How to download and install Windows updates manually

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 30, 2019

Most home devices that run a version of Microsoft's Windows operating system are updated using Windows Update. Windows Update is a comfortable solution to install patches for the operating system with minimal effort; downside to using Windows Update is that administrators are no longer in full control when it comes to the installation of updates; selecting when to install updates and which is limited.

Some administrators prefer to use third-party solutions like Windows Update Minitool or Sledgehammer to install updates, others to download and install updates manually for full control.

The manual option gives administrators full control over the updating; downside to selecting the manual route is that it is necessary to monitor update releases -- e.g. by reading Ghacks -- to stay in the loop.

It is definitely more work to download and install Windows updates manually but the gain makes it worth it for some administrators.

Manually installing updates Pros and Cons


  • full control over updates
  • option to delay the installation of updates
  • option to install security-only updates on pre-Windows 10 systems.


  • Update information need to be obtained.
  • Research and updating requires more time.

How to install Windows updates manually

download windows updates manually

Microsoft publishes most updates that it releases on the Microsoft Update Catalog website. Think of the site as a searchable directory of updates released by Microsoft; you find all cumulative updates for Windows there as well as many other patches for Windows and other Microsoft products.

Search should start with a KB (Knowledgebase ID). You get those from support articles that Microsoft releases, blog posts on sites like Ghacks, or by using third-party tools to check for updates.

Just paste the KB ID in the search field and hit the Enter-key to run a search; you get multiple results returned often as updates are usually offered for multiple architectures.

One example: the KB4505903 search returns four items for ARM64, x64, x64 for Windows Server, and x86 architectures.

Tip: if you need to look up information about the PC to determine which update applies to it, run system information from the Start menu.

Hit the download button next to the update that you want to download to your system. One of the advantages of using the Microsoft Update Catalog is that you can download updates for other devices as well as you are not limited to download "matching" updates only. Windows Update blocks any updates that are not designed for the computer's hardware.

The Microsoft Update Catalog website opens a popup that lists all the files for that particular update. You may get multiple files there or just a single file.

microsoft update catalog download

Use the browser to download all of them, e.g. by right-clicking on files and selecting the save as option. Updates are provided as MSU files usually.

All that is left to do then is to double-click on the downloaded MSU file to install the update. Most updates require a reboot.

One issue that you may run into while installing updates manually is that updates may have dependencies that you need to install prior to installing the update.

You can look up information by clicking on one of the items listed on the Microsoft Update Catalog website; this opens another popup with detailed patch information.

There you find listed the support url and package details. Package details display updates that get replaced by the new update, and updates the downloaded update has been replaced by.

Closing Words

Manually downloading updates and installing them gives administrators control over the updating process at the expense of spending time on research.

Now You: Do you update manually or automatically?

How to download and install Windows updates manually
Article Name
How to download and install Windows updates manually
Find out how to download and install updates for Microsoft Windows operating systems manually to gain better control over the updating process.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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