It’s not longer necessary to use Internet Explorer for downloading updates from Microsoft Update / Windows Update catalog, and no ActiveX control need to be installed. The Microsoft Update now supports any browser, as Microsoft has revamped the site and eliminated the ActiveX Control.
Microsoft Update Catalog now supports other browsers
Update (October 2016): As promised, Microsoft has gotten rid of the ActiveX control in the Microsoft Update catalog site so as to support other web browsers. You can download updates from the Microsoft Update Catalog using any browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, without needing to use those RSS link method below.
Simply visit the Microsoft Update catalog site using any browser, type in your KB or update ID and click Search.
Strangely, I see the following error when visiting MU catalog using Microsoft Edge.
This website runs on older technology and will only work in Internet Explorer.
Using Microsoft Update RSS feed link
Note: You don’t have to use this method any more, as Microsoft Update catalog now supports any browser as of Oct 2016, as they’ve phased out the ActiveX Control.
Here is a shortcut way to quickly open the Windows Update download link directly, which works in any web browser.
The trick is to use the Windows Update catalog’s RSS feed URL below:
To download a specific update, replace “KBnnnnnn” in the above example, with the actual Update ID as follows:
The XML feed is formatted nicely in Firefox. Whereas Google Chrome shows the raw XML markup, as shown below:
Copy the hyperlink for the update — choose the correct URL based on the OS bitness – x64 or x86 version, and paste it in the Address bar. It opens the WU catalog download page for that update.
Similarly, to search for updates for a particular Operating System, say Windows 10, you use the following syntax.
Make sure you replace spaces with “+” as above.
Thanks for the tip, Woody of InfoWorld.
Create Custom Search Engine for WU Catalog
You can create a custom search engine to quickly search and go to a Windows Update catalog download page. Here are the instructions for Google Chrome.
Start Google Chrome and open the Settings page. Under “Search”, click “Manage search engines…”
Type the description, search keyword (for example, “wu”) and the search URL. For Windows Update Catalog search, use the following URL:
Now type “wu” in the Address bar.
Press space or TAB. The WU Catalog custom search badge would appear.
Type in your search string, usually the Microsoft Update ID with “KB” prefix. That’s it!
About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.