How to get security updates for Windows XP until April 2019

Microsoft's official support for the Windows XP operating system ended more than a month ago. While some companies and organizations are still receiving updates for the operating system, end users do not.

These companies pay Microsoft for that, usually because they were not able or willed to migrate computer's running Windows XP to another operating system before the extended support phase for the system ended.

There is another exception to the end of support rule: Windows Embedded Industry, formerly known as Windows Embedded POSReady, operating systems continue to receive updates.

What makes this interesting is the fact that Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 is based on Windows XP Service Pack 3, and that the security updates released for that system are identical with the ones that Microsoft would have released for XP systems.

The extended support for Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 systems ends on April 9th, 2019 which means that you can use the trick to get another five years of security patches for XP.

windows xp updates

What you cannot do is go ahead and install those updates as you will get a version mismatch error when you try to do so. There is however a trick that you can use to bypass those checks so that you can install those updates on your version of Windows XP.

Note: The trick works only for 32-bit versions of Windows XP SP3 and not 64-bit versions. While POSReady systems are very similar to Windows XP systems, it is recommended to back up the system before you make any changes as differences between the systems may result in issues after installing updates designed for it.

All you need to do is add the following to the Windows XP Registry:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\WPA\PosReady]
"Installed"=dword:00000001

I have uploaded a Registry file for you that you can use for that purpose. You can download it here: xp-security-updates.zip (29742 downloads)

If you prefer to create one on your own do the following:

  1. Create a new plain text document.
  2. Paste the contents displayed above into it.
  3. Save the new document as xp.reg.
  4. Double-click the Registry file afterwards to add the contents to the Registry.

Alternatively, open the Registry Editor manually: tap on Windows-r, type regedit and hit enter. Navigate to the key listed above and create a new Dword with the value listed there as well. (via Desk Modder and Sebijk)

Both source sites are in German. If you open the Sebijk site, you will also find instructions on how to get this to work on 64-bit Windows XP systems. It involves running a batch file that replaces original update files with temporary ones that bypass the restrictions set in place.

Closing Words

If you are running Windows XP and do not want to switch to a new system or cannot, then you may want to try this trick to install security patches designed for the POSReady 2009 operating system on your PC.

I recommend highly that you create a backup before you update the system as there is no guarantee that all updates will work properly on XP PCs. While POSReady 2009 uses the same core, some things are different after all.

Nevertheless, this is better than not installing any security updates.

Summary
Article Name
How to get security updates for Windows XP until April 2019
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Description
Support for Windows XP ended April 2014. but there is a trick that you can make use of to get security updates for the operating system.
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Responses to How to get security updates for Windows XP until April 2019

  1. GK May 24, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

    LOL cool.

    • DrTeeth May 25, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

      I hope this works, then I won't have the pain of migrating my wife to Win 7.

  2. Peter888 May 24, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

    Waouh ! Very interesting if it works !
    I will wait for some feedback before to try it.
    Perhaps a typo : navigate to the "folder" listed above : to the key...

  3. Keith May 24, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

    I wonder how long it will be before Microsoft takes steps to block this fix. I'd love to keep XP for the next 5 years.

  4. Tom Hawack May 24, 2014 at 7:08 pm #

    October 25, 2001 - April 9th, 2019 ... that would bring XP to almost 18 years of service. Wow.

    The trick is most valuable and if it hadn't been for my old XP equipped computer which left for heaven (or hell) in August 2013, I'd breath this information like a gift :)

    Windows XP will maybe appear to be the most successful Microsoft OS. I remember my anxiety when switching from Win95 to what was then the brand new XP. Like when switching to Win7. And, well, no point in getting anxious, in fact less and less point in being worried perhaps (anyway, for using the machine), because everything is easier and easier to use. I recall for instance how complicated it was at one time to update a simple Adobe Flash ... nowadays automatism is everywhere, we spend less time thinking how to use the car and therefor brains are supposed to be left for thinking where to go with it :)

  5. Dave May 24, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

    Thanks Martin. This inspired me to install an old copy of XP as a virtual machine on Win7 and make this reg change.

    • Martin Brinkmann May 24, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

      You are welcome, let me know how it goes.

      • Dave May 24, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

        It's interesting. Getting any updates has been problematic. I had to get SP2 and SP3 manually, as well as the Windows Installer update and IE8. So far I've not been able to get any automatic updates at all, though that's partly because there's no easy way to initiate a check.

        This script is the best I've found so far. It ran successfully, but there's still no indication that any updates are available.
        http://community.spiceworks.com/attachments/post/0000/2355/Force_WSUS_Updates.cmd.txt

      • Dave May 24, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

        Updates are working fine now that SP3 is installed and I've activated Windows. Once I've got all updates, I guess I'll check back in the future to see if new ones are available :)

    • Cassandra May 26, 2014 at 8:55 am #

      Dave, to intitiate a manual check of updates, do this:
      Start -> Run -> wuauclt.exe /detectnow

  6. Oliver May 24, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

    I guess this is only for offline patches, how about Windows/Microsoft Update?

    • Gaurav May 25, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

      Windows Update/Microsoft Update also works fine.

  7. Sfer May 24, 2014 at 11:21 pm #

    Nice find, Martin!
    Very useful.

    In our case,
    already switched over ALL our PCs
    to Ubuntu Linux,
    right after the "last" XP update in April,
    gave a Blue Screen of Death.
    That was "enough"...

    Otherwise, i would have tried your fix.
    Too late now,
    we are super-happy w/Ubuntu Linux.

    Thanks anyhow!

    • Wayfarer May 25, 2014 at 12:37 am #

      Have to admit I don't use XP any more - due more to circumstance than anyhthing else.

      Best OS **EVER** IMHO.

      A new desktop 2 years ago brought Win7 with it - which I honestly think is a worthy successor to XP (more than can be said of Vista.) A new laptop a year ago (birthday gift) brought Win8 - which I hated then and I hate now - what a cobbled-together piece of junk that is.

      I still have the old desktop that used to have XP. When I bought the Win7 desktop, I wiped the HD on the old one and installed Ubuntu. I have to say it's just amazing how often I still boot up that machine. There's a lot it won't do that Windows does - including a whole load of annoyances. I still (perforce) use my laptop most (about 60%) of the time. When it comes to booting up a desktop, I have to say that - just because I have so much confidence in it - it's the 'old' Ubuntu machine that increasingly has preference. And it shows no sign of its age when running Linux.

      There are variants of Linux (I haven't tried them all) that look a lot like XP. If someone wants to get that more exactly right, I imagine there might be quite a following.

      Hell - even Steam are getting the message.

      • InterestedBystander May 27, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

        @Wayfarer -- Yes, Zorin is an Ubuntu-based system that looks like XP. Actually, it has a "look-changer" feature that lets you choose XP, Vista, or Win7 appearance. It has a lovely workspace-switcher as well, a feature Windows seems to have trouble implementing well. However, the file structure is likely to confuse a long-term Windows user at first -- no "C drive", and no Windows or System32 folders. The most popular distro, Linux Mint, is not meant to be a Windows clone, but it is very ergonomic and easy to use. It's also very well-maintained, polished, and draws on the large Ubuntu application repository.

        But even after finding a great deal of freedom and choice in Linux, I still find Windows necessary for a few niche applications. This may change a bit over time, but... well, I still use iTunes on a 2003-vintage Mac, so there you go. It's all user perception, comfort zone, and specific needs.

  8. Olly May 25, 2014 at 12:44 am #

    Interesting. I'd only skim-read about this before now and was under the impression you also had to swap out a binary for a patched/alternative version (something like update.exe?). Anyone wanna weigh in on this?

  9. NJ May 25, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    You might want to italicise, 'The trick works only for 32-bit versions of Windows XP SP3 and not 64-bit versions'! Just a thought.

  10. dstone May 25, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

    I've used iobit's Advanced System Care 7 free version to update windows XP, using the "Vulnerability Fix" option.
    It only downloads the important security updates.

    I have windows XP in Virtualbox in Win 7 pro 64bit, I'll give this patch a try.

  11. ditshego Ofentse May 25, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

    I am having a problem about my security login help me please.

  12. FUCK-XP May 25, 2014 at 11:20 pm #

    Fuck Windows XP, just MOVE ON ALREADY!

  13. EGbo May 26, 2014 at 3:43 am #

    Now was that comment and language really neccessary?

    • BaliRob June 6, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

      @EGbo - I do so agree with you - it's a pity that forums as these do not monitor for such uncouth behaviour

  14. BAMBI May 26, 2014 at 4:51 am #

    Insightful comment, highly valuable contribution there F.-XP

    Now can you go and get your Mommy so we can ask her not to let her BRAT play on her PC. (running XP no doubt)

  15. Michael Angelo May 26, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

    Re-installed Windows XP Pro today to see if this works. After adding the registry key I went back to Windows update and there were two updates included for WinPOS, so I guess, so far so good.

  16. xp2019 May 26, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    That's a neat trick.

    See this chart for other info.
    http://localhostr.com/files/gISSbHS/WindowsEmbeddedPOSReady2009.jpg

    With a 900 file minimum install, almost makes me wish I had used it from day one.

    That chart also says Office may not run.
    But I guess you could just toggle that registry entry if that happened.

  17. Michael Angelo May 26, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

    Well I got the "Updates has ended" message in the right hand corner and it will not let me install security update KB2868509 for XP Embedded. Can I get this update installed anyhow?

  18. somms May 26, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

    http://i.imgur.com/RrVjG9C.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/RrVjG9C.jpg

    After applying this registry change on 32-bit XP SP3 install that would no longer register any more updates, now 4 more populated w/relevant screenshot attached above via Microsoft Update and were successfully applied! Very good tip and much appreciated!

  19. Ron S May 26, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

    So, Win Update worked fine, and updated with 4 files. Wasn't sure if it was necessary to run the ...for POS files, but thought these might be the OS name that displays instead of Win XP and went ahead. No problem after the post install reboot. Thanks, I guess we'll enjoy it while it lasts. Just wasn't ready to trash an older but running well PC.

  20. 58 May 27, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

    According to Microsoft in their response in the ZDNet article concerning this registry hack, the security updates the hack enables are intended for Windows Embedded and Windows Server 2003 (EOL: July 2015) and "do not fully protect" Windows XP customers. So Microsoft still recommends updating to Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1. XP users, do this registry hack at your own risk.

    Also, according to MSDN, the IE8 version for POSReady 2009 is different from the IE8 for XP, and installing IE updates intended for POSReady 2009 may cause undesired behavior in the normal IE8.

  21. Studio Nti May 27, 2014 at 10:54 pm #

    Outstanding!!! That work correct.

  22. coakl May 28, 2014 at 1:17 am #

    One caveat: If you switch the registry to identify yourself as a POS embedded system, Windows Update will try to send you ALL POS embedded updates that you don't have. Including the ones before April 8, all the way back to 2009. That's at least 100+ patches or several hundred MB's of stuff, a.k.a. several hours of updating. Yuck.
    Before you try this trick, switch automatic updates to "Notify but don't download or install", then read the MS security bulletin to find the exact KB number of the post-April 8 update that you want. In the automatic updates pop-up box, pick just those KB numbers.

    Another caveat: Some MS patches rely on earlier patches. If you don't install all of the earlier POS updates (pre-April 8), the newer POS updates might not work or crash XP.
    But the more POS updates you install, the more likely you will run into problems.
    Your machine will start to look like a Borg drone (some XP, some POS).

    To me, this is all seems risky. I prefer other defenses: EMET, avoiding Flash and Adobe Reader, Firefox with Noscript, ad blocking HOSTS file, and setting my DNS to Symantec Norton Safeweb (still free). The web shield in Avast adds a 4th layer of malware site filtering. You could add a 5th layer with McAfee Siteadvisor / WOT / Bitdefender Trafficlight extension in Firefox.

  23. onequestion May 28, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

    OK, thats great but I want delete this key in Registry Editor (security considerations, I prefer "clean" xp ) but I cant.

    Can someone help??

  24. onequestion May 28, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

    Error - Unable to delete all specified values

    • Martin Brinkmann May 28, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

      Have you tried running with elevated privileges?

      • onequestion May 29, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

        Yep, but already done. PCRegedit was helpful in this situation.
        BTW thanks for pointing me to the right path in the search for a good solution :-)

      • Martin Brinkmann May 29, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

        Glad that you could work it out ;)

  25. paulo oliveira May 29, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    Martin, excellent post!

    keep on the good work.

  26. ssxt May 29, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

    And if MS blocks downloads to non-POS systems, we're in the same boat as before correct? We don't need to remove this reg key?
    Thanks

  27. somms June 11, 2014 at 1:26 am #

    http://i.imgur.com/9jpRtma.jpg

    Cool! 5 More updates avail today for XP with this reg trick!

  28. Badass July 1, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

    I would like to know how to reverse this because I just wanted to try it.

  29. Vinny August 8, 2014 at 11:13 pm #

    I haven't been able to get this work-around going so my solution has been to disconnect my legacy XP machine from my router. It has 1 very important application that must be available at a moments notice. LucasArts: Tie Fighter and Balance of Power.

  30. Greg October 12, 2014 at 11:46 am #

    Can't believe there is a topic that has eclipsed day-to-day Kardashian brunch reports. "Ermagerd, Ebola, we're all going to die!" The amount of narrow-minded folks on the planet is incredible.

  31. Lydia Wong October 22, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

    Thanks very much, it's a little late but worked very well. My husband, who hates change, also thanks you.

  32. Michael Corbeil October 27, 2014 at 12:37 am #

    Any updates about whether people using XP SP 3 having had any problems with this registry change for getting updates for XP? Have any people who've tried this ended up losing any data or Windows system files, or any damage being caused to these things?

  33. hm November 13, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

    Updates for the critical vulnerabilities dated on 11-Nov-2014 are also available. YAY !!!

  34. BaliRob November 14, 2014 at 6:25 am #

    Since MS stopped supporting XP I have received some Windows Updates upon
    closing down. This week I assume that the Tues/Wed update was for the Unicorn
    Bug? I am running XP Pro still and have not tried the methods described above
    (too wary) so why am I still being serviced by Windows? I have asked Leo, etc
    but nobody will reply.

  35. glnz November 17, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    Very interesting, but are there any negatives?
    Did anyone's PC ring like a cash register or the CD drawer pop out to give change?
    OK - sorry - but, seriously, has anyone had problems after installing either 900+ or only recent updates?
    Does it interfere with Office 2003? (Yes, I know.)
    Thanks!!

  36. Chris November 27, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

    Is PCRegedit the only way to reverse this hack ? I tried runassystem.exe with elevated privileges, but still could not delete the PosReady registry key. Is there any easier to use tool?

  37. glnz November 27, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    Well, I ran the registry change on both an old experimental XP machine and then on my good important XP machine, got approx. 24 updates, and all seems OK.
    I tried it because after May-June blog entries, I could not find any reports of problems anywhere.
    Happy because my good important XP machine has all my emails in Outlook Express 6, and it's going to be a while before I figure out how to move them to my new Win 7-8 dual boot machine.
    But, still, if anyone has had problems on their XP machines, please don't be shy about telling us.

    • glnz December 17, 2014 at 11:44 pm #

      And ... I ran the latest updates on Dec 11, and my good important XP SP3 machine is still going going going. Ka-ching!

  38. XP Fanatic November 27, 2014 at 11:40 pm #

    I installed all updates. I am running Office 2007, Visual Studio 2008 & 2010 and RoboticsStudio, WDDK, DirectX9c (JUST to name those progs that may get corrupt to certain Win32DLL change). Yet, everything works fine. I have yet not tested if being save against the last "bla-bla-security-shit" (read: http://securityintelligence.com/ibm-x-force-researcher-finds-significant-vulnerability-in-microsoft-windows/).

    I will make updates here, once something breaks which ran fine before. All updates are being installed into a clean clone of my real NOT-Patched-POS2009-XP (because I still fear M$ to kill some API call which no POS App ever needs but every normal App relies on (though: I don't know if something crude really exists ;) ) )

    I have alot of 3rd party 32bit apps that communicate with each other with vendor specific interfaces. Its simply working. I have also Win764bit its a fucking pain there are problems since 2007/08 which are not yet solved and prevent such communication. There are areas where you cant replace XP (except using Linux and starting from scratch). (I hope we are once able to ship our clones and VMs through p2p since they are just too huge right now.) Like IPv4 WinXP will not die too soon.

  39. Mr Horsepower December 16, 2014 at 3:39 am #

    Running XP Home, Version 2002, SP2. I did the hack to fake the SP3, then did the POS hack for updates. Both worked.
    Set to download updates but not install. Next day, got 137 updates! Haven't installed any yet.
    I am worried that updates for SP3 will crash because I really only have SP2.
    Any suggestions? Pull the trigger, or not?
    Thanks!

    • Mike Corbeil December 16, 2014 at 10:46 pm #

      Mr Horsepower,

      Is there no way to get what's needed to upgrade to XP SP3 and I mean for free? What about an XP installation disk, do you not know someone who has one and has ceased using XP, having upgraded to Vista, 7 or maybe even 8/8.1, or switched to using Mac or Linux, f.e.? If you knew someone like this, then maybe you could get XP SP3 from them since they wouldn't be using it any longer and wouldn't have a need to return to using it. I think you'd need the licence key, or whatever its called, as well, but a person who has a legal installation disk would normally have the key.

      I don't know if XP ever was provided with an installation disk to regular consumers. My current PC was bought used with XP SP3 already installed and an installation disk didn't come with this, so I asked the guys at the store and they said that there was no installation disk for XP, not for consumers anyway. They could only provide a repair disk. But, this is in Quebec, Canada, where XP 64-bit apparently was never even available, yet I see references about the 64-bit one elsewhere. So, if you're not in Quebec, then maybe you have some chance of getting an installation disk.

      If you can't get that, then perhaps you could buy a used hard disk drive that has XP SP3 installed on it. It should still be very possible. Here, I'd check with stores selling used computer stuff. I don't think the ones in this small city would likely have just a hard drive with XP SP3 on it for sale, for the places I know would far more likely have only used PC's for sale and surely wouldn't want to remove the hard drive to sell it, alone. But if you live in or near a large city, then you might have good possibilities, there.

      That spurs a thought. The store I got the PC at normally, if not always, sells only used PCs that were owned by businesses. So, I wonder if I couldn't get the same benefit companies continuing to use XP are getting from Microsoft.

      Anyway, and lastly, if none of the above can work for you, then perhaps you could create a virtual engine or machine copy of your XP installation and then use a virtual machine software, like VMware Player or the one from Oracle, f.e., for trying out the security updates you've obtained. I don't know how to do this, but it's something you could look into while waiting for a better reply than this one, here. If you could make a VM of your XP SP2 system, then you'd have a safe way for testing the installation of your security updates.

      I don't know why there'd be such significant differences between SP2 and SP3 but maybe there are.

      Of course another option is to switch to using Linux. http://www.distrowatch.com is one resource for looking into this.

      The main reason I continue using MS Windows, even if it is XP SP3, is because of prefering Daum PotPlayer over VLC Media Player from Videolan.org. VLC is very good and is available for Windows, Linux, ..., but PotPlayer is the very best free multimedia player I know of. Another reason is that some extensions for Firefox for Windows and that I want to continue using aren't available for Linux. Maybe these add-ons aren't needed for Linux users, but I don't know why they wouldn't be.

      If you don't have similar reasons, then you might want to consider switching to a Linux distribution. Korora is the one I have on a separate partition. It's based on Fedora and provides a far more complete version or distro. But, there're many other Linux distros and people switching from MS Windows to Linux purportedly would favour Ubuntu, Mint, ..., which're based on big Debian.

      If you want to consider Linux, know it little to nothing at all, and use an old(ish) PC with RAM under 1 GB, maybe even 2GB, then I guess you're best off in checking Debian and other distros based on it. Debian, last time I read, maybe last year, should run on my old 1995 Dell that has only 64 MB, not GB but MB, of RAM, so Debian-based Linux distros should work very well with machines, i.e., PC's, that have under 1 GB of RAM. 1 GB is recommended for some distros, 500 MB for some others, 250 MB for others, and Debian-based distros are supposed to work with as little as 64 MB.

      Why you weren't able to upgrade from XP SP2 to SP3 for free is "beyond me". If recalling correctly, people who used Windows 2000 were able to freely download and install SP upgrades.

      • Mr Horsepower December 17, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

        Mike Corbeil , thanks for taking the time to reply! :) SP3 was one of the 137 updates that my machine downloaded after I did the POS hack. I am reluctant to install SP3, but I suppose it would be the safest alternative. Will system restore be able to reverse the SP3 install if it caused problems? Thanks!

  40. kalmly December 17, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

    IF you want to upgrade (haha) from SP2 to SP3, you can download SP3 from the internet and install it. I did that back in May when I had trouble with my system and had to do a repair install. All I did was run a search. Oh, I see you have it downloaded. Well if you don't like it, you can uninstall it.

    I have automatic updates shut down and have no problems with my XP system. My Win7 computer with updates turned on, however, has an ugly virus.

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