terminal.

      Thanks again!

      • Hi Prahlada,

        I’m really not sure why it’s not working for you. My guess is that the Google Software Update no longer includes those scripts and these commands are now outdated. This post was written back in 2008, so I’m not surprised that the commands no longer work. I don’t use Google Talk and since doing a clean install of OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) I haven’t had any issue with Google Software Update (i.e., I’ve never seen it run).

        Like you, I also use Little Snitch to block any outgoing connections that I don’t want going out, so I’d say that’s probably your best bet. Otherwise, you may find other info on the web that is a bit more current. Good luck!

        • Hey man thanks for keeping on top of replying to the comments here!

          We will see what happens with just doing a deny any connection in Little Snitch.

  56. Hi, maybe this is not even what my problem is but I was halfway through signing up for Google Analytics but declined at the last minute after reading their terms and conditions. I discovered something a day or two later, when I tried to create another GMail account and Google prevented me from creating an account until I provided my phone number. I have 3 other GMail accounts and have never had to provide my personal details before. Do you think it is because I went through the process of signing up for Google Analytics and even though I didn’t accept Google’s Ts & Cs in the end something was installed in my computer? I am sorry if this sounds like an ‘ignorant’ question but I am not an IT fundi, I am just an ordinary internet user. I want to know if there is a way to find out how to remove my information off Google Analytics? Please help.

    • Hi Jessica,

      I doubt that anything was installed on your computer simply by declining to accept Google’s Terms and Conditions for Google Analytics. I also doubt declining the T&Cs has any connection to Google asking for your phone number. The phone number request is something everybody gets (me in included) every once in awhile. It’s Google’s way of making sure you don’t lose access to your account. If you forget your password, for example, I believe you can reset it by phone (an automated system will call you, or send you a text message, with a code to reset your password).

      I hope this was helpful!

      • Hi Raam, thanks for your response. This is a new account I want to create. I also get asked for my telephone number on my other GMail accounts but I always decline that suggestion. I’ve never had an issue before in creating an account on GMail; none of my other accounts were ‘blocked’ from being created unless I added a phone number. This time I am not being allowed to proceed with opening an account until I put in a phone number, which I feel is quite invasive of a person’s privacy. DO you know if there any way I can work around this and create an account without needing to add in a phone number? Or would you be kind enough to try & open an account yourself, just to see if you are asked for a number before proceeding to the next stage? You don’t have to actually create a new account because you can cancel it before it is created, I am simply curious if this is being asked of everyone who now wants to create an account.

        • The other reason they might be asking for a phone number is if you’ve signed up for multiple Google services with the same email address. They will use the phone number as a way of proving that you’re not a spammer signing up for services in an automated way.

          If you have more questions about Google’s processes, I suggest posting on the Google Product Forums.

  57. Thanks for post , python file was not found so I explore the file and following command worked for me
    Uninstall if is not found
    /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/ –uninstall

  58. I have tried so mnay times to disable/remove the google updater but it just does not work. I am using MAC mavericks, i have installed the google update uninstaller, ran the command to set the update to 0, cleaned/removed the files/folders for google update and still when i run google chrome version 43 chrome starts to update itself, this is ridiculous.

  59. Hi, I have the same issue with my system, but this bug comes from my Android File Transfer dmg. If i remove it from the system I will not be able to tranfer any data from my phone the USB way, So I think my Mac has to live with this crap for now…

    Any other solution ??

  60. Well here it is Jan 24, 2016 and like others, I stumbled here to solve the same problem! I know just enough to throw a monkey wrench in the works if I were to try using terminal, so I happily went over to to download GUU, only to find that they no longer support or update it πŸ™
    Searched a little further…

    Ironically, even google’s links to its own support pages for GSU are dead, eg.,
    this link:
    (uninstall instructions)

    Google must have deleted them after Feb2014, as they were also referenced in this article re: disabling GSU on OSX Mavericks:

    This article seems to provide similar advice (current up to Nov2014):

    And I found this, from Aug2015:

    Alas, I don’t dare try it… Raam, I don’t suppose (in all your spare time) you’d be interested in tweaking the “old” GUU so it’d work with the current GSU and OSX Mountain Lion…? Hey, it can’t hurt to ask, right? πŸ˜‰

    ps – I think its been hugely generous of you checking in and responding here for the last SEVEN YEARS!!

    • Hi Deb,

      I reviewed the last two articles you linked to and those both look like they’re still applicable. Have you tried running the commands as suggested?

      • Thanks for your response Raam! Being a fairly new Mac user, I haven’t tried doing anything with the terminal commands. I haven’t even explored the Apple script writer yet. I used DOS back before Windows, and used to be familiar with enough UNIX commands to do basic GIS analysis, but you know the drill… don’t use you lose it πŸ˜‰ I’m sure I could get my head around it but it would take more hours than I have to spend on it.. hence my search for quick fix.
        Since I’m still using Mountain Lion I’m wondering if maybe the “old” GUU might work.

        On another note, the software updates banner on my Mac is driving me crazy – pops out about every 5 min for non-essential updates. I haven’t found a setting to change it so at some point will probably have to dive into terminal..
        Thanks again!

  61. This seems to be the new uninstall for keystone:

    sudo /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/ –nuke

  62. Hey guys. I successfully removed the latest version of Chrome & Keystone Agent from my Mac running Mountain Lion 10.8.5.

    The command for Keystone Agent was as follows.

    sudo ~/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/ksinstall –nuke

    It was fairly trivial to find the correct location in finder, and then tweak the command line accordingly.


  63. I’m new to all this and don’t understand much of the tech stuff – but have just been hit by this Google Update problem. Am running OSX 10.6.8 and can find Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources but the contents there are:
    ksdiagnostics, Google Software,,, and CheckForUpdatesNow.command

    These were last modified in May 2012. Should I delete any of these or use one of the above scripts?



  64. On OS X 10.8.5 it is

    sudo /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/ksinstall –nuke

      • Even then, on browser restart Google Chrome offered to install the software updater, which I declined but it came back shortly afterwards so I had to blacklist it in my firewall. Which luckily seems to have worked as the “Google Software Update” program isn’t recreated like ksfetch upon each check interval.

  65. Under Update 2016-02-25, the code you have is:
    sudo ~/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/ksinstall -nuke

    You will note that the “-nuke” has just one hypen, whereas it needs to be “–nuke”.


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