Personal Software Inspector: FAQ

Free Security Software


Running and scanning with Personal Software Inspector

Personal Software Inspector won’t load the interface or won’t complete scanning. What can I do?

To function correctly Personal Software Inspector needs to be able to connect to our servers. If you experience any issues where Personal Software Inspector cannot complete scanning or where the interface will not load and show you the detected programs, then please do the following.

  1. Open the control panel.
  2. Open Internet Options > Security tab. In Windows7/Vista you may need to click Network and Internet to access the Internet Options.
  3. Select the Internet zone and click Custom Level.
  4. In Security Settings, go to the Scripting > Active Scripting option.
  5. Make sure that Active Scripting is enabled (rather than Disabled or Prompted).
  6. Click OK then Yes.
  7. Back in the Security tab, select the Trusted Sites zone and click Sites.
  8. Type in the following and click Add to add it to the Trusted Sites list: https://*
  9. Click Close then OK.
  10. Run Personal Software Inspector again to view the scan results.

Please note that some Internet Security Suites (Kaspersky Internet Security is currently an example) have their own settings for trusted sites. In case you are using such a program, you need to allow “https://*” as a trusted site in this program as well as in Internet Explorer. If you experience any difficulty doing this, please contact the vendor of the program.

If you are still having problems with Personal Software Inspector, the services on which Personal Software Inspector depends may have been disabled. To verify that they are running, type “Administrative tools” in the start menu search bar or open Administrative tools from the Control Panel.

Now click the Services tool and verify that the “Personal Software Inspector Agent” is listed and has its “Startup type” set to “Automatic”.

Windows XP users can also try the following: Navigate to the folder where you installed PSI (usually C:\Program Files\Secunia\PSI). Right-click the file “psi” and choose “Properties”. Go to the Compatibility tab and place a check at “Turn off advanced text services for this program”. Click OK.

How do I update my programs with Personal Software Inspector?

The Personal Software Inspector interface will show you all detected insecure programs on your machine. Many commonly used programs can be automatically updated, and the only necessary action when it comes to them will be to select which language should be installed. For auto-updatable programs without localisation options, no actions are required.

For programs that cannot be auto-updated, use the "Click to update" button (or "Install Solution" in PSI 2.x or the blue download arrow in PSI 1.x). With most popular programs, this will silently install a Secunia Packaging System (SPS) package. For more information on SPS, please see the Technology section of our FAQ. For programs that do not yet have an SPS installer, you can proceed with the installation as usual.

If you do not wish any automatic updates to be performed, you can simply disable it during the install of Personal Software Inspector. It can also be enabled and disabled in the settings of Personal Software Inspector.

I finished scanning with Personal Software Inspector and one of my programs are not detected. How can I add it to your database?

When you send us a software suggestion, it is critical to select a file that matches the programs actual version number. Typically, the real program number can be found in the programs "About" tab.

To suggest a new program in Personal Software Inspector 3.x you can click the "Add program" button in the upper right corner. You can then select an appropriate file to suggest.

To suggest new software from Personal Software Inspector 2.x, go to the Scan Results page and click the "Are you missing a program?" button. Then select the file to be used for the software suggestion.

In order to do this from Personal Software Inspector 1.x, click "Program missing? Suggest it here!" at the bottom of the Insecure, End-of-Life or Patched tab in Advanced interface mode, then select a file.

We usually processes software suggestions within 24 hours on weekdays, although exceptions may apply. If you provide an email address when suggesting software from the 2.x and 3.x branch, we can inform you when the software has been added, or explain why your suggestion was not processed if that is the case.

Updating your software

Microsoft Update says my Windows files are up to date, but Personal Software Inspector is still reporting my software as insecure. What should I do?

When upgrading Windows you will frequently be required to reboot, or the updates may be installed over several turns. To ensure you are really up to date, try following this procedure:

  1. Check Microsoft Update, install all critical updates
  2. Reboot your system
  3. Repeat step 1, and go to step 2 if anything was installed at this step (repeat as needed)
  4. Run a full rescan with Personal Software Inspector
I know there is a newer version of a program available, but PSI is not offering the update. Why not?

Vendors release new versions of a program for many reasons, and many newer releases don't contain security fixes. It is important to understand that Personal Software Inspector is not a general update checker, but rather a security patch checker.

The implication of this is that whenever Personal Software Inspector offers you an update, that update will fix a specific, known security vulnerability.

In these cases, we recommend that you read the vendor release notes to determine if you prefer to install the update or not.

Personal Software Inspector says "An error occurred while attempting to open the specified URL" when I click links. How can I solve this?

This error occurs because the registry key specifying your default browser is not properly set. To solve it, try setting your preferred browser as default again.

If this has not resolved the problem, you can examine the registry key Personal Software Inspector uses to determine your default browser. To see this key, open the Registry Editor by typing "regedit" in the box that appears by clicking "Run" in the start menu on Windows XP, or in the start menu search field for newer versions of Windows.

Then navigate with regedit to "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\HTTP\shell\open\command". This registry key configures your systems default browser, and the program specified here is what Personal Software Inspector is having problems executing. Verify that the path points to your preferred browser, and that the browser indicated has not been removed and is still functional.

These are some typical registry keys from the most used browsers known to work with Personal Software Inspector as an example. Please note that these examples are provided only as a courtesy, and we do not officially recommend changing your registry key to any of these values.

  1. Internet Explorer
    "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE" –nohome
  2. Internet Explorer 32-bit on Windows 64-bit
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE" -nohome
  3. Mozilla Firefox
    "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -requestPending -osint -url
  4. Mozilla Firefox on Windows 64-bit
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -requestPending -osint -url "%1"
  5. Opera
    "C:\Program Files\Opera\Opera.exe" "%1"
  6. Opera 32-bit on 64-bit Windows
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Opera\Opera.exe" "%1"
  7. Google Chrome
    "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" -- "%1""Administrator" should be replaced with your username for this to work
  8. Apple Safari
    "C:\Program Files\Safari\Safari.exe" -url "%1"
  9. Apple Safari 32-bit on 64-bit Windows
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Safari\Safari.exe" -url "%1"
Please be aware that modifying or deleting the wrong registry key can effectively break your system. If you are not comfortable working with the registry, it is recommended that you request assistance on our community forum.
What is the difference between Personal Software Inspector and Online Software Inspector (OSI)?

OSI identifies a few of the most common programs, while Personal Software Inspector can identify thousands. In addition, OSI is run in a web browser and requires Java to be installed, while Personal Software Inspector is downloaded and installed on your computer.

Furthermore, Personal Software Inspector has a range of features not found in OSI, such as automatically updating your programs and automatically scanning on a weekly basis.

What is the difference between Personal Software Inspector and Corporate Software Inspector (for enterprise networks)?

Corproate Software Inspector (CSI) is a commercial product allowing you to scan other computers within a network (such as in an office environment), making it ideal for corporate users. For sales and pricing inquiries please contact or visit the Corporate Software Inspector page.

In contrast, Personal Software Inspector is a free program designed for private users that only scans the computer in which it is installed. However, both CSI and Personal Software Inspector identify the same number of applications.

How often do you update version rules?

The version rules are updated whenever a vendor releases a security patch for a vulnerability in a program detected by the Scan Engine.

The version numbers shown as secure by Personal Software Inspector are based on Secunia Advisories and our internal tests.

Can I use Personal Software Inspector even when I am not connected to the Internet?

In order to determine which programs you have installed, the scan results from Personal Software Inspector are matched against the Secunia Files Signatures database.

To check which programs may be vulnerable and which aren't, Personal Software Inspector uses your internet connection to send the information from your files to our servers. Since Personal Software Inspector depends on this, you cannot use Personal Software Inspector offline.

How can I suggest a feature or report an error in Personal Software Inspector?

For all feature requests or error inquiries, please submit your suggestions or error reports to (including screenshots, whenever possible).

You can also post to our community forum.

I have updated one of my programs, but an older version is still detected by Personal Software Inspector. What can I do?

Some programs leave behind the older version when updating to a new one. Some vendors do this deliberatively by policy, and some vendors by mistake. An example of a vendor deliberatively leaving behind the old version is Google, who do not remove old versions when installing updates for Google Chrome. This is an intentional policy on Google's behalf, and is done to prevent developers using Chrome from losing any of their work.

How you wish to deal with such older versions is entirely up to you. For assistance, please contact the vendor. You can also post to our community forum

Personal Software Inspector has detected a program somewhere on my computer, but where?

To locate a detected program via Personal Software Inspector, please do the following.

Personal Software Inspector 3.x
Right-click on the software you want to check. Select "Show details". Double-click the file location.

Personal Software Inspector 2.x
Go to "Scan Results" and click the “+” character next to the relevant program. Then click the yellow “Open folder” icon.

Personal Software Inspector 1.x
In the upper right corner click "Advanced" and "Ok" to the message box. Go to the tab where the relevant program is currently showing up. Click the “+” character next to the relevant program and then click “Open Folder”.

If you have followed the steps above you should now see the folder on your computer where the detected program is located. Personal Software Inspector has also showed you the exact installation path and the name of the detected file. To examine the file you can right-click on it and choose Properties. The tabs should now show you the same information that PSI is detecting including product name, product version etc.

Troubleshooting Personal Software Inspector

Which information should I include when requesting support for PSI 2.x and 1.x branches?

For Personal Software Inspector 2.x, when making support requests on our community forum or by directly contacting Flexera Software Support, please provide the troubleshoot report for the program in question.
In order to generate this report, you can double-click the programs entry on the Scan Results page. A pop-up window will open, and from here you can click "Troubleshoot Report". You can then copy-paste this report using Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V. This report contains information which is helpful for troubleshooting.

For Personal Software Inspector 1.x, enable the Advanced Interface mode, expand the relevant program entry by clicking the “+”, and then click "Technical details". You can then copy-paste this information and provide it as a troubleshoot report.

Be sure to inform the community or Flexera Software Support which version of Personal Software Inspector you are currently using.

I cannot get Personal Software Inspector to work on a system using a proxy. Why is this?

Personal Software Inspector does not officially support proxies.

Personal Software Inspector technology

How does the scan engine work?

Personal Software Inspector works by examining files on your computer (primarily .exe, .dll, and .ocx files). These files contain non-specific meta information provided by the software vendor. This data is the same for all users and originates from the installed programs on your computer.

After examining all the files on your local hard drive(s), the collected data is sent to our servers, which match the data against the Secunia File Signatures engine to determine the exact applications installed on your system. This information can then be used to provide you with a detailed report of the missing security related updates for your system.

What is the Secunia Packaging System (SPS) and how does it work?

SPS, from a Personal Software Inspector user perspective, is a new approach to silent installation and general ease of use. Vendor installers have been repackaged in order to make updating, and in particular silent installations and automatic updating, easier to use. SPS does not in any way alter contents of the file, nor does it add any sort of "extra" installers. SPS will never add anything to a package that is not installed by the vendor by default, and we strive to disable toolbars and third-party programs bundled along with the installer by the vendors.

SPS serves as a wrapper around the normal installer, forcing it to install silently.

Visit our PSI forum

If you need help or have questions about Personal Software Inspector, please visit the Personal Software Inspector community forum.

If you want to download Personal Software Inspector you can find it here.

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