Windows updates giving you the business? Does your computer restart at inopportune moments when you are working? Do you find yourself spending hours deploying patches when you install Windows either for yourself or somebody else?
Or worse yet, is your Internet unreliable, and your PC suffers from unsuccessful update attempts?
If you are wondering that whether it is possible to deploy updates on your Windows 10 computer offline, then you are in luck. Microsoft allows you to easily keep your Windows and Office installations fresh, even if they are on PCs that have no Internet connection. Third-party apps are in the game, too.
We will learn all there is to know about what you need to do to download and install Windows updates in offline mode, at your convenience.
So, buckle your seatbelts, and prepare to go offline!
The Thing about Windows updates
Everyone can agree that keeping on top of updates is necessary to ensure that your devices are protected from the latest threats lurking in the wild. Microsoft proactively releases patches, fixes, and performance improvements every month for all supported versions of its OS.
For the most part, your computer will function fine even if you don’t install any updates.
But that does not mean you should not update it. Doing so is leaving your computer vulnerable against terrifying malware, and your files and data exposed to petrifying threats. That is because researchers and hackers, both, are always looking for new bugs and security gaps in Windows that they can exploit.
Microsoft not only releases updates to fix these issues, but also resolve multiple problems that may be hampering the performance of your PC, and preventing some applications or features to correctly function.
It is for this reason that Microsoft wants you to install these updates in Windows 10, whether you want them or not — particularly on Windows Home. You are provided with a choice of delaying them, for days or months on end, depending on your variant of the operating system.
But install these updates you must, one way or another.
The Update affair
That said, the company is fully aware of how burdensome this process of updating PCs can be. Plus, there are factors beyond control, like the stability and reliably of the Internet connections. To combat that, it has put together a number of features and services to streamline the activity.
For starters, Windows 10 does a good job of letting you customize how and when you want to install these updates on your devices. Pretty much every new version of Windows 10 has brought along refinements to the way you update your computers.
And then there the various services that Microsoft has made available.
These include the company’s own enterprise solution, Systems Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), which are the component that download patches centrally and deploys them across your network.
These often come with expensive licensing fees and hardware requirements — not for the average Joe.
What end users have access to are options just as good.
Why download Windows updates offline?
There are a number of reasons why you might want to update your Windows installation in an isolated environment by manually downloading the updates. There may be times when you might not have access to the Internet, or your connection might be slower than a snail. Or the computer you want to update may not have access to the web, or the proxy server.
Some users may find it necessary to completely update a freshly formatted computer before having it connect to a network. And believe it or not, some computers don’t even have a hardware network connection at all, or their wireless cards or ports are out of order and not working. And finally, there may be cases where you want to have complete control over the update process.
In cases like these, you might want to update Windows offline manually.
There are a number of different ways you can go about it, directly or by using a few good applications.
We’ll list all of them below.
Update Windows offline
Before we enlist the help of programs, let’s see what native options we have on Windows for installing the latest updates manually. These will come in useful, depending on your update woes, and whether you are seeking more speed or control over when and how the patches are deployed.
Download in Advance
Downloading an update is one thing, and installing it is totally another. Knowing the difference between these two events is necessary to make the call. Essentially, you can download all the updates for Windows 10 in advance, and then install them offline whenever you want.
To do this, go to Updates & Security in the Settings app, and see if updates are already downloaded but not installed. If this is the case, then Windows will ask you to either restart or a schedule the restart to install these updates.
You can also check for and download the updates, and then schedule them at a good time so that you don’t end up wasting your work hours watching your PC install these patches.
Scheduling the installation of these updates at a later time is easy. Simply click on Schedule the restart link to pick a time. It has to be on the same day.
Download updates Locally
Not everyone has a superfast Internet connection. If you are on a slow network, then this new feature that Microsoft introduced with Windows 10 is a lifesaver. It allows you to download updates from other computers that are connected to your LAN that have already received the updates.
The idea being, why download these files again, when you can simply transfer them to your PC?
Why didn’t anyone think of this before?
You will have to make sure that both the computers are connected to the same network. And then in the Settings app, look for the Delivery Optimization panel under Update & Security.
Simply toggle on the switch that says Allow downloads from other PCs, and select the local network choice to find and deploy updates on your computer. Because you are on a LAN, you will just need to check for updates manually once. And if Windows detects them on your network, it will instantly begin transferring them.
If you have bandwidth to spare, however, you can further speed up the process by telling your computer to download updates both from your local network and the Internet.
Download via the Windows Update Catalog
Not many people know this, but Microsoft maintains a handy catalog of all the updates that it has released for a particular operating system. And it lists them in one old school looking website that goes by the convenient name of Windows Update Catalog.
You can directly download an update from this portal (as an .exe file) and install it on your computer.
All you need to do is visit the catalog homepage and either search for your OS version or the name of the update itself if you know it. You will get all the details on the results provided, including classification, version, and size.
Downloading it is simply a matter of clicking the Download button and saving the file locally on your system. Then all you need to do is double-click the downloaded file and it will auto install. You can even move this file to other computers you own or manage.
Could not be simpler, the process.
Use the Media Creation Tool
A left field choice, but very much an option for those who are installing a new copy of Windows on different computers. Microsoft has a nifty little Media Creation Tool up for grabs that helps you create bootable USB flash drives or burn the installation media on a DVD.
You are basically getting ready the latest version of Windows 10 if you go this route, meaning this is more suitable for updating your offline devices with the newest version of the operating system.
The tool automatically downloads the latest bits for that given version, as it prepares your USB or ISO file that you can either burn or extract and take a look at directly. This means that preparing your media will take some time, but it will be worth the wait.
Just take care to select the Keep personal files and apps option during the set up to only install the updates. This is important if you don’t want to lose data from your hard drive or SSD.
You can, obviously, use this method to install a fresh copy of Windows 10 or upgrade to the latest version of the operating system. But if you just want to install updates, perhaps on multiple computers that are not connected to a network, this may be worth a look.
Update Windows Manually via Software
These built-in, native options are fine and dandy. But enterprising developers have also created their own solutions for users that want more control over Windows updates. These tools let you download the patch files on your system, and deploy them whenever and however you want.
Worth a mention that while many of these programs have been around for ages, not all of them are being updated. Programs like AutoPatcher and Windows Update Downloader have reached the end of the road. And though you can run them fine to take a look around, they will only download updates released a year or two back — basically back when their developers last updated these tools.
For this reason, you need to download tools that are regularly refreshed.
We list two of the best ones below.
WSUS Offline Update
A fine, fine piece of software that lets you update any computer running Windows or Office, without the need of an Internet connection to download and install the patches. WSUS Offline Update may come with a slightly intimidating user interface, but take a look around and you will be comfortable in no time.
All you need to do is install this freeware program and run it on a PC that can get online.
Then, all you need to do is tell the application what exactly you would like to download. It serves up all manners of options, from patches for Windows 8 and 10, as well as Windows Server 2012, alongside Office 2013 and Office 2016.
Legacy Windows and Office versions are conveniently listed in separate tabs.
Once you make your choices, it is simply a matter of selecting your options down below, like verifying the downloaded updates, including C++ Runtime Libraries and .NET Frameworks, and include Service Packs or not. You can optionally copy the downloaded updates to a USB stick or even create an ISO image, suitable for burning to a CD or DVD.
When ready, simply press the Start button at the bottom, and the program will begin downloading the update files on your system.
The developer brings out a new version of WSUS Offline Update every month, which includes the latest updates that Microsoft has released up until then. Better yet, if you have run the program before the newest version, then the update you had previously downloaded will not need to be downloaded again.
True to its name, Portable Update is a portable application that gets you up and running without the need to install anything. It does require you to be connected to the Internet during the setup phase, which is a bit lengthy as it needs to install certain files before it can work its magic.
Files like Offline Scan Cab File and Windows Update Agent.
Once done though, the program serves up a multi-tabbed interface that lets you perform various tasks like selecting the items needed for download, checking the update history, and using the search function.
Clicking on an item gives you more details to look at.
But the real action happens in the Download tab, which comes with a handy status bar, and allows you to download all updates for Windows 10, even the ones that you have already installed. This comes in handy if you want to grab an older patch, in case a newer one is causing issues.
All patches are saved in the Cache folder, and you can put them to good use from there. Once the update is downloaded and stored on location, the program will use standard Windows Update API services to update your computer. An added advantage of this is that you will see the log update in the standard update history log — exactly as if it was done from Windows Update.
Portable Update works with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8.1, and Windows 10, while different versions of Windows Server are also supported.
Understandably, many of you are averse towards updating Windows in the fear that updates may break something or restart your computer at the wrong time. If you follow the guide above, and download updates offline, then those days could well be behind you.
Installing updates manually takes a minute to set up via third-party apps. But once you do, you will have full control over what gets deployed and when.