Microsoft wants to make Windows 7 and 8.1 updating easier

Martin Brinkmann
May 17, 2016
Updated • May 17, 2016

Microsoft announced three upcoming changes to update procedures of previous versions of the company's Windows operating system today.

The company created what it calls rollup packages for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 which are designed to bring the operating system to the newest patched version without having to install all updates released for it one by one.

While Windows 7 users can install Service Pack 1 or even buy the operating system with the service pack included, all updates released after the official release of the one and only service pack for Windows 7 need to be installed individually.

All that users and administrators need to do now is to install the rollup update on the device running one of the supported operating systems to patch it completely.


microsoft convenience rollup package

Additional information about it can be found on the Knowledge Base page KB3125574.

This rollup package includes almost all the updates that were released after the release of SP1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, through April 2016. This convenience rollup is intended to make it easy to integrate fixes that were released after SP1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

Microsoft will update the rollup packages regularly to add new patches and updates to them. These rollups can also be integrated into installation media so that they are installed alongside the operating system.

The convenience rollup package can only be downloaded from Microsoft's Update Catalog. Please note that the service can only be accessed using Internet Explorer and no other browser (not even Microsoft Edge works currently).

Microsoft plans to modernize the Update Catalog this Summer however by removing the ActiveX requirement from the site so that other browsers can be used to access the service and download patches for Windows systems.

The company announced as well that it will no longer provide downloads for security updates on the Microsoft Download Center. These updates will be available exclusively for manual download via Microsoft's Update Catalog.

The third and final change concerns non-security updates for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows 8.1 and the server-based operating systems Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Microsoft will release monthly rollup packages for these versions of Windows that contain all non-security updates.

A single update will be released each month that contains all non-security updates of that month.

Microsoft will make these updates available through Windows Update, WSUS, SCCM and the Microsoft Update Catalog.

The intention is to make updating simpler by providing just one update for all non-security fixes released in a month.

Closing Words

The announcement offers no information on whether the release of monthly rollup packages will impact the current options that users and admins have to get non-security updates for Windows.

It would be problematic obviously if the company would not make individual patches available anymore but it seems unlikely that this is the case.

Now You: What's your take on the changes announced today?

Microsoft wants to make updating Windows 7 and 8.1 easier
Article Name
Microsoft wants to make updating Windows 7 and 8.1 easier
Microsoft announced three upcoming changes to update procedures of previous versions of the company's Windows operating system today.
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  1. Peter said on May 17, 2016 at 9:11 pm


  2. RichardT said on May 17, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    If you install one of these rollup packages, does the resulting operating system still have a set of individual updates that you can manually uninstall?

    If not, wouldn’t that make removing functionality like windows 10 nagware or the back-ported telemetry much more difficult, if not impossible?

    1. Sebby said on May 17, 2016 at 11:12 pm

      My thought exactly. I’m particularly worried by the non-security rollup published to Windows Update–does this mean you can no longer pick and choose “Recommended” updates to exclude GWX and telemetry?

      Yeah. This is treachery. I’m almost sure of it.

    2. John in Mtl said on May 17, 2016 at 11:46 pm

      Reading this from the article:
      “…This convenience rollup package available to download contains all the security and non-security fixes released since the release of Windows 7 SP1 that are suitable for general distribution, up through April 2016.”

      Makes me think that the windows 10 nagware patches ARE included in the rollup. Can they be removed by calling up their individual KB’s? Will have to download the package and open it up. I sense that Someone around here will have that answer shortly…

      [Edit:] Woody Leonhard of “AskWoody” fame, just confirmed this on his website after some testing: “Yes, the Windows 10 update enabling patches (new Windows update clients) are there. But the massive update respected my GWX Control Panel settings – on reboot, GWX icon isn’t there, KB 3035583 is the “optional” list and unchecked. No listing for installing Win10.”

      1. Tom Hawack said on May 18, 2016 at 5:57 pm

        At least the monthly roll-ups will not include the security updates (even if the big “SP2” package does) which leads me to believe I am bound to download only Patch Tuesdays’ security patches. I definitely will not install a package of rules, be they non security ones, moreover if it is not possible to uninstall them individually.

        I have the feeling MSoft is walking on deep sands, hoping they are not quicksands, I mean not until I’ve switched to another OS. After? They can go to hell as far as I’m concerned. Point is, we are so many to be concerned that my feelings are insignificant. Let’s put it this way: I hope the company decides to integrate a dose of ethics in its policy, that would benefit all of us and even the company on the long-term. Many companies ignore deliberately ethics because they are short-sighted. Some companies see further but then, to survive, need a hell of wisdom. Looks like a quadrature but it isn’t when ethics blend with intelligence, determination and energy. So it’s far easier to think in smaller perspectives, which is what MSoft is doing.

        By the way the era of the finger-pointed evil seems over, in business (remember Google?) as in politics (remember Dick Cheney?), maybe because an intelligentsia has spread the idea that defining evil and its sources is a very dangerous game.

  3. Jeff said on May 17, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    Yeah now how about they make updating easier in Windows 10 by showing the update size and giving full manual control of selectively installing individual updates the way it was in XP/7/8.1?

  4. d3x said on May 17, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    When integrating this to my Win 7 SP1 x64 media, I get Error 0x800736b5 at 33.3%

    1. d3x said on May 18, 2016 at 12:16 am

      Never mind, you first need to integrate KB3020369

  5. Jeff-FL said on May 17, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Updates in Win 7, as is, are unbelievably stupid. It spends sometimes hours “checking for updates”, finally starts downloading them (if you’re lucky), then spends another good chunk of time installing them – a process you cross your fingers and pray completes. It’s just awful.

    With new Aggressive Microsoft, I can see this new method being just another way to get KB3035583 back on users’ systems. It probably has the underlying motive of making Win 7 and 8.1 PC’s easier to move to Win 10.

    1. micro said on May 18, 2016 at 7:04 am

      It’s not only 7. it always takes long time ‘checking for updates’ since XP to 10. I don’t know about Vista and 8 because I don’t use them but it’s probably the same.

    2. RottenScoundrel said on May 18, 2016 at 4:57 pm

      Jeff-FL and the other Jeff,
      I will never be going to 10, but it seems one of the main thrusts for win10 has been lost in the rest of the kerfuffle.
      The reason that update checks take so long with everything up to 8.1, albeit they got a little faster as climbed in version numbers, was that there are zillions of combinations of updates and programs on the computers. Msoft had/has to scan through all of this crap to make sure that a specific update for your specific installation combination is not on a “do-not-apply-list-becuase-of-reported-crashes-with-this-combo.”

      By forcing everyone to have the same level of updates it becomes a simple matter to scan your installed programs and make sure nothing is going to crash. That and a lot of other “signing” of programs as Legacy software is phased out, will make the update and maintenance of update-fallout a much better thing for… — wait for it, — FOR MSOFT!! and the customer be damned.

      So, not for a second condoning the msoft buggery to get their crap on my PCs to make their profit margin a little better than the sad few BILLIONS they made last year, I am just explaining why there is such a long delay with older versions and why they want us to be all on 10.

      1. Jeff-FL said on May 18, 2016 at 7:28 pm

        Thanks for the explainer. I always wondered why it took so long. MS rarely explains things going on in the OS (e.g. BSOD’s). A simple 2 line explainer below the “checking for updates” progress bar would let people know why it’s taking so long.

  6. Earl said on May 17, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    “In an attempt to keep our customers in a constant perplexed state of apprehension concerning what our updates are doing and what they aren’t…”

    1. Gary D said on May 18, 2016 at 12:50 am

      If MS cannot get die hard win 7/8.1 users to “update” one way, they invent a smartarsed “improvement” to catch out the unwary in order to sneak Win 10 onto PCs/Laptops.
      PATHETIC & UNBELIEVEABLE !!!!!!!! :-(

      1. Microceph 10 said on May 18, 2016 at 2:28 am

        Classic Microsoft actually. I guess many people don’t remember the predatory Microsoft of the late 90s and early 2K when they almost succeeded in hijacking the internet through Internet Explorer, ActiveX, Windows DRM standards, and integration with Office and Server. Google is doing what MS failed to achieve, it’s the same business model under a different guise. They want users as subscribers, the client-server idea which Bill Gates originally proposed. Even if it’s not paying upfront for the software you will pay with your data, and being force fed advertising, services, and standards you don’t want. Don’t people remember the Y2K era of adware and closed standards? Microsoft and Google both want to bring the world back to that by turning the OS into a gateway which controls your access to the internet and also remove your anonymity and data privacy. Simply put their primary goal right now is to lock you in, control what you can access, and track everything you do. It’s kind of a final battle, if they fail to lock people in now the internet will remain free, if they do succeed the internet will be like watching TV through your cable box, we’ll be paying subscription fees for everything and be slaves to corporate agendas.

  7. T J said on May 18, 2016 at 1:16 am

    I have read KB 3125574. I suggest everyone on this forum reads it.

    I could not believe that MS would release a ” convenience” roll up package which will / may require users to edit Registry Entries.

    How on earth could their QA managers / programmers release a defective package. MS just gets worse and worse.

    1. Mike O said on May 18, 2016 at 1:43 am

      I just read the bulletin and here’s my two cents about the registry editing:

      Well, editing the registry is definitely inconvenient for anyone who uses App-V.

      But for everyone else concerned (e.g., regular computer users), this isn’t something that they would have to worry about. It’s highly doubtful that many regular computer users use App-V, let alone knows what “App-V” is.

      Overall though, I agree with your point about M$ recommending users to edit the registry to fix an update.

  8. Dresandreal Sprinklehorn said on May 18, 2016 at 6:14 am

    My Windows 7 & 8.1 computers are performing like they were meant to simply because I have blocked all Windows Updates. They are so buggy they aren’t worth installing anymore.

    1. nonqu said on May 18, 2016 at 8:54 am

      I have the same experience, but disabling optional updates should be fine as long as you read what each recommended update does. I have 0 optional updates installed and my windows 7 works as good as new.

      1. john in Mtl said on May 18, 2016 at 12:52 pm

        Same here, only security updates allowed and everything works like a charm all the way to installing new hardware & drivers; old and new programs install & work flawlessly! Updates done via Autopatcher, security compliance check done via MBSA; any missing security KB installed manually.

        Of course, this maintenance requires a bit more effort than leaving the computer on “automatic updates”. Then again, computers aren’t (yet) a sort of maintenance-free “household appliance”, no matter how much marketing hype and simple human lazyness tries to convince people to the contrary. The average user should be treating his computer like he treats his car: take it in for regular checkup and maintenance at least once a year.

        Speaking of household appliance, this is how I see the “new Microsoft” with its latest version of windows: they want to capitalise on computers now having become simple entertainment and communications appliances for the average person, as ubiquitous as the banal TV set we’ve come to know; hence the “store” and “apps” and a totally childish UI and little user control over the system.

      2. Jeff-FL said on May 18, 2016 at 7:33 pm

        @john in mtl

        “a totally childish UI and little user control over the system.”

        And I fear it will only become more so over time. My guess is that if you want to see what the future of Windows will look like, turn on an Xbox One and look at its UI. I’m guessing that’s where they want to take Windows.

  9. Tom Hawack said on May 18, 2016 at 9:24 am

    For one I do not subscribe to any solution requiring Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer 11 here is unchecked in “Turn Windows Features On or Off” and I have no intention of checking it back for the sole purpose of satisfying Microsoft’s requirements. If as stated in the article Microsoft decides this summer to remove the ActiveX requirement for accessing its Update Catalog site then I’ll start thinking about this Windows 7 rolled-up updates initiative. Not before.

    Meanwhile it’ll be wait and see. Of course the fear as expressed by most if not all Windows 7 users is to know what these roll-ups will include exactly, how the included updates will be registered on users’ Windows, will they be individually removable etc… I no longer have confidence in Microsoft so I remain excessively aware when it comes to one of its brilliant ideas. Aware but not stubborn. We’ll see from users’ feed-backs if this initiative is or is not another one of the company’s tricks to feed-force recalcitrance.

    1. anon said on May 18, 2016 at 4:48 pm

      This isn’t the first time Microsoft has released rollup packages to Windows 7 and the Internet Explorer + ActiveX requirement is due to the Update Catalog being old.

      1. Tom Hawack said on May 18, 2016 at 6:29 pm

        I don’t recall a whatever Windows 7 roll-up package but it may have slipped behind my awareness. One thing is sure is that I’ve never had to call upon IE to download an update from a site tributary of ActiveX such as the Update Catalog is. And I never will bend for such a requirement. MicroSoft should have made the Update Catalog site accessible to all browsers before presenting their roll-up initiative in such an infatuated way : I’ve even read users thanking the company!

      2. anon said on May 18, 2016 at 8:39 pm
      3. Tom Hawack said on May 18, 2016 at 9:05 pm

        anon, 2732673 is an enterprise hotfix roll-up, I’m not / wasn’t concerned. No KB2732673 installed nor hidden here consequently. I repeat, never encountered here anything more than cumulative updates, no roll-up as far as I remember.

    2. Drew said on May 21, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      I downloaded the rollup package — using Firefox — on the first attempt:

      Direct Download Link of Convenience Rollup for Windows 7 32-bit (x86) – 316 MB

      … Convenience Rollup for Windows 7 / Server 2008 R2 64-bit (x64) – 477 MB

      Note — the April 2015 Servicing Stack Update KB3020369 must be installed first:

      x86 —

      x64 —

      1. Tom Hawack said on May 21, 2016 at 7:41 pm

        Thanks for the links, Drew.

        I assume the Windows 7 roll-ups are to be deployed an a Windows 7 SP1 platform, I mean they do not include 7 to 7SP1 update. Is this correct?

        Also, do you happen to know if these ‘Convenient Rollups for Windows 7’ handle all regional languages or if another language then English requires another rollup?

        Thanks for sharing.

      2. LimboSlam said on May 26, 2016 at 6:02 am

        Will these patches be distributed to Vista as well?

        Only asking because……. It seems Microsoft has stop supporting (secretly killing off legacy OS’s) my Vista machine even though EOL isn’t until April 11, 2017, and so no future updates are being applied.

        FYI: Yes I have troubleshooted with the WU mechanism and nada.

  10. Andy said on May 18, 2016 at 9:26 am

    I tried downloading the update but for some strange reasong it wont go past the “Select folder” prompt? Is there another link out there.

  11. Agent Smith said on May 18, 2016 at 9:49 am

    I switched to Win7 Enterprise and never get nagged now. As it’s basically the ultimate version even my video wallpaper runs fine along with all my purchased ultimate software.

    Also in group edit it allows you to block telemetry and update releases.

    Best decision I’ve made since that bully Win10 came out!!

  12. Dave said on May 18, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Isn’t there a third party solution for this yet?

  13. John in Mtl said on May 18, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    The more I think and reflect upon the whole windows 7 update mess, the more I see Microsoft as having dug its own hole and put itself in the crapper all by itself by not issuing an SP2 (and an SP3, etc.) early on in the first place. When you cut corners or costs, these things have a way to come back to byte (excuse the pun) your a** when you least expect it -;)

    1. Tom Hawack said on May 18, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      The boomerang effect which puts in practice the universal law that whatever you do it comes back to you one day or another. Nice to remember when you’re about to die and that your worst enemy is tanning with a daiquiri accompanied by three mermaids under a nice yellow sun with a nice blue ocean in front, but considering vengeance is bad, that bad feeling will come back to you as well, rather another day, another place considering your life expectancy is as close to zero as it can be. Lol. Viva la vida. Let us be nice good people. Ha-Ha.

      1. Gary D said on May 18, 2016 at 5:02 pm

        @Tom Hawack

        I always enjoy reading your posts. You have got a REALLY vivid imagination ! :-)

        N.B. Still using “Search Everything”

      2. Tom Hawack said on May 18, 2016 at 5:29 pm

        @Gary D, my tremendous imagination speaks to me natively in French and I have to do the hard and often badly rendered work of translation to English. I consider the original sounds better :)

        I was, still am listening to Tobias ‘TB’ Bassline ‘Distances’ Vol. 1 [Psy Downbeat Mix 2009] and Vol. 2 [Psy Downbeat Mix 2010], over two hours of masterpieces. No extras, just the sound, just the music bring me to a level of mid super-consciousness (“mid” because I’m on coffee) enabling imagination to whisper what she’s got in mind :)

        “Search Everything” could be a principle as well as it is a computer application, tells me my imagination, so talkative she is sometimes!

        Nice to read you, as always!

        I’m definitely off-topic but this all happened because we started to evoke the morality of a company…!

      3. Jeff-FL said on May 18, 2016 at 7:39 pm

        @Tom, “Tobias ‘TB’ Bassline ‘Distances’ Vol. 1”

        Looked this up on youtube. Good stuff. I play the game Talos Principle and The Witness, two very laid back puzzle games. The Distances track will make excellent music for those :-)

    2. anon said on May 18, 2016 at 6:10 pm

      Microsoft is simply following its lifecycle policy. SP2 didn’t come out because main Windows 7 support was ending soon.

  14. LD said on May 18, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Corporations have not embraced political correctness and Microsoft has proven to be the poster child. They discriminate through language, offend or disadvantage many of their clients and are totally intolerant when it comes to user requests to change an unpopular policy.

    Microsoft is addressing a major discontent with a solution that will mostly benefit Microsoft. The monthly rollup will basically conceal several updates in a sealed box, thus lessening user control. If they keep to their current tact of limiting documentation on non-security patches, then this will indeed be a mystery box. The convenience update comes with an ulterior motive – a fully current system will be less likely to have problems with an upgrade – yes THAT upgrade.

    1. John in Mtl said on May 18, 2016 at 8:36 pm

      …” a fully current system will be less likely to have problems with an upgrade – yes THAT upgrade.”
      Hum… Fascinating, and Logical, would say Mr Spock!

  15. Not Agent Smith said on May 18, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Faulty Updates are a Godsend for pirated versions of the Redmond OS. By delivering difficult and broken updates, more people is tempted to go the not-so-legal way and keep their OS updated via pirated scene installs. Just my 2 cents for experience. I run legit OS but many people asked me about pirated version. I honestly told them that they usually cannot be updated, but are released every other month. I repeat: by delivering bad updates, more people asks for info about some different ways to get a working OS so-to-speak. I am NOT endorsing this, just witnessing what is actually happening: either people do not update or reinstalls any version they find once the updates screw their system.

  16. Pierre said on May 19, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    I don’t understand why you mentioned Edge : it exists only in W10
    Caution i think all these things work only with IE11 32 bits (unselect “enhanced protected mode”)

  17. Bob said on May 19, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    One more thing about M$ rollup updates that most users don’t realize is that if there is a faulty update within the rollup, you can’t uninstall just that one update. You have to uninstall the entire update and then hope that any problems that came about will be solved after the rollup is uninstalled.
    M$ has been releasing .NET Fromework updates on a regular basis for several months now. These .NET Framework updates are assentialy roolup updates too. M$ software developers use .NET Framework because its an easy way for them to include several different packets of code into one update. Very few users know just what is contained in any given .NET Framework update. .NET Framework has already includes several Windows 10 files, including drivers, that are of no use to those that run Windows 7.
    .NET Framework is just one of many avenues that M$ has been using to force Windows 7 and 8.1 users to install Windows 10 on their computers. As far as I’m concerned, M$ has made a big mistake. I know of several Windows users that don’t trust M$ anymore and a lot of them have gone to using other operating systems.

  18. Michael said on May 19, 2016 at 7:35 pm


    I have just tested Windows 7 SP1 (after this update) – still a lots of updates?

    Anyone can confirm?


  19. Ronald said on May 20, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Gotta chime in here. The updates from last week reeked havoc on a comp. In about fifteen years
    this is the first time I’ve had to do a repair install. Only had to a repair install but beware
    MS is hiding the Win10 and if you don’t have GWX set to Enable Monitor mode. You may as well
    replace the hard drive. But GWX will catch label the hidden location of the file so you can delete
    it and continue your repair install.

    I do not trust this roll out (one bang for the buck) because there’s no way to manually uninstall
    an update that may cause issues. What puzzles me is why nobody is complaining to the Federal Trade
    Commission or the US Attorney General. Basically, Windows 10 is rendering machines I paid for, into
    ransom ware in the form of Windows 10. I think what it boils down to if you got important files and programs
    run those on a HD device that can be shut off and one use your comp as a terminal. If that’s what
    MS wants they got it. They can no longer be trusted. I’m tired of playing tag with these no proven updates,
    which I feeling is tracking/telemetry crap.

  20. Juliano Eduardo said on June 16, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Where i can to find rollup package for Windows 8.1..??

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