Download updates from Microsoft’s Update Catalog without IE

The following guide provides you with information on how to download updates from Microsoft's Update Catalog service without using Internet Explorer.

Microsoft made several changes to updates and how updates are delivered when it released windows 10.

The company started to publish cumulative updates for Windows 10 for instance, and announced recently that it would do so for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 as well.

This did not sit well with many of our readers, and so did not the change from releasing all important patches via Windows Update or Microsoft Download Center, to making some available exclusively on the Microsoft Update Catalog.

Apart from making it more confusing and time consuming for users of Windows to get all updates, it meant that users have to use Internet Explorer to access the site as it uses ActiveX technology that only IE supports.

Microsoft promised to update the Update Catalog website technology to remove the limitation and make it accessible to all browsers. As it stands however, it is IE or access denied.

microsoft update catalog

Woody over at Infoworld reports that there is a way to grab the downloads using any browser right now. This method works, and means that you won't have to wait until Microsoft updates the site itself to use if it you don't want to, can't or prefer not to use Internet Explorer.

It all comes down to using the site's RSS feed to grab the download links of the updates. The basic RSS feed URL is http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Rss.aspx?q=KB, and all you need to do is add the KB number at the end.

If you wanted to grab KB3187022, a patch that is coincidentally only available on Microsoft's Update Catalog and not Windows Update, you'd use the following URL:

http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Rss.aspx?q=KB3187022

This loads an RSS feed for that KB article. All that is left to do is pick the right result fromĀ  the list of options.

microsoft update catalog links

Look at the title tag first, as it lists the supported operating system. You may search the feed with a tap on F3; enter the operating system, e.g. Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to jump to the first result.

Locate the link tag afterwards and copy & paste it to open the download page. There you may click on the "download now" button to start the download right away, or access information about the update before you do so.

download windows updates

Download now displays one or multiple download links. This depends whether the patch is an "all languages" patch, or available individually for supported languages.

download update microsoft update catalog

Another interesting option in regards to the RSS feed is that you may use it to search for specific releases.

Use the pattern http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Rss.aspx?q= and append any search term afterwards, e.g. http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Rss.aspx?q=windows+10

Separate new strings with +, e.g windows+7.

This displays all matches , again with titles that you may go through and download links.

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Download updates from Microsoft's Update Catalog without IE
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The following guide provides you with information on how to download updates from Microsoft's Update Catalog service without using Internet Explorer.
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Responses to Download updates from Microsoft’s Update Catalog without IE

  1. Dave August 29, 2016 at 10:17 pm #

    That's a really good tip.

    As I remember, there was an implementation of ActiveX for Firefox once upon a time. I don't think it was very good, and it'll be pretty old, but the Windows Update website is crappy and old, so it might be a good match ;)

    Ah I found it:

    http://www.iol.ie/~locka/mozilla/plugin.htm
    http://www.iol.ie/~locka/mozilla/mozactivex-ff-15.xpi
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/blocked/p102

    Anyone gonna try it in Firefox 1.5?

  2. LD August 30, 2016 at 12:13 am #

    The Neanderthals who left their cave (outsourcing coders is an art at Microsoft) to remove Active-X from the MS Update Catalog site are supposed to have it completed late September. If they get it right (heaven help us if they mess this up) there will be no need to go there until October.

    • anon August 30, 2016 at 10:38 pm #

      The Update Catalog site was last overhauled like 10 years ago. Microsoft probably hasn't changed it yet because Vista SP2 is still supported, and Vista comes with IE7.

    • EP October 6, 2016 at 5:51 pm #

      It's already early October and the MS Update Catalog site STILL requires IE to view the site - Microsoft still hasn't figured it out yet.

      But the RSS trick works great on Firefox. But for Google Chrome, install the "RSS Subscription Extension (by Google)" from here:
      https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/rss-subscription-extensio/nlbjncdgjeocebhnmkbbbdekmmmcbfjd?hl=en

  3. CHEF-KOCH August 30, 2016 at 8:02 am #

    Windows Updater Mini Tool, less complicated and do the same. You also can copy the Kb url directly.

  4. Tom Hawack August 30, 2016 at 11:15 am #

    I had tested this "RSS trick" (personal denomination!) as soon as I heard about it at AskWoody and it did the job perfectly.
    My aim was to download patch KB3187022 supposed to repair Windows Update patch KB3177725.
    KB3187022 was not available on Windows Update but only on Windows' Catalog (no idea if it is now) which is amazing even if no big surprise in the scope of Microsoft's descent to chaos. So the "trick" does it, which enables peace of mind should other 'IE only' patch access arise again...

  5. A or B, not C. August 30, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

    Fyi, Win 10-style Telemetry n Data Collection by M$ were also put into Win 7/8.1 thru "security" updates, sometime in Oct 2015. After March 2016, those Win 7/8.1 cptr users who had hidden all the Telemetry "security" updates(= NSA spyware.?) could no longer update thru Windows Update service. So, they had to download n install the KB security updates manually, one by one, thru M$ Download Center, where non-IE browsers could be used.
    ....... But after April 2016, M$ removed all the KB security updates from MDC. This forced the affected Win 7/8.1 users to hv to use IE to update manually thru M$ Update Catalog. Maybe, this move was for M$ to easily identify the "rebellious" Win 7/8.1 users who had rejected n hidden their Telemetry updates, for further "punitive" action.
    .
    Hence, I'm keeping my unserviceable Windows Update-Win 7 in cold storage n using Linux Mint 17.3 or Puppy Linux 6/Tahrpup 6.0.5 thru my cptr's USB port or DVD-drive.
    ....... Fyi, after April 2016, a clean install of Win 7 requires the Telemetry updates(KB3161608 n KB3020369) to be installed first b4 the other 200+ pending security updates could be downloaded n installed

    • EP October 6, 2016 at 5:46 pm #

      KB3161608 & KB3020369 are NOT Telemetry updates. There's no such "telemetry" stuff in those 2 updates for Win7 as I checked myself.

      By the way, KB3172605 supersedes/replaces KB3161608.

  6. MIkhail September 14, 2016 at 3:24 pm #

    Great! I was stuck at 97% even in mini update tool, and the method you've shown worked. Thanks!

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