Windows updates must be installed directly from the Windows Update utility built into the operating system. But what if it doesn’t work? If Windows isn’t updating, or you don’t see some Windows updates that you know there should be, there are several alternative ways to install them.
The first Windows update method we’ll look at involves third-party software. Although not created by Microsoft, they still provide all the correct updates directly from the company, so there is no need to worry about them not working or being malicious. These Windows Update tools are programs that you open on your computer that scan for any missing updates and then provide a very easy way to install them.
Another way to install Windows updates without the official Windows Update tool or third-party tool is to search the Microsoft website. They have a search tool built specifically to find updates.
This method is not that convenient because you need to know which updates you are missing in order to know which ones to download, but it still works and guarantees genuine updates.
Windows updates fix security holes, improve performance, and add features. It’s always best to get all possible updates to keep your PC running at its best, at least in terms of Windows related fixes and updates.
How to update Windows using third-party software
OUTDATEfighter is a program that specializes in software updates. It scans your computer for outdated programs and provides an easy way to update them to the latest versions.
What’s unique about this particular software update tool is that it even includes the Windows Update utility, which makes updating Windows as easy as updating your other programs.
Here’s what to do:
- Download and install OUTDATEfighter It should work on all Windows operating systems, but I tested it on Windows 8 and Windows 7.
- Start the program and select Windows Update on the left.
- Select Scan to update below.
- Wait while all available Windows updates are found and listed in the program. Depending on the speed of your computer and the number of updates found, this may take some time.
- Select the updates you want to install. To install everything in the Important Updates tab, check the box next to Name; do the same for additional updates. To find out more about a particular update, click the small icon (i) next to it.
- Select Install Selected Windows Updates.
- Please wait while the program downloads and installs Windows updates.
- Whether you received it or not, restart your computer after completing the installation of updates.
Another third-party Windows Update tool that you can use to update Windows is called Windows Update MiniTool. This has a few more options than OUTDATEfighter, but you don’t have to use them. Finding updates and applying them is still very easy.
- Download Windows Update MiniTool
- Open the zip file and extract the two files from the inside.
- Open wumt_x64 if you are using 64-bit Windows, otherwise use wumt_x86.
- Click the refresh button on the left.
- Wait while Windows Update MiniTool finds all available updates.
- Select the updates you want to install. If you hover your mouse over an item, you can see its description, which can help you determine if you need it.
- Click the download button on the left. Be sure to select the download arrow, under which there is a line; the other (second from the left) is for downloading updates only, not installing them.
- Please wait while the program downloads and installs updates. Windows Update MiniTool will automatically scan your PC again after updating to show you any updates you need.
How to download Windows updates from Microsoft’s website
Microsoft also offers an alternative Windows Update utility, but it’s not that easy to use. Instead of scanning your computer for required updates, you can browse the Microsoft Update catalog and manually download Windows updates.
The Microsoft Update Catalog includes driver updates, hotfixes, and software updates. To use it, just search for the update you want, then download and install it yourself.
- Visit Microsoft Update Catalog
- Find the file you want to download.
- Select Download next to the desired item.
- Select the link in the popup to start the download.
- Open the downloaded file to install it.
If you need to install multiple Windows updates at once, using the update catalog is not a good idea. As you can see, each file must be downloaded separately and then manually installed.
The two third-party Windows Update tools at the top of this page are much better suited for bulk downloads / updates and make sure you get all the updates you need with every Windows update.