Portable Update: search, download and install all (missing) Windows Update

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 2, 2013
Software, Windows Updates

Most Windows users use the operating system's automatic update feature to keep their system up to date. While that is a very comfortable thing to do, it is sometimes not the appropriate way of installing updates. First, it won't work if the computer you want to update has no Internet connection or is isolated from it.

Then, it is not really a good idea if you want to test updates or deploy them to multiple PCs in a network. Last but not least, it is also helpful if you want to install all updates and patches to a system before you connect it to the Web.

Portable Update is a new program that works similar to other third party update downloaders. What sets it apart however is that it can search Microsoft's update repository for missing updates so that you can download and install those only on the PC in question.

The program will display a download progress screen when you start it for the first time. It downloads several required files from Microsoft once before the actual interface is displayed on the screen. It is not clear why this is done, probably because the files cannot be included in the program package by default.

The program displays information in tabs in its interface. Here is a short overview of each tab:

  • History displays the update history of the current PC. It displays all successful and failed update attempts.
  • Search scans Microsoft's server for updates for the selected operating system that have not been installed yet on it.
  • Download lets you download missing updates and others right from Microsoft.
  • Install offers to install all missing updates on the system.
  • Services displays update services the program uses.
  • Settings lists information about update related settings such as the update API version, version of the operating system or architecture.
  • Log highlights all program activities.

You begin with a click on Search and then start to scan for updates that have not been installed yet. Once done, switch to the download tab where all updates are displayed. The missing updates are selected automatically, but you can select others as well or opt out of select updates that are not installed yet.

A click on start downloads all selected updates to the local system. All downloads are placed in the cache directory of the program folder.

You can switch to the install tab afterwards if you want to install the updates on the system. It is alternatively possible to install the updates directly from the cache directory, or move them to another system first with the program itself to run the installation there instead.


Portable Update is a useful application for Windows users who do not want to use Windows Update to install updates on their system. It differs from other third-party download programs as you may use it to only download updates that are not installed yet on the system. You can however download all if you want, but having that option goes along way. (source: Blogtogo)


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  1. TheGeKo said on December 21, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    The Program hangs when is downloading “wsusscn2.cab” .

    always in the 26% . i lost my time with this bad program.

    1. Gigirex said on October 26, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      the problem isn’t the program but your antivirus.
      Try to download the scan cab manually or disable temporary your antivirus.

    2. Poutnik said on December 23, 2013 at 7:54 am

      The program is good.
      What is bad is Microsoft website where the program is downloading the file from. The same issue affects also similar great program WSUS Offline updater.
      The file is to be downloaded manually, best by a download manager, and placed to expected location fort the former or the latter program.

  2. poutnik said on June 12, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I do workaround for wsususcn2.cab downloading issue on Vista64.

    I use the ling to the file, download it manually from MS site via firefox+DownItAll downlaod addon.
    Than i move it manually to proper location.

    Even recent update of the CAB file has the same issue, so rather than corrupted file it looks like “MS feature”.

    Note that similar problem has IMHO also WSUS offline update 8.4.

  3. Susan Antwone said on June 4, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Do you have power to drive?. Which OS are
    you using? Vista? XP? . . Wait until you are boot up and the OS is
    running, then plug in USB cable. The OS will install a driver for the external drive.
    I use mine to transfer files between old hard drive and a new hard

  4. Fahmy Corporation (FREE Software) said on June 3, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Try also “Windows Updates Downloader” :

    1. Gennaro Prota said on June 4, 2013 at 4:13 am

      That one seems a no-no to me, for two reasons: a) it requires installation b) it relies on manually compiled update lists. I might “forgive” bullet “a”, but really “b” is a showstopper.

      I have to say that I’m still researching this issue. If you have a Windows Server 2003 or Server 2008 on the LAN you are set to go: there’s a Microsoft tool for the job (“Windows Server Update Services”). Otherwise I don’t know yet. For the moment, the best I’ve found is the semi-manual way:


  5. Rusty said on June 3, 2013 at 11:36 am

    I was having the same problem as Gennaro Prota. It seems in my case the problem was Avast antivirus. No indication why, but I temp shut down the antivirus – everything worked as it should. I will check things out on another computer that needs updating but is not online. ATB!

  6. Marco said on June 3, 2013 at 6:00 am

    Would this work on a Windows 7 PC not installing SP for don’t know what reasons? Thanks.

    1. Rick said on June 3, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      You have to find the reason it is not installing … downloading locally will save you bandwidth usage, but it won’t (very unlikely) solve the issue.

  7. tester said on June 2, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    Looks like a handy app but it does not work on my winxp sp3. It runs then exits

    strAgentExeFile WindowsUpdateAgent30-x86.exe
    strAgentExePath D:\Utils\Portable Update v2.1.0\Toolbox\WindowsUpdateAgent30-x86.exe
    strAgentExeUrl http://download.windowsupdate.com/windowsupdate/redist/standalone/7.4.7600.226/WindowsUpdateAgent30-x86.exe
    strRedistCabPath D:\Utils\Portable Update v2.1.0\Toolbox\wuredist.cab
    Main errorActiveX component can’t create object

  8. Shawn said on June 2, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Nice find martin…

    This tool has one nice thing about it even if you have the updates already you can re-download them for later use (And there seems to be some updates that it picks up that WSUS doesn’t and vice versa) .. Well considering we have no clue on what microsoft is going to do at the end of XP support next year theses tools at least let us keep a backup of what is needed and with some other tricks we can also backup our activation key in case something would happen with the registration server.

  9. Rick said on June 2, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Another thought…

    Love the “non-commercial use” part. Fact is, packaging msft updates for redistribution for profit is not allowed. So go ahead and use in a commercial environment if you wish although I wouldn’t be using this one in any case.

    1. Whiznot said on September 18, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      Rick, PortableUpdate is for non-commercial use which means that it is not for sale.

      I find the program to be a useful alternative to AutoPatcher for quickly updating new installs. Double clicking on a listed update brings up a related information window which is helpful in choosing whether or not to install.

  10. Nebulus said on June 2, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    For Microsoft offline updates, I find WSUS Offline Update to be an excellent tool.

  11. Rick said on June 2, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    A few things I noticed:

    1. If you don’t download everything, the app doesn’t move on to the next phase .. stays on download screen and won’t close. This is problematic if you don’t want certain updates.

    2. I didn’t have a delay in downloading – it was quick (mind you I had a whooping 4 files, the largest being 72M – none of them I actually want installed)

    3. My downloaded files didn’t show up in the install tab. Can do it manually, but have to create a batch file for the .cab files – command being

    pkgmgr /ip /m:”full_path.cab” /quiet

    If you didn’t know how.

  12. Gennaro Prota said on June 2, 2013 at 10:52 am

    On my system, it kept hanging while downloading wsusscn2.cab, in the preliminary window. No way to get it past 27%. Now, if it isn’t able to at least give proper error messages if it fails to download the files it needs, I don’t dare to imagine what kind of corrupted update DVD you might end up with if it has problems during the download of those ones.

    I thought Microsoft had their own tool for this, but ATM I have only found one that runs on server editions of Windows. But I haven’t checked thoroughly.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 2, 2013 at 11:00 am

      It downloaded the largest file for a long time on my system. Not sure why it took so long.

  13. ilev said on June 2, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I read this 3 times and still don’t understand the app usefulness.
    How can you search for missing updates on a pc not connected to the Internet ?How is it different from configuring Windows Update to download and notify ? You can always copy
    the files in C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution to a USB/Lan PC….

    1. Julia said on June 3, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      Ha! Thought absolutely the same when I read it the first time… Was just to lazy to comment on it…

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on June 2, 2013 at 11:00 am

      Ilev as far as I can tell it serves two purposes:

      1. Scan the PC it is running on for missing updates to download and install those without using Windows Update.

      2. Download all patches to the local system to use the portable program and the patches on another PC.

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