What is InstallShield and do I need its update service?

InstallShield is a component to help keep your computer up to date. We'll walk through how it ended up on your computer and how you can manage it.


Recently, I did a scan with Autoruns from Microsoft Sysinternals to see what I was loading at log on. I have a program called “ISUSPM.exe” loading at log on. I do not remember seeing it before so I did a search – and answers at Microsoft.com states that it’s “InstallShield Update Service Scheduler” and it searches for updates for software on my computer. It stated that it’s not needed and it can be unchecked/removed from starting at login. Have you seen this? What is it? What software does it update? Where did it come from? Do I need it? Can I safely remove it without leaving my software vulnerable?

InstallShield has been around for years and it’s certainly nothing malicious. In fact, most people have probably already used its software at one point or another.

InstallShield is the set up and installation technology that’s used by many other software vendors to write the set-up programs for their products.

How does this work?

Let’s say that you purchase product X from company Y. But when you run a set up on that product, it’s actually an InstallShield program that runs and does the work. I think even some Microsoft programs have used InstallShield in the past.

As it turns out, set up is incredibly complex. Programs like InstallShield make it easier for companies to not need to reinvent the wheel every time they release a product.

The update service component is simply software that monitors when program updates are available, notifies you when they are, and then downloads and installs the update.

Should I remove InstallShield?

Personally, I don’t like that update programs like this run continuously. They don’t need to do this. They could be designed to use the Windows Task Scheduler to run periodically instead of constantly.

… you might be removing the automatic update notification from the programs that you have installed.

That being said, removing InstallShield won’t break anything, but you might be removing the automatic update notification from the programs that you have installed.

That’s where it came from; when you installed some other software package, the InstallShield update service was probably added as well.

If the update service isn’t running, the programs that you have that use InstallShield may also check for updates manually on start up. But the problem is that you won’t know which ones are affected.

Personally, I would leave InstallShield alone. If it really bugs you, go ahead and remove it; just make sure to check for updates to the applications that you have installed from time to time.


  1. Tom R

    I run Avast! anti-malware and it also monitors installed software for titles that need updating. I appreciated this function. Personally, InstallShield is a mature, reputable product and I would let it do its thing on my own computer, if it were installed. It doesn’t hurt and it can only help.

  2. Gl;oria Byrne

    can’t read half (the right half)of this article – it’s blacked out and the writing is very faint and I personally can’t read it.

    • Blacked out by what? I’d love a screen shot. I get occasional comments to this effect but I’ve never seen it, can’t reproduce it and have no idea what to fix….

  3. Lisa

    Gloria is referring to the side bar notes you have on the right hand side of your site. The wording in the side bar is half visable and there isn’t an ‘elevator’ at the bottom of the page to scroll over to the right to view everything. Thanks.

    • I’m not seeing any “half visible” scenarios so I’m still left not knowing what to fix. Is your zoom perhaps set to something other than 100%?

  4. norbu

    I recently bought Microsoft game and try to install it but there pops up a install shield error 1628 and I deleted install shield from program file but I could delete some file. how can I fix this problem?

  5. Elishevah

    Currently (19 June 2014), an Avast security tech is telling me that Install Shield is malware and is proof that I need to pay them $180 to fix my computer so that Roboform does not replace my avast easypass program. This among other erroneous things this security tech told me has caused me to loose confidence in using avast to protect my system. Do you have any other suggestions for system protection?

    • Mark Jacobs

      I have a hard time believing that someone from Avast would tell you that. Are you sure it’s a tech rep from Avast and not a scammer? InstallShield is a legitimate installation tool used to install programs in Windows. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/InstallShield
      If you were contacted by that tech rep and you didn’t contact them, you can be sure it’s a scam.

    • This sounds like you aren’t actually talking to Avast. If they called you, then it’s a scam. InstallShield is NOT malware.

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