Whenever we build out new products and features at Google, we try to ensure that we provide users with two key components: transparency and control. About a month ago we released the Google Update source code to give users and developers transparency into Google's update mechanism. Today we hope to fulfill this second component by providing advanced users the ability to control the installation and updating of Google products via Google Update. Thanks to automatic updates, most users should already have this version of Google Update.

The update policy is controlled via Windows Group Policy, allowing network administrators to apply policies to all computers on their domain and power users with administrative privileges to set the policy on individual machines. We provide an Administrative Template file that allows selection of policies using standard graphical user interfaces such as Group Policy Editor.

The new Group Policy support allows an administrator to specify which Google applications can be installed and how they should be updated. You can select from one of three update options: automatically, manually, or not at all. Administrators can also control how frequently Google Update checks for software updates.

Mac users have similar controls over Google Software Update. Mac users are able to change how often update checks occur or disable update checks all together. See the Managing updates in Google Software Update Help Center article for details.

We work hard to keep our users safe and secure when using our applications, and we believe that making sure users have the latest software available using automatic updates is a key component of that. However, we realize that there are situations where automatic updates may not be desirable so we wanted to provide the ability to control updates when necessary.

To get started, take a look at the Google Update for Enterprise documentation.