Microsoft limits direct update downloads

Martin Brinkmann
May 3, 2016
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Microsoft

Microsoft announced on April 29, 2016 on the official Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) blog that it won't make available some updates via the company's Download Center starting May 10, 2016.

When it comes to updates for the Windows operating system, Windows users had several options to download and install the updates that Microsoft created.

Windows Update is without doubt the primary source for updates since Windows is configured to check and download updates automatically by default.

While that is the most convenient method to obtain updates for Windows, it may not be the safest option from a user's point of view.

Windows 7 and 8.x users for instance who don't want to upgrade to Windows 10 need to make sure that "get Windows 10" updates are not installed on their systems as the upgrade to Windows 10 may happen automatically afterwards.

Additionally, the past has shown that updates may break the operating system or some functionality. This can be something as simple as a driver update that is delivered through Windows Update, the removal of installed programs, or critical errors that block the operating system from booting.

It is recommended to research updates before they are installed which usually means disabling automatic updates and waiting hours or even days before updates are installed manually.

While you can uninstall Windows updates, and even block them, it is better to avoid this situation altogether by disabling automatic updates and researching updates before installing them.

Microsoft limits direct update downloads

microsoft update catalog

Microsoft will block some updates from the Microsoft Download Center starting May 10. According to the post on the MSRC blog, security bulletins will point to the Microsoft Update Catalog when updates are not listed on the company's Download Center website.

Starting May 10, some updates will no longer be available from the Microsoft Download Center.

Security bulletins will continue to link directly to the updates, but will now point to the packages on the Microsoft Update Catalog for updates not available on the Microsoft Download Center.

This has the following implications:

  • Windows users who download updates directly cannot use Microsoft's Download Center anymore for that exclusively as some/all security updates won't be listed on the site for download anymore.
  • The Microsoft Update Catalog works only in Internet Explorer 6 or higher. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and even Microsoft Edge cannot be used to use the service.
  • It is unclear if the change affects only Security Bulletins, or if non-security updates are affected by the change as well.
  • It is unclear right now whether Security ISO images will feature those updates.
  • It is unclear if third-party update downloaders will find a way to cope with the situation to provide users with all updates.

As mentioned earlier, it is unclear why Microsoft makes the change. A theory is that the company prepares to make updates Windows Update exclusive for home users, as the Microsoft Update Catalog is designed for Enterprise and business customers.

For now, Windows users can use the Windows Update Catalog or third-party download software like WSUS Offline Update that still works to grab updates.

Microsoft limits direct update downloads
Article Name
Microsoft limits direct update downloads
Microsoft announced on April 29, 2016 on the official Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) blog that it won't make available some updates via the company's Download Center starting May 10, 2016.
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  1. The Dark Lady said on July 9, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Martin, I would appreciate that you do not censor this post, as it’s informative writing.

    Onur, there is a misleading statement “[…] GIFs are animated images …”. No, obviously you don’t seem to have take much notice of what you were told back in March regarding; Graphics Interchange Format (GIF).

    For example, (if you had read my replies within that thread, you might have learnt something useful). I even mentioned, “GIF intrinsically supports animated images (GIF89a)”.

    You linked to said article, [Related: …] within this article, but have somehow failed to take onboard what support you were given by several more knowledgeable people.

    If you used AI to help write this article, it has failed miserably.

  2. KeZa said on August 17, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    AI is stupid, and it will not get any better if we really know how this all works. Prove me wrong..

  3. Database failure said on August 18, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    Martin, [#comment-4569908] is only meant to be in: []. Whereas it appears duplicated in several recent random low-quality non relevant articles.

    Obviously it [#comment-4569908] was posted: 9 July 2023. Long before this thread even existed… your database is falling over. Those comments are supposed to have unique ID values. It shouldn’t be possible to duplicate the post ID, if the database had referential integrity.

  4. Howard Pearce said on August 25, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Don’t tell me!

    Ghacks wants the state to step in for STATE-MANDATED associations to save jobs!!!

    Bring in the dictatorship!!!

    And screw Rreedom of Association – too radical for Ghacks maybe

  5. Howard Allan Pearce said on September 7, 2023 at 9:13 am

    GateKeeper ?

    That’s called “appointing” businesses to do the state’s dirty work!!!!!

    But the article says itself that those appointed were not happy – implying they had not choice!!!!!!

  6. owl said on September 7, 2023 at 9:50 am

    @The Dark Lady,
    @Database failure,
    @Howard Pearce,
    @Howard Allan Pearce,

    Note: I replaced the quoted URI scheme: https:// with “>>” and posted.

    The current is owned by “Softonic International S.A.” (sold by Martin in October 2019), and due to the fate of M&A, has changed in quality.
    Many Authors of bloggers and advertisers certified by Softonic have joined the site, and the site is full of articles aimed at advertising and clickbait.
    As it stands, except for articles by Martin Brinkmann, Mike Turcotte, and Ashwin, they are low quality, unhelpful, and even vicious. It is better not to read those articles.
    How to display only articles by a specific author:
    Added line to My filters in uBlock Origin:,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Mike Turcotte|Ashwin/))

    By the way, if you use an RSS reader, you can track exactly where your comments are (I’m an iPad user, so I use “Feedly Classic”, but for Windows I prefer the desktop app “RSS Guard”).
    RSS Guard: Feed reader which supports RSS/ATOM/JSON and many web-based feed services.

  7. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    We all live in digital surveillance glass houses under scrutiny of evil people because of people like Musk. It’s only fair that he takes his turn.

  8. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    “Operating systems will be required to let the user choose the browser, virtual assistant and search engine of their choice. Microsoft cannot force users to use Bing or Edge. Apple will have to open up its iOS operating system to allow third-party app stores, aka allow sideloading of apps. Google, on the other hand, will need to provide users with the ability to uninstall preloaded apps (bloatware) from Android devices. Online services will need to allow users to unsubscribe from their platform easily. Gatekeepers need to provide interoperability with third-parties that offer similar services.”

    Wonderful ! Let’s hope they’ll comply with that law more than they are doing with the GDPR.

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