Google Earth 5 No Longer Beta

Just a follow-up to last Friday’s post about the new version of Google Earth 5 now available. This new version (version 5.0.11733.9347) has dropped the “Beta” designation. As you would expect, the main goal of this release was to fix any problems from the beta and improve performance. The release notes for the new version are now available. I’m glad to see a lot of effort was made to improve the most significant new feature in GE 5: Tours.
To get the new version, download Google Earth 5 here. Probably later today you will be able to use the Help menu in GE to “Check for Updates Online“, but right now it continues to say no update available.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.


  1. Instead of downloading GE you can also update it using the program “Google Updater”. The new version appears in the “Updates tab”.

  2. I am most happy with the fix of some tours (not all) with sounds crached my Google Earth on a Vista’s seem to be solved now in this final version 5 🙂

  3. I updated it on Ubuntu 9.04 without problems. Same version number on Linux, without Beta: 5.0.11733.9347.

  4. i’ve been using 5.0.11733.9347 since friday, without the “beta” designation. downloaded it through google updater.

  5. Rafael S. says

    I see another fix, for a bug that was bothering me a lot – when I zoomed in to a certain amount, the ‘historical imagery’ slider would reset to a 9pm-9pm timeframe. If I wanted to check some change in a detailed area, with lots of zoom, I would need to zoom out, select another date and then zoom back in.

  6. David – for information, where do you find Google Updater and the update tab? I thought the Updater came as part of the GE5.0 package and activated itself when necessary, but may be not.
    I obtained the new version on 10 May from the regular GE download site without realising it until I checked the version number, so ;help; now says no update available.

  7. Chris. Yes, Google Updater comes as part of GE installation, but it seems that doesn’t activate itself when a new update is available, (even if you mark the option “Automatically update”).
    You can find it in “Program Files\Google\Google Updater\”. When a new update is available it appears in the updates tab, and you can install it.

  8. It should be noted that this version too forces the “Updater” down anybody’s throat without notification and without an option to turn it off or to remove it. It requires manual removal (i.e. killing the background app and removing the autostart/scheduler entry). I seriously expect much better from a company whose primary policy is “don’t be evil” – this *is* evil, regardless of how benign the updater may be. It’s a breach of trust.
    Random things fixed or changed that I pointed out before as bugs and that don’t seem to be covered in the release notes:
    -Some icon issues are repaired, e.g. the live earthquakes show their correct size again.
    -The switch between Earth, Sky and Mars is now equally possible via the drop-down menu entry (under “Explore”) and via the toolbar button.
    -There’s a new “loading” placeholder image.

  9. David / Markus – I am curious about Updater. There is no easily visible sign of it on my Mac, and if it is there but does not activate when there is a GE update, what is it for?
    Moreover, the Google support does not appear to cover Macs, although there are instructions apparently for uninstalling Updater. It all leaves an uneasy feeling.

  10. Sorry Chris, I was referring to Windows only. 🙂 I have honestly no idea how the same stuff works with GE on a Mac, but my guess would be it’s not too different there.
    In a nutshell: beginning with version 5, installing Google Earth (on Windows) also installs an “Updater” background application/service that autostarts when booting and always sits in memory. I guess what it does is check in regular intervals if there are updates available and then notifies the user of it and/or auto-installes whatever update there may be. I haven’t figured out yet if this is the same as the “official” Google Updater application that provides the same functinality for all Google software one may have installed – I don’t think so, since that one would be readily visible in the system tray, something this Google Earth Updater isn’t doing; see e.g.:
    That all may be fine and useful and benign. I have no problem with updaters per se. But I do have a problem with such software when it installs itself invisibly without notification or a way to opt out of it, especially when it is constantly running in the background. Such a thing *has to be* optional and removable, and *has to* provide full disclosure of what it is doing when, what kind of data it is sharing with the mothership, etc. And I’m not thrilled about app info texts along the line of “removing this software may keep you from important security fixes and make your PC more vulnerable” or whatever exactly it said – that’s pretty close to typical scareware speak, and frankly rather ridiculous. Google absolutely shouldn’t be doing this.

  11. Markus – many thanks for your further comments on the updater, and I agree with your concerns. Google are very bad at not providing ll explanations of these things, let alone the way it is imposed.
    My understanding is that an updater comes with no opr out as part of GE 5.0 for Mac, but there is no sign of it in the Finder where apps like GE itself are visible.
    I happened to install the new version of GE 5.0 for another reason the day it came out, so may be the updated never activated. I was surprised how much of my settings and placemarks carried through from the version I deleted to the new one, which is convenient, but agin raises questions about what else may be running there.

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.