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  • Future Windows patch downloads available in the Update Catalog, not the Download Center

    Posted on April 22nd, 2016 at 11:57 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Windows Update will continue to work as always, but if you want to download individual patches, starting next month you’ll have to download them from the Update Catalog. They won’t be available from the Download Center.

    And, at least as of now, you’ll need IE to get to them.

    Just got this from LL:

    I came across this today…

    Effective as of the May 2016 security bulletin release, all Windows updates will be available only via the Microsoft Update Catalog (, and will no longer be available on the Microsoft Download Center ( Making the updates available from only one location simplifies the process for our customers of finding and downloading security updates.

    You can only access the catalog via IE.  I’d have thought MS would have the catalog on a secure link but not as per this bulletin.
    I just want to add that I have not found an official announcement on this from MS.  It is not in the security bulletin email notifications from technet either.  It is on other sites.  It requires more digging.
    UPDATE: For those of you who wonder about the source, take a look at this post which seems to originate from Microsoft.
    If that helped, take a second to support AskWoody on Patreon

    Home Forums Future Windows patch downloads available in the Update Catalog, not the Download Center

    This topic contains 54 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  louis 2 years, 1 month ago.

    • Author
    • #43940 Reply

      Da Boss

      Windows Update will continue to work as always, but if you want to download individual patches, starting next month you’ll have to download them from
      [See the full post at: Future Windows patch downloads available in the Update Catalog, not the Download Center]

    • #43941 Reply



      Is this a W10 “feature” or does it affect all Windows OS’s?

    • #43942 Reply

      Da Boss

      I’m not sure if it applies to Win10. It definitely applies to Win7 and 8.1.

    • #43943 Reply



      I understand this is currently all speculation, however,

      …So W7 and 8.1 will have to use the catalogue to manually download patches/updates.

      Does that imply client machines (home users) will no longer be able to search and download directly from their machines through the normal Check for Updates?

      If so, that would be another strike against Redmond. Are they aware of the old saying “three strikes and you’re…”?

      Note: not a very stellar earnings report today from MSFT.

    • #43944 Reply


      You can only access the catalog via IE. I’d have thought MS would have the catalog on a secure link but not as per this bulletin.

      In fact the http URL tends not to work well and it is highly recommended to use
      In fact I posted a reply on on the same subject few months ago

    • #43945 Reply


      Wait? Will we still get updates through the windows update program that we always do?

      AND WHY INTERNET EXPLORER? Why not on google chrome or firefox to access the site? It just doesn’t make sense. PLUS IE is the slowest browser.

    • #43946 Reply

      Da Boss

      Shouldn’t have any effect on Windows Update itself…

    • #43947 Reply


      Is ridiculously slow, or is it just me? Using Chrome currently. It doesn’t look like it’s anything on my end.

    • #43948 Reply

      Da Boss

      Shouldn’t see any change with Windows Update.

      My guess is that MS restricts it to IE because they’re too lazy to fix an ActiveX control. But it’s only a guess.

    • #43949 Reply


      Considering Microsoft’s posture on updates I’m surprised they’re not restricting catalog access to Edge.

    • #43950 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      The FAQ for this website says it is mainly for Corporate customers. Individuals should continue to use Windows Update. I’m taking that to mean no real changes for us “individuals” on Win 7.

    • #43951 Reply


      Those jerks. Hey woody-you think you can dig up their email address or a live chat link so we can all give em a piece of our minds?

    • #43952 Reply


      It is about Active X controls. First time when browsing to the Microsoft Catalog, the user is asked to allow the installation of an Active X control, similar to the one well-known for Microsoft Update.
      The Catalog site is very old with little maintenance done since release and is normally not used by end users because using the Windows Update site is the supported method of updating. The Catalog site was launched for system administrators who may wish to manually install updates in a controlled environment or to fix broken automatic methods of installation.
      Now this appears to change and we may find that Edge in Windows 10 will become supported in the near future. If Edge becomes supported, then all the other mainstream browsers, Firefox, Chrome should work too.
      As usual, the general recommendation for now is to use Internet Explorer for any Microsoft site and the preferred browser for anything else. This is for best user experience only and on the assumption that all Microsoft sites are secure enough not to cause security issues to the user computers. 🙂

    • #43953 Reply


      Use Internet Explorer for all Microsoft sites. Don’t ask why 🙂

    • #43954 Reply


      Just being carried on with replies to the other posters, I forgot to mention that this is very useful information and thank you LL and Woody for posting it in the first place.
      Useful especially that it will take effect almost immediately.

    • #43955 Reply


      The Microsoft support website states that you need to install ActiveX control to access security updates from their website.

      With ActiveX enabled, identified code can run inside IE with full permissions (they can access your entire PC). A cruel kindness on their part.

    • #43956 Reply


      The MS Update Catalog site works with both HTTP and HTTPS protocols on my Win7 PCs with IE11. weird.

      Note to Brady: use Firefox for the web site. FF seems to load this site faster than Chrome and IE.

    • #43957 Reply

      Da Boss

      Microsoft isn’t a monolith – and there’s no one single point of access. Sorry.

    • #43958 Reply


      Interesting about Firefox vs Chrome and IE, totally possible. Mozilla is still the best 🙂
      About the Catalog, yes the http works, only that there were times in the past when the http accessed url had problems with more intensive operations like searching. No idea why, it was only an empiric observation from me that https seems to work better than http and this was in the context of Microsoft migrating all their sites to https following Google doing the same following Snowden’s revelations.
      As a side note, about the same time the http urls to the KB artciles had the same issues vs https.

    • #43959 Reply


      ActiveX is legacy from the IE6 and before.
      I think Microsoft tries to move away from ActiveX with Edge, but that browser is still evolving and not yet competitive with any of the other well-known mainstream browsers. Until then, if any of the Microsoft sites does not work as expected with the user preferred browser, IE11 is the natural choice.

    • #43960 Reply


      Woody, you have a mention on the Technet blog dedicated to the buggy KB3148812, just pulled from Windows Update and WSUS.

      The poster Argh says:

      Argh 23 Apr 2016 9:32 AM
      Oh, and one more thing, while discussing how unhappy people are with hotfixes documentation and distribution. Just yesterday, I saw this:

      Instead of providing links to hotfix downloads, you are pointing people to a badly buggy, unmaintained IE-only (!!!) site relying on ActiveX, with broken HTTPS. Really, this is the way to go now? You should know better.

    • #43961 Reply

      Da Boss

      I think it’s hilarious that the site only works with IE. The Update Catalog is a tired relic of the long-distant past — something like Windows Marketplace. But it seems to be the way Microsoft’s headed.

      Is there a better alternative?

    • #43962 Reply


      Perhaps the headline could indicate that then?

      Only means only.

    • #43963 Reply


      Wait. Will Woody change the headline to make sense?

    • #43964 Reply


      I tried HTTP and was prompted to enable Userdata Persistance. Rather than that, I went back with HTTPS and it loaded the catalog ActiveX application.

      I remember having to use IE for updates in Win XP. Uggh. At the time, the only reason I used IE was for the updates… When I started with Pale Moon, I had to use IE a bit, but that’s lessened as PM is more compatible with sites.

    • #43965 Reply

      Bob D

      I came across the statement from MS about the “conversion” from the download site to the update catalog in the “Other Information” section of a security update bulletin dated April 21st. Exact same wording as at the beginning of this thread.
      After reading through to your comment of April 23rd at 6:16 am, am still wondering if installing the ActiveX control in IE 11 (to get the catalog site to work) will mess with my current Windoze update settings of letting me individually select and install updates when I want to. I didn’t let it install the control for that very reason.
      My current setting of installing what I want when I want has saved me countless headaches over the years with botched updates that caused problems for others.
      This month, it has saved me time in allowing me to individually install update 3145739 before running windows update to avoid this month’s slowness. A tip of the hat to you Woody for pointing out (JIM W’s?) workaround.

    • #43966 Reply


      They just recently fixed the mixed-content-situations when downloading updates from, and now they’re abandoning it all together?

      Are the inmates running the asylum?

    • #43967 Reply

      AskWoody Plus

      Woody, did you have to scare the living bejesus out of most of us by titling this post “Future Windows patches ONLY available in the Update Catalog”?

      Then you tell us that the regular Windows Update will not be affected and will still function the same as always has.

      Win 7 Home Premium, x64, Intel i3-2120 3.3GHz, Group B

    • #43968 Reply

      Da Boss

      OOOPS. I’ll change it right away.

    • #43969 Reply

      Da Boss

      ActiveX controls update outside of Windows Update. You shouldn’t have any problems.

    • #43970 Reply

      Da Boss

      Absolutely right. I changed it. Sorry it took so long!

    • #43971 Reply


      Why does this make me think that users browsing the update website in IE (the only brower without fully supported adblocking) might see a bunchc of “Update to Windows 10″ ads?

      In any case MS” excuse is BS. Your standard user never goes to a website to download an update, there is no standard user confusion about where to download official patches. There is confusion from power users, but that could be solved by simply changing all MS download links to point to one of the previous urls.

    • #43972 Reply


      I don’t know if it works, but it is available

    • #43973 Reply

      rc primak

      This was the first reason I started using the IE engine and browser string identifiers in Firefox. MS Updates was able to run, as switching rendering engines also made Active-X controls work on many sites.

      The other reason for identifying the browser as IE happened when some web sites went to war with the ad blockers used in Firefox. Instead of insisting that the ad blockers simply be turned off or suspended, some site owners banned Firefox entirely, or banned itf an ad blocking extension was merely present, even if it was suspended.

    • #43974 Reply

      rc primak

      Edge does not run ACtive-X controls.

    • #43975 Reply

      rc primak

      The one exception is when Woody has us on MS DEFCON-2 and there’s a Flash Player Update or some such thing. Then some of us will head over to the Catalog rather than run the risks of easing up on our Windows 10 Metered Connection trick.

      Or, we could use the Noel Carboni Method described on this site.

    • #43976 Reply

      rc primak

      Good guess. MAybe they think this is a security or authenticity issue?

    • #43977 Reply

      rc primak

      My Comment is going to appear out of sequence. I am referring to Woody’s earlier guess about MS being too lazy to change the Catalog’s dependency on an Active-X Control.

    • #43978 Reply

      rc primak

      How ironic that the security updates require such an out of date and insecure process! (:rolleyes:)

    • #43979 Reply


      Yes, it does. I have it.
      But I rarely use IE 11.

    • #43980 Reply

      Bob D

      What this development means is that if you want to go get one or more updates as an individual user and you don’t want to use Windows Update to do it, you’ll need to go to the Microsoft Update Catalog site to do it, as they’ll no longer be available from the Microsoft Download Center site.

      My understanding is that the Microsoft Update catalog site can be VERY slow to find updates with.

    • #43981 Reply


      You can use/search MU catalog site with any browser without the need for ActiveX
      you just need to manually use RSS feed search url

      change query string, you can use + sign instead of spaces, and you can drop &lang=en

    • #43982 Reply


      As a “tired relic of the long-distant past” myself, I am not horrified about the I.E. requirement, since I.E. is my browser anyway. ;-).

      But I’m no “power user”, just a beleaguered ordinary customer fighting a losing battle in trying to keep my computer working somewhat as well as it used to.

      Woody, I see that some folks earlier had asked you to re-word your headline here, and that you responded that you did so,
      but the current headline (“Future Windows patch downloads only available in the Update Catalog”) still struck panic in my little technology-weary heart when I first set eyes upon it this lunchtime, because the word “only” seems at first glance to mean that the normal Windows Update process has been ENDED, and that normal Windows customers will have to go to an “Update Catalog” to pick and choose their Windows patches.

      (Which is a likely-disastrous requirement that one could actually envisage their cavalierly deciding to inflict at some point in this now-torturous relationship.)

    • #43983 Reply

      Joe Friday
    • #43984 Reply

      Joe Friday

      re: “You can use/search MU catalog site with any browser without the need for ActiveX
      you just need to manually use RSS feed search url”

      Way cool. Thanks a bunch.

    • #43985 Reply

      Da Boss

      Let me give it a second swing….

    • #43986 Reply

      Bob D

      abbodi86, thanks for the time saving info! I just tried it for KB3145739, the one that helped save countless hours with Windows Update this month, and it worked fantastically!
      I had read that the MS Update catalog site can be difficult to deal with, so this is a great time saver, as long as you know just what you’re looking for. And, as you pointed out, no need for IE any version nor any need for ActiveX controls to be downloaded.

    • #43987 Reply

      Thank you very much abbodi86!

    • #43988 Reply


      @woody: Microsoft was BLUFFING after all…sort of. There are NEW May security updates posted at the MS download center for Windows Vista, 7 and 8.1 as of May 10.

      However, new May 2016 security updates for Windows 10 are available only from Windows Update and Microsoft Update Catalog sites.

    • #43989 Reply

      Da Boss

      A transition?

    • #43990 Reply


      Windows 10 updates never got released on Download Center
      so, nothing changed actually
      they either delayed the transition to solve MUC site issues, or the new policy just applies to non-security updates released on non-patch tuesday

    • #43991 Reply


      Woody, I have been an avid follower of ours since January 2016, I run GWX Control Panel continuously 24-7, and I watch and take your advice on updates . Do you think that Microsoft is setting the stage for a massive attack on Win 7 and Win 8.1 machines in the near future? That is my thoughts as MS came out with the “SP2” with no way of checking individual updates. I am running an HP desktop series P6000 from 2009 (stays on 24-7) I have had only minor problems with downloads of updates. Usually a download of 10 to 25 updates takes about 7 minutes and to install it would take about 10 minutes, never longer. I am a retired individual 70 yoa and have a small amount of tech training before 2006. Mostly I am on my own. Thanks for all the info that the individual can use without too much knowledge.

    • #43992 Reply

      Da Boss

      Naw, I don’t think Microsoft will violate its own terms of engagement. If you’re running GWX Control Panel, getting slung into Win10 is highly, highly unlikely.

      If you’re caught up with Win7 patching, don’t worry about “SP2.” It’s of interest to those who have new installs to bring up to speed.

    • #43993 Reply


      Hi, I just found this trying to find a solution because I can’t install the windows updates+2 recent updates from microsoft office. I have windows 7 64 bits which is in automatic and after days of searching which takes longer each I need to wait and I only find windows failed after 1 day at least of waiting. (My model of HP notebook was no compatible for windows 10 upgrade). I was not aware about the microsoft update catalog. Is this something I need to try instead of the automatic windows update? I know your last cooments are from May 2016. I wonder if somebody can help me? Thanks.

    • #43994 Reply

      Da Boss

      I’ve started publishing links directly to the Update Catalog. But it’s rare that you need to go straight to the source. The only exception I can think of, lately, is the one mentioned here:

      Actually, they’re for KB 3177725:


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