Microsoft update catalog

Microsoft update catalog DEFAULT

How to download updates that include drivers and hotfixes from the Windows Update Catalog

  • 5 minutes to read

This article discusses how to download updates from the Windows Update Catalog.

Applies to:   Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 10 - all editions
Original KB number:   323166


The Windows Update Catalog offers updates for all operating systems that we currently support. These updates include the following:

  • Device drivers
  • Hotfixes
  • Updated system files
  • New Windows features

We guide you through the steps to search the Windows Update Catalog to find the updates that you want. Then, you can download the updates to install them across your home or corporate network of Microsoft Windows-based computers.

We also discuss how IT Professionals can use Software Update Services, such as Windows Update and Automatic Updates.


This content is designed for an advanced computer user. We recommend that only advanced users and administrators download updates from the Windows Update Catalog. If you are not an advanced user or an administrator, visit the following Microsoft Web site to download updates directly:
Windows Update: FAQ

Steps to download updates from the Windows Update Catalog

To download updates from the Windows Update Catalog, follow these steps:

Step 1: Access the Windows Update Catalog

To access the Windows Update Catalog, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Windows Update Catalog

To view a list of frequently asked questions about Windows Update Catalog, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Microsoft Update Catalog Frequently Asked Questions

Step 2: Search for updates from the Windows Update Catalog

To search for updates from the Windows Update Catalog, follow these steps:

  1. In the Search text box, type your search terms. For example, you might type Windows Vista Security.
  2. Click Search, or press Enter.
  3. Browse the list that is displayed to select the updates that you want to download.
  4. Click Download to download the updates.
  5. To search for additional updates to download, repeat steps 2a through 2d.

Step 3: Download updates

To download updates from the Windows Update Catalog, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Download button under Search box.

  2. Click the updates link on the pop-up page and Save to the default path, or right-click the link and select Save target as to the specified path. You can either type the full path of the folder, or you can click Browse to locate the folder.

  3. Close the Download and the Windows Update Catalog Window.

  4. Find the location that you specified in step 3b.


    If you have downloaded device drivers for installation, go to "Installing Drivers."

  5. Double-click each update, and then follow the instructions to install the update. If the updates are intended for another computer, copy the updates to that computer, and then double-click the updates to install them.

If all the items that you added to the download list are installed successfully, you are finished.

If you want to learn about additional update services, please see the "Software Update Services for IT Professionals" section.

Installing drivers

  1. Open a command prompt from the Start menu.

  2. To extract the driver files, type the following command at the command prompt, and then press Enter:

  3. To stage the driver for plug and play installation or for the Add Printer Wizard, use PnPutil Software Update Services for IT Professionals.


To install a cross-architecture print driver, you must already have installed the local architecture driver, and you will still need the cross-architecture copy of Ntprint.inf from another system.

Software Update Services for IT Professionals

For general information about Software Update Services, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Overview of Windows as a service

Windows Update

IT Professionals can use the Windows Update service to configure a server on their corporate network to provide updates to corporate servers and clients. This functionality can be useful in environments where some clients and servers do not have access to the Internet. This functionality can also be useful where the environment is highly managed, and the corporate administrator must test the updates before they are deployed.

For information about using Windows Update, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Windows Update: FAQ

Automatic Updates

IT Professionals can use the Automatic Updates service to keep computers up to date with the latest critical updates from a corporate server that is running Software Update Services.

Automatic Updates works with the following computers:

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
  • Windows 2000 Server
  • Windows 2000 Advanced Server (Service Pack 2 or later versions)
  • Windows XP Professional
  • Windows XP Home Edition computer

For more information about how to use Automatic Updates in Windows XP, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
306525 How to configure and use Automatic Updates in Windows XP


You may experience one or more of the following issues when you use Windows Update or Microsoft Update:

  • You may receive the following error message:

    Software update incomplete, this Windows Update software did not update successfully.

  • You may receive the following error message:

    Administrators Only (-2146828218) To install items from Windows Update, you must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may also prevent you from completing this procedure.

    For more information about this issue, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 316524 You receive an "Administrators only" error message when you try to visit the Windows Update Web site or the Microsoft Update Web site

  • You may be unable to view the Windows Update site or the Microsoft Update site if you connect to the Web site through an authenticating Web proxy that uses integrated (NTLM) proxy authentication.

Similar problems and solutions

You can visit the Microsoft Web sites in the following sections for more information:
Windows Update troubleshooting

Installing multiple updates with only one restart

The hotfix installer that is included with Windows XP and with Windows 2000 post-Service Pack 3 (SP3) updates includes functionality to support multiple hotfix installations. For earlier versions of Windows 2000, the command-line tool that is named "QChain.exe" is available for download.

For more information about how to install multiple updates or multiple hotfixes without restarting the computer between each installation, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
296861 How to install multiple Windows updates or hotfixes with only one reboot

Microsoft security resources

For the latest Microsoft security resources such as security tools, security bulletins, virus alerts, and general security guidance, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Microsoft Docs

For more information about the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer tool (MBSA), visit the following Microsoft Web site:
What is Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer and its uses?

The Microsoft Download Center

For more information about how to download files from the Microsoft Download Center, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
119591 How to obtain Microsoft support files from online services

Product-specific download pages

Internet Explorer

For Internet Explorer downloads, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Internet Explorer Downloads

Windows Media Player

For Windows Media Player downloads, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Windows Media Player

Office Updates

For Office updates, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Install Office updates


10 Replies

· · ·

Bryan Doe



It's opening here.  I saw some talk of another Microsoft outage this morning, maybe it was affected.


· · ·

Big Green Man



Works fine for me today. I just downloaded some stuff from there yesterday, too.


· · ·




I'm getting that same error when I search on there


· · ·

Hank the Hacker

Thai Pepper


Hmmm.. Up for some and down for others.  Still down for me.  Guess I'll wait it out.

Thanks for replying!


· · ·

Big Green Man



What KBs are you looking for?


· · ·

Hank the Hacker

Thai Pepper


I'm looking for the August 1909 Cumulative Security update.   I'm finishing up an image and wanted to add it.  


· · ·

Hank the Hacker

Thai Pepper


OMG!  It just came up on my home computer but not on my work desktop or laptop.  Hopefully it stays up long enough to download what I need.

Thanks for extra frustration MICROSOFT!!!

Thank you for the reply's Gang!


· · ·

Hank the Hacker

Thai Pepper


Got it!!  Thanks so much for the links!! 


· · ·




Would this issue also stop on Win10 2004 the ability to go from local account creation to corporate account? We are experiencing an issue where no matter the proces we do to reset the computer, media creation tool or in place reset, the OOBE process does not allow for organization account creation even when we click on the use an online account. The logs dont show any errors.


This discussion has been inactive for over a year.

You may get a better answer to your question by starting a new discussion.

  1. Ibm blade server
  2. Phone needle emoji
  3. Blender render video
  4. log in
  5. Indeed jobs alabama

Nowadays, checking and installing system updates are done automatically by Windows as a background process. If you’re reading this article, then you probably know how often Windows rolls out new updates.

Downloading and applying updates is not something that your IT/System admin looks forward to on a monthly basis, especially if you own a large business with an equally large computer network.

That is why Microsoft came up with the Microsoft Update Catalog to help address that dilemma. In this article, you will learn how to make use of the Microsoft Update Catalog and understand how to maximize its usage.

What is Microsoft Update Catalog?

Microsoft Update Catalog is a Microsoft service that provides you with a listing or repository you can use to download updates for all operating systems that Microsoft currently supports.

These downloadable updates range from updated system files, Windows features, hotfixes, and even device drivers.

The homepage of Microsoft Update Catalog

While you can make use of Microsoft Update Catalog for your own personal device, Microsoft Update Catalog is designed for businesses and enterprises.

Some of the best ways to use it are when you’re having issues with the Windows Update feature, or when you want to install updates to a computer without connecting to the internet.

Why do you need to manually download updates?

The intention of the Microsoft Update Catalog is to provide a means to download a specific update and install it whenever you want to on a certain device. It includes tools that your IT/System admins can use to deploy the downloaded update to computers under your domain.

One reason why you may need to manually apply updates is that, in some cases, an update might create glitches in your system. If the update itself was problematic, you may want to roll back to a previous working version before patching in an update you downloaded manually.

Another possible reason for manually downloading updates is to free up your devices from background updates, especially during your peak hours. You can then manually patch the update to computers on your network when it’s not busy anymore.

Your IT admin might also want to test the update before deploying it.

While it’s not as common — but still a possibility — there are times when your device might have problems due to missing system files. If you know which specific update to download to solve that problem, then the Microsoft Update catalog will be able to help you with that.

With that, let’s move on to how you can make use of the Microsoft Update Catalog.

How To Use The Microsoft Update Catalog

To use the Microsoft Update Catalog, go to the site using any internet browser. From there you can look for the update using the search bar at the right side of the site.

Using the search feature can be daunting especially when you don’t know what you are specifically looking for.

Microsoft Update Catalog works best when you know exactly what you are looking for since it will give you a list of up to a thousand entries if you type in a vague keyword like “Windows 10 update” or “Security update”.

Files that end with .msu are simple installers. Those that end with .cab, commonly for device drivers, are downloaded as an archive file.

How to search for the right Windows update?

First off, you need to know the specific update to download. Once you have that, you can follow the steps below:

Type in the Knowledge Base number (an example of how it looks like is this: KB5005033) on the search bar and click the search button.

Search for the knowledge base number on the Microsoft Update Catalog

To further refine this, add more details about the update.

For the example below, you can add x64 to indicate that the update is for 64-bit systems.

Add details to your knowledge base number search

As you can see, the results are more specific now.

Click on the update to open up a separate window that shows you details of that update.

Once you’ve confirmed that this is the update you want to download, click the close button.

Review the update details before downloading the update

Please note that some patch files have identical numbers. Make sure that you check the correct version and operating system.

How to download and install Windows updates from the Microsoft Update Catalog?

Once you confirm that the update you found is what you want to download, click on its download button at the right.

A separate window will open — click on the .msu file to begin downloading.

Download the update from the Microsoft Update Catalog

Open the downloaded file and follow the prompts to install it on your system. After installing the update, you may need to restart your system.

Restart your computer to apply changes.

How to search for Windows Device drivers?

If the update you need is related to a Windows device driver, you can easily search the driver by writing the model name or model number of the device on the search bar.

You can usually find the model name or model number on the device itself (check it physically). If this is not available, you can follow these simple steps to check the device.

First, plug the device into your computer.

Then, open up the device manager (search for it directly on your Windows taskbar).

Search for the device manager straight on your Windows taskbar

Find the device and check its properties by clicking on its name.

Click the name of the device in device manager to check its properties

Go to the “Details” tab, set the property to “Hardware IDs”, and copy one of the values.

Copy of the hardware IDs on the details tab of the device properties

Paste the copied value on the Microsoft Update Catalog search bar and click on the search button.

Search for the hardware ID on the Microsoft Update Catalog

Before you download it, click on the driver’s name to check its details. Once you’re sure of it, exit the details so you can download the update.

How to download and update a device driver?

Once you found the driver for your device, click on the download button found on the right side (similar to how to download a Windows update on the Microsoft Update Catalog).

Click on the .cab file to start downloading.

Click the .cab link to download the hardware update

Once the download is done, extract the files.

Extract the files from the driver update folder

Same as earlier, open the device manager and open the properties of your device.

This time, instead of going to the “Details” tab, click on the update driver button at the bottom of the window.

On the device properties, click on the update driver button

Then, browse your computer for the driver software and find the folder where you extracted your driver files.

Once the installation is done, you can check if the driver has been installed by clicking on the “Driver” tab of the device properties.

Check the driver details for the update

Restart your system to apply changes. Some devices only work after restarting.

The Importance of the Microsoft Update Catalog

Normally, for regular users, the Microsoft Update Catalog may not seem that important. More often, you can solve the problem with Windows Update. It’s the tool that ensures your computer has what it needs (with the most recent system and security updates).

The most common use will be downloading a missing/broken driver. Even then, Microsoft Update can do that automatically with one click.

The main consumers of Microsoft Update Catalog are really those that use Microsoft systems in corporate settings. IT administrators make full use of the entire repository to make sure that computers under their domain are given the correct system updates.

Corporate system admins can also make sure that the new updates won’t bog down computers in the domain during important hours. They can also check how the update can affect the system before applying those updates to the rest of the computers in the domain.

If a problem does come up from the update, at least the problem is localized and the whole business process won’t take a hit.

Do you use the Microsoft Update Catalog yourself? Do you have more questions about it? If so, leave a comment below or send me a message through my contact page.

About Ryan

As the Principal Solutions Architect at Mr. SharePoint, I help companies of all sizes better leverage the Modern Workplace and Digital Process Automation investments.

View all posts by Ryan | Website



Make a Donation Button

Use Internet Explorer with the Microsoft Update Catalog. Microsoft make this service incompatible with other browsers.

The Microsoft Update Catalog has a large number of drivers which can be obtained by searching directly for the hardware IDs.

When searching taking my ATI graphics card as an example I would search for PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_68B8 and omit the &subsys_xxxxxxxx part (as it finds nothing with the subsys part).

I also tell it to sort by “last updated” as sorting by version orders them numerically. For the ATI/AMD graphics driver versions are listed before version as it starts with a 1.

You also want to make sure the driver matches your version of Windows for instance Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 depending on what version of Windows you have installed. Note newer versions of Windows are usually backwards compatible so can usually take drivers released for previous version of Windows or alternatively have better drivers inbuilt.

You will also note that there are often two drivers listed of the same version:

This is because there is usually both a 64 bit and 32 bit version of the driver. The driver which is the largest in size is usually the 64 bit one.

If you click the links to the left, a windows will open up listing more details for the driver:

The architecture will either be listed as x86 (32 Bit) or x64 (64 Bit).

If you want a driver, select add to basket (there is no charge for any of the drivers).

Select view basket to view all the items in your basket and then download once you have got what you want.

basket2.png (665×537)

Select browse and accept the user account control and then specify a location where you want to download the drivers. Then press continue, the drivers should now download to the location specified.

The download progress will be displayed and done will be displayed beside each driver when completed. You can then close the Window.

In general the downloads will be .cab format:

.cab files are not the same as the .exe or .msi files which you are used to install drivers with.

To completely install a .cab file you need to use the Windows Package Manager which is for the advanced user.

I generally use the update driver within the device manager.

Note the Microsoft Update Catalog is a Microsoft Service and requires the use of Internet Explorer.

Make a Donation Button

Like this:



Update catalog microsoft

WSUS and the Catalog Site

Applies to: Windows Server 2022, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012

The Catalog Site is the Microsoft location from which you can import hotfixes and hardware drivers.

The Microsoft Update Catalog Site

In order to import hotfixes into WSUS, you must access the Microsoft Update Catalog Site from a WSUS computer. Any computer that has the WSUS administrative console installed, whether or not it is a WSUS server, can be used to import hotfixes from the Catalog Site. You must be logged on to the computer as an administrator to import the hotfixes.

To access the Microsoft Update Catalog Site

  1. In the WSUS administrative console, select either the top server node or Updates, and in the Actions pane click import Updates. A browser window will open at the Microsoft Update Catalog Web site.

  2. In order to access the updates at this site, you must install the Microsoft Update Catalog activeX control.

  3. You can browse this site for Windows hotfixes and hardware drivers. When you have found the ones you want, add them to your basket.

  4. When you have finished browsing, go to the basket and click import to import your updates. To download the updates without importing them, clear the import directly into Windows Server Update Services checkbox.

Approved updates imported from the Microsoft Update Catalog Site are downloaded the next time the WSUS server synchronizes. They are not downloaded at the time of import from the Microsoft Update Catalog Site.

Note that you must access the Microsoft Update Catalog Site though the WSUS console to ensure that the updates are imported in a WSUS-compatible format. If you access the Microsoft Update Catalog website manually, any updates that you download are not imported into the WSUS server, but instead are downloaded as individual *.MSU files. WSUS does not currently have a supported mechanism for importing files in the *.MSU format.

If you run The Server cleanup Wizard, updates imported from the Microsoft Update Catalog that are set as Not Approved or as Declined may be removed from the WSUS server. If they are removed, they can be re-imported from the Microsoft Update Catalog.


You can remove updates that are imported from the Microsoft Update Catalog that are set as either Not Approved or Declined, by running the WSUS Server cleanup Wizard. You can re-imported updates that have been previously removed from your WSUS systems through the Microsoft Update Catalog.

Restricting access to hotfixes

WSUS administrators might consider restricting access to the hotfixes they have downloaded from the Microsoft Update Catalog Site. In order to make this restriction follow the steps below:

To restrict access to hotfixes

  1. Enable Windows authentication on the IIS Content vroot.

    • Start IIS Manager.

    • Navigate to the content node under WSUS Administration web site.

    • On the Content Home pane, double click in the Authentication option.

    • Select Anonymous Authentication and click Disable in the Actions pane on the right.

    • Select Windows Authentication and click Enable in the Actions pane on the right.

  2. Create a WSUS target group for the computers that need the hotfix, and add them to the group. For more information about computers and groups, see Managing WSUS Client computers and WSUS computer Groups in this guide, and Configure WSUS computer groups in the WSUS deployment guide.

  3. Download the files for the hotfix.

  4. Set the permissions of these files so that only machine accounts of those machines can read them. You will also need to allow the Network Service account full access to the files.

  5. Approve the hotfix for the WSUS target group created in Step 2.

Importing updates in different languages

The Microsoft Update Catalog Web site includes updates that support multiple languages. It is very important to match the languages supported by the WSUS server with the languages supported by these updates. If the WSUS server does not support all the languages included in the update, the update will not be deployed to client computers. Likewise, if an update supporting multiple languages has been downloaded to the WSUS server but not yet deployed to client computers, and an administrator deselects one of the languages included the update, the update will not be deployed to the clients.

Microsoft Update Catalog Craziness or Logical?

Typically, you download and install Windows updates through the Windows Update tool. However, sometimes you may need to manually find and download certain updates. This is where the Microsoft Update Catalog comes in. While it’s not a fancy-looking site, it is the ultimate destination for updates.

What Is the Microsoft Update Catalog

Technically, the Microsoft Update Catalog is made for businesses. Instead of bogging down a network during peak hours, IT admins can download necessary updates from the catalog and manually push them out to computers on the network during off-peak business hours.

Just because it was designed with enterprises in mind doesn’t mean individuals can’t use it too. The catalog works out well if you’re having issues with Windows Update, need updates for a computer that’s offline, or if you’re trying to repair something that went wrong with Windows. Microsoft does recommend that non-business users opt for the Microsoft Download Center, though.

Despite how simple and dated the catalog site looks, it does its job. Think of it as a basic search engine with no bells and whistles. You can search for major and minor updates, hotfixes, drivers, and anything else you’d find in Windows Update.

Finding What You Need

The Microsoft Update Catalog isn’t the most user-friendly. For instance, there aren’t filters to help limit your search parameters. This means it’s best if you already know what you’re looking for.

IT admins likely already know the knowledge base, or KB, numbers for updates or driver details. For individuals, it’s best to check with Windows Update to see the details of any failed downloads.

Press + to open Settings. Choose “Update & Security.” Select “Windows Update.” Failed updates may be listed along with pending updates. If you don’t see anything, select “View Update History.”

Each update has a name, date, and knowledge base number in parentheses. You can also expand Drivers, Definition Updates, and Other Updates to view details about those. You only need to download updates that are listed as Failed.

All these same details for failed updates should be listed on the main Windows Update screen as well.

Once you have your KB number or other details, enter those into the search box on the Microsoft Update Catalog site.

You can use general search terms if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. For instance, you may just want to see the latest Windows 10 updates, so you’d search for “Windows 10.” You could then base things off of the update release date, classification, and product.

Picking the Right Update

As you might have noticed, even when I entered the KB number, a wide variety of updates popped up. This doesn’t mean you need all of those – you just need the one designed for your OS.

In my case, I’d need the Windows 10 64-bit version. You also need to know the current version of your OS. In my case, this is 2004. All the details for each update are listed with the update itself.

If you’re not sure about these details, you can find everything you need by pressing + to open Settings. Select System and scroll down in the left pane and select About. You’ll see details about your system, OS version, and more.

You can sort each column in ascending or descending order. This is the closest you have to a filter. Click the column heading in the search results to sort.

Downloading and Installing Updates

When you find the right update, click the name of the update to view more details. The most important item is the link to the relevant knowledge base article for your update.

Click the link under “More Information” or Support URL. This provides you with any known issues with the update so you’re note surprised. It also gives you detailed instructions on how to install the update. Make sure you read all these details before downloading and installing.

When you’re ready, go back to the Microsoft Update Catalog and click Download beside the update you want.

Click the provided download link in the pop-up box. If you don’t see a pop-up, you may need to turn off any ad blockers. You only need to turn them off for the catalog site.

Depending on the size of the download, this could take several minutes or more. With security and major system updates, most files are around 500 MB to several gigabytes.

Follow any instructions on the knowledge base article for your update to install it. You can also store it on an external hard drive or flash drive to install on another system. Just make sure you pick the correct update file(s) based on the destination system’s specifications. In the mean time, don’t forget to check out the latest Windows update problems to learn about the potential issue with Windows update.

Is this article useful?

Crystal CrowderCrystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.


You will also like:

Microsoft Update Catalog

The Microsoft Update Catalog is a website that offers updates for computers running Windows 2000 SP3, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 and later operating systems including Windows 10.[1]


Created by Microsoft, the service provides a list of updates for corporations to distribute over a network. Security updates are released once a month on the website, except in special circumstances; for instance, in the event of a widespread computer virus or worm, Microsoft releases a corresponding update as soon as possible.[2]

Gordon Mangione, Microsoft's Security Business & Technology Unit vice president (from 2004-03 to 2005-11[3]), remarked:

"Because the new services and technologies draw information and updates from a single source—the Microsoft Update catalog—and use a common polling engine (provided by the new Windows Update Agent), our customers will have a much more integrated and reliable update management process."[4]


The latest iteration of the site was launched in August 2007, and at the time, only worked in the web browserInternet Explorer, version 6 and version 7. Before using the catalog, the user must install an ActiveX control so that they can search the updates available on the website. Searches can be saved as an RSS feed so that it can be monitored for new updates. On the Microsoft Update Catalog, downloads are accelerated with Microsoft's Background Intelligent Transfer Service, which downloads updates from the website asynchronously while attempting to use as little bandwidth as possible.[5]

In addition, the service integrates with Windows Server Update Services and System Center Configuration Manager 2007 so that network administrators can deploy updates downloaded from the website remotely across a network.[6][7]


As of late 2015, and the release of Windows 10, Microsoft has been making updates available exclusively through Microsoft Update Catalog.[8] The website no longer requires an ActiveX control and can be used from any modern browser rather than being exclusive to Internet Explorer. This allows users on other platforms to download updates for archive or distribution.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]


1643 1644 1645 1646 1647