Free QuickBooks Performance Update Confusion

| September 18, 2013

I’ve been seeing a lot of discussions, and confusion, relating to a messaging change that Intuit implemented in QuickBooks 2013 recently. It seemed like a small change to me when I first noticed this, but in this day and age of malware and “free performance update” scams there have been people questioning if this is a scam or a valid notice. Let me assure you, if you see the notice that I describe below, everything is OK.

QuickBooks Update Notices – Old Style

Periodically Intuit will release a maintenance update for the supported versions of QuickBooks. If you have enabled the Automatic Update feature in your installation of QuickBooks, whenever one of these new releases is available your program will quietly download the update in the background. After the update is completely ready, the next time that you start QuickBooks you would see an “update notice” similar to the following: Old style of QuickBooks Update Notice This is pretty straight forward – it tells you that QuickBooks downloaded a product update, it tells you what the revision number is (R13 in the example above), it gives you a link to see what the changes are, it gives you an option to install now or later.

Free QuickBooks Performance Update – The New Style

Starting with the 2013 R7 release, QuickBooks 2013 users started seeing a new notice. Free QuickBooks performance update I’m not a fan of this new notice format.

  • It doesn’t tell me what revision is being installed. I want to know, because sometimes there are updates that should be skipped (such as, the infamous QuickBooks 2013 R7 release).
  • This notice sounds like one of those malware PC performance scams. It doesn’t say it is a “product update”, instead it talks about being a “performance update”, and that sounds a bit suspicious to me.

I’m not the only person with some concerns about this – there have been several discussions in LinkedIn where people have questioned if this is some sort of malware popping up. It is reminiscent of the kind of malware scam that I recently removed from my daughter’s computer, when she clicked on a popup that told her that there were problems that should be fixed on her computer (and wow, did that take a lot of work to remove all the malware that this installed!). Computer Malware installer In Intuit’s defense, I will note that the title bar still has the same service name, that there is still a link that provides details on what’s new (and you can see what the new revision is at that site). So this isn’t a big issue – once we recognize that there is a change in this dialog window, we can all rest assured that it is legitimate. So, don’t worry, it’s OK, this is not a scam, it is safe to install (at least, as safe as the update is itself). I believe that Intuit is working on a change in the wording for this in future releases of 2013, and probably in a future release of 2014, but I’m not sure what that change will look like. Don’t you wish, however, that Intuit would tell us when they make changes like this? I never saw ANY sort of notice that there was a change.

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Category: Program Updates

About the Author (Author Profile)

Charlie Russell is the founder of CCRSoftware. He’s been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70’s, focusing on inventory and accounting software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Look for Charlie’s articles in the Accountex Report blog, as well as his California Wildflower Hikes blog.

Comments (9)

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  1. Rox says:

    I agree, I’m NOT a fan. I’m already getting calls/emails from clients who think they’ve picked up a virus, Trojan, etc. For those of us with multiple years of QBs this is also a problem – just not enough info and it looks suspect overall. I can see problems with clients in a shared environment as well … Susie downloads/installs it, but Sarah doesn’t. Ugh!

    • Charlie says:

      Rox, I believe that they are going to change the wording, but I’m not sure when or exactly how.

      And, to be honest, we’ve always had the issue with one person installing while another person doesn’t, even with the old wording. I’ve always asked my direct-support clients to turn off Automatic Updates and wait for me to tell them when to do the update, so that we not only have control over how it is done BUT we can also be sure that the update is a good one (2013 has been a bad, bad year for that).

    • Bob DeMartino says:

      Hello,

      When I installed this “Free Performance Update” I was unable to open the company that I had been working with and I only was able to retrieve my data was a backup of the company which I restored. Still had same problem. Only after I uninstalled QB and then re-installed the program, was I able to run as usual. I still have then message pop-up. How can I remove this obnoxious message eaach time I start QB 2013…please help…Bob

  2. Ugh… I can understand that they wanted to change the color scheme to match the new interface, but why change the wording on something that no one ever questioned in the past? I hate that the word FREE is so “in your face” as if that is the most important thing and then bolded again. Yes… looks and smells like scam. My opinion – and we know how much that is worth…..

  3. Cheryl says:

    We ran the “free performance update” this morning. After it was completed, one of our workstations was unable to connect to the network, lost its printer connection, and the Microsoft Office was also gone. Quickbooks support insists it had nothing to do with the update … but the computer was working perfectly before the update. Anyone else experience anything like that?

    Interesting that QB support won’t even acknowledge that the “Free Performance Update” exists. They kept asking me if it was R9 — and I explained that I had done the R9 earlier, the only title on this one was “Free Performance Update”>

    • P says:

      I am also searching for help as after I installed this performance update late November 2013 or first part of December, my pos no longer can make a financial exchange with QB unless I open the software first. None of my other programs can auto login as they have done in the past. I have spent over 12 hours trying to resolve this issue. Can someone help? I was on the phone with a consultant who specializes in Intuit products today for 3 hours and they couldn’t solve. Reinstalled QB pro 2013 and still can’t get integrated applications to connect to QB unless I open the file. At financial exchange I get an error that quickbooks could not be opened. I can’t have my employees open QB each day when the POS should just auto login on its own as it did before I installed this latest “performance” update. Thank you.

  4. Dave Snipper says:

    I figured the update was harmless, so I started to install it. Interestingly, my virus monitor saw it as a “threat” and de-activated it and uninstalled it completely. Still not sure, after that, if quickbook will work properly, we shall see.