Downloading Windows updates is a relatively time-consuming process, especially if we have a moderate internet connection speed. Even more so if we are reinstalling an older version of Windows, which can have gigabytes of Windows updates accumulated. In this guide, we will see how we can massively download Windows updates as files on our PC, and how to install them directly after a format and reinstallation on any computer.
Table of Contents
The program we are going to use to download the updates is called WHDownloader.
WHDownloader is a free portable application which allows us to download updates for Windows 7, 8, and 10, as well as Office 2010, 2013, and 2016.
If the name WHDownloader sounds familiar, then, you have probably used the Windows Hotfix Downloader before. The latter is an older version of the program, which, in fact, used to do the exact same job.
The only difference we have come across in the new, renamed version is the support provided for Windows 10 updates, as well as a few changes in the GUI.
Apart from that, the functions of the program have remained the same as its predecessor’s.
Without further ado, let's move onto WHDownloader and how to manually download any Windows Updates.
Downloading the program
To download the application, we visit this page. Here, we click on “Download locations.”
As the page informs us, the application download will start in a few seconds. If it doesn't, we can click on the relevant button.
Once done, we will see a compressed .zip file in our Downloads folder. To decompress it, we right-click on it and select “Export all…”
We define the desirable location, and we select “Export.”
After that, we will find WHDownloader inside the extracted folder. The application is portable, so there won’t be any need to install it. Therefore, all we have to do is run the .exe file…
…and click “Yes” at the User Account Control prompt.
At first glance, WHDownloader seems straightforward and pretty simple to use.
Our first step is to click on the blue arrow at the top left - which for some reason looks like the “undo” icon.
The program will download all the available lists with Windows Updates. This way, the following option, “Select a Category,” will be activated.
To start downloading, we click on this application, and we select the Windows version of our choice.
We remind you that this program allows us to download Office updates as well.
Apart from the proper Windows version, we should also pay attention to the system’s architecture. If it is 64-bit, we select “x64”. If it is 32-bit, then we need to opt for the “x86” version.
In our case, we chose Windows 7-x64. However, the process remains the same for any other option.
Immediately, at the center of the window, we can see a list of all the available updates for Windows 7 64-bit.
In the example, there were about 616 updates in total. The updates are separated into categories, and on the right of each group, there is an arrow. By clicking on this indicator, we can see all the updates in detail.
If we want to download specific Windows Updates, we tick the box on the left for each one of them.
If we want to download the lot, like, for instance, if we wish to install them directly after a format and Windows reinstallation, there is no need to check them one by one.
Even though there doesn’t seem to be a button or option for massive selection, after a closer look we have spotted a grey “Right Click for Options” at the bottom right of the window.
So, we should right-click on this option and then click on “Select/Deselect all.”
As the program will be selecting all the Windows Updates, we will be able to see the actual space they will take up on our disk.
In this case, for Windows 7 64-bit, 3.24GB are required…
…which, in fact, is a lot of space. With an 8Mbps speed, it would take us an hour to download the updates every time we would install Windows 7 on a computer.
After we have selected either all the updates or the ones that we want, we click on the button “Download” at the bottom left of the window.
A new window will appear, and the program will start to download all the Windows Updates to our computer.
If you too have a connection speed of 8Mbps, it’s time you take a break and return in an hour.
Once the process is over, the initial WHDownloader will reappear.
The Windows Updates we have downloaded will be on the “Downloaded” tab.
We can now close the program.
If we go to the folder where we decompressed the WHDownloader, we will find that a new folder with the name “Updates” has now been created.
Opening this folder, we will find subfolders with all the Windows Updates we had selected to download.
To be continued… Create a Windows ISO with all the necessary updates
We have already downloaded the Windows Updates we need, but what are we going to do now? Do we have to install them manually every time we perform a format?
Our first option is to store them all on a separate DVD, USB, or even an external hard disk.
Thus, when we finish with the format on our computer, we can select them all, and right-click on “Install.”
However, since we were spared the downloading, why not skip installing the updates as well?
In a future guide, we will present in detail the whole process of incorporating the updates to a Windows ISO, so that they can be installed automatically during Windows installation.
What do you think of WHDownloader?
Did you find this program useful? Do you, by any chance, use another application to download Windows Updates?
Leave a comment below.
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