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A hotfix is a software update ( English software update ), which the manufacturer of a software application ( program to correct provides) an error. Hotfix is ​​derived from the two English words hot - hot and to fix - repair. It is literally a “hot” (here in the sense of quick, urgent) repair.

The error is so serious that it has to be corrected quickly and specifically. A hotfix therefore usually only contains the correction for one or a few errors. Under no circumstances should it contain an extension of the functionality, but only correct the specific error.

Differentiation from other updates ( e.g. service pack ):

  • pure error correction, no extensions
  • urgent need
  • greatly reduced tests by manufacturers

Due to the last point, installing a hotfix always involves a risk. The manufacturers usually point out that due to the urgency, full tests cannot be carried out. As a computer user or administrator should only be a hotfix therefore import when one is directly affected by software failure, or if the problem occurs in all systems and the manufacturer explicitly indicating einzuspielen the hotfix to resolve a serious (security) lack.

Many modern computer programs connect independently over the Internet to a server from their manufacturer and check whether hotfixes are available for installation. If so, the hotfix will be downloaded and installed automatically.

With Windows from version Windows XP , this function is integrated into the operating system and, according to Microsoft, should be activated to protect against viruses , worms and other Internet attacks. It is often of crucial importance that a hotfix is ​​installed before accessing the Internet with Windows, because certain malware, such as the Sasser worm , can attack the system shortly after the connection is established. Therefore, important hotfixes can be integrated into the installation CD using unattended mode so that they are anchored in the system from the outset.

See also