How do I stop brave update and crash handler from loading at Windows startup?

To me, it’s ridiculous that BraveUpdate, BraveCrashHandler, etc. load and run at Windows startup, without my permission and with no option in the settings to disable that, rather than only when I choose to start Brave itself.
Can I disable that, or should I just treat it as malware and uninstall Brave and return to Firefox?

FYI… https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/what-mozilla-maintenance-service

I asked how to stop a behaviour in Brave, yet you gave me a link to a fix for Firefox. I could find nothing similar in Brave, so I uninstalled the Maintenance Service. I hope that doesn’t screw it up.

I wasn’t aware that Brave was Mozilla-based. At least I now understand why the Brave Updater often started when I started Firefox.

Brave is not Mozilla based. The point was that Mozilla do the same thing (or at least, very similar) with Firefox. Sorry if that wasn’t clear, although ostensibly you got what you wanted now with Firefox, too.

All that being said, not sure why you’d want to disable automatic updates for either of them. The biggest security risks to users tend to be thru unpatched software. And almost all software will at some point have vulnerabilities. Automatic updates are the best tool to protect users against discovered vulnerabilities, as well as other bugs and issues. Probably half the threads (and conspiracy theories) thrown around on this board in the past week can be traced directly to out of date software.

Unless you have some very specific and articulate reason for disabling it I would not recommend doing that. I don’t speak for any software company, I’m just a random dude so you can take that for what it’s worth.

My firewall, ZoneAlarm, asks me several times per day whether I want to allow BraveUpdate to run. It doesn’t matter whether I allow it or deny it, it just keeps on asking. I’ve been using Brave for a few weeks. BraveUpdater is listed 92 times in my firewall.
It’s suspicious as hell that Brave’s updater starts virtually every time that I launch Firefox.
I’m not a fan of any software doing something without my explicit permission. Nobody should be.
Firefox asks for permission only when there is an update to install. That clearly isn’t the case with Brave. I assume that BraveUpdater is checking my installation of Brave to see if it’s the current version, multiple times per day. If that’s the case, it’s a really bad design.
I’ve been using computers, with firewalls, for over twenty years and I’ve never encountered another piece of software that does this.

Firefox’s default behavior is to silently check for updates in the background, you just aren’t seeing it because ZoneAlarm isn’t triggering. And the reason ZA isn’t triggering is because, most likely, ZA has it whitelisted as a known app. Brave is lesser-known at this point, wouldn’t surprise me if they just didn’t put it into their automatic whitelist so you’d need to do it manually.

Google Chrome does the same thing. Windows does this. MS Defender does this. MS Edge does this. I think Vivaldi does as well, by default. I would bet that most other mainstream browsers do this. This is nothing new, nor is it strange. Software vendors know that many people will forget to update if there isn’t some automated process behind it; and they also know that if they get prompted repeatedly to check for updates, many people will just shut off the updates and drift out of support and lead to worse problems. Automatic updates are a basic and common safety net.

You could argue about whether the frequency is optimal, but again I doubt you would have ever even noticed it if ZA weren’t being triggered. My recommendation would be to whitelist it, but that’s up to you.

I set up ZoneAlarm so nothing is automatically whitelisted unless I set it to be. I have whitelisted Brave. It still asks, over and over again.

Firefox asked me once. I gave it permission. It never asked again.
BraveUpdate asked me. I gave it permission. It asked me again a few hours later, repeat, ad nauseum. I then tried setting ZoneAlarm to deny BraveUpdate every time. It still asks repeatedly. My only guess is that every single update check is in some minor way different to every previous attempt, meaning that the firewall sees it as something new. This happens with only one other program that I know of, Ubisoft Connect, but it only asks when I start an Ubisoft product and only if there is an update available for Ubisoft Connect or an installed Ubisoft game, not at windows startup, not at the start of any other program, and not just randomly.

Brave is running its update checker mere hours after installing an update. When I check to see if there is an update available, there isn’t. In essence, it installs an update, then checks to see if it’s up to date, then checks again, and again. Even when there is no update available.

“Windows does this. MS Defender does this. MS Edge does this.” None of those do when you’ve gone to great lengths to disable their ability to do so. The only software that auto-updates on my PC are programs I have specifically allowed to do so. Which is most of them. I have never seen a program behave this way (apart from Windows and many of its built-in apps) all of which I have control over whether I disable, block or approve them.

There’s not a single item in the Task Manager Background Processes list that I haven’t approved or isn’t a service the computer cannot run without, except the BraveSoftware Update and BraveSoftware Update (32bit).
It’s not too much to ask that a program’s updater only run when you run that program.

Whatever interval Brave uses is probably inherited from Chromium. And if that’s true, then it might be more fruitful to open an issue with the Chromium project.

If ZoneAlarm is prompting you for the same thing repeatedly even though you told it not to, that sounds like something you could ask of ZoneAlarm support as it’s not functioning as expected. Unless you meant Brave is prompting, but that isn’t the meaning I took here. To me it sounds like ZA isn’t respecting the settings change you’re trying to make.

Brave is open source so if you’re willing to “go to great lengths” to disable automatic updates for all of your software, then I hope you are doing it manually often for most or all of them, because software vulnerabilities. And by the same token you could always contribute code or open a GitHub issue, or roll your own build after finding the right place to disable this in your own copy. Anything is possible. But it’s pretty widely accepted that automatic updates (again notwithstanding the discussion about the optimal frequency) are a good baseline, especially with browsers. That doesn’t make them “malware.” :sweat_smile:

You can do whatever you want, it’s your computer, but most of the time when people disable them it’s at their own peril considering the browser is the frontline most of us have against the Internet.

My biggest issue is that the updater is a background process at boot, and whenever it feels like restarting itself. I’ve never encountered any other software updater, apart from Windows itself, that does that.
I don’t have a problem with automatic updaters, I allow many, but they don’t run at Windows startup, they ask for or require my permission, and they only run when their program is started, not at all times.
As far as I’m concerned, no program should run any background processes when the program itself isn’t running.
It may not be malware, but it certainly behaves like it.

FYI, https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/94.0/releasenotes/

“On Windows, there will now be fewer interruptions because Firefox won’t prompt you for updates. Instead, a background agent will download and install updates even if Firefox is closed.”