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Downloading Windows Updates through the Microsoft Update Catalog is now more secure

Windows 11 Update Windowsupdate Estimate New Light
Windows 11 Update Windowsupdate Estimate New Light (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Download links from the Microsoft Update Catalog now use HTTPS rather than HTTP.
  • The Microsoft Update Catalog allows people to download updates for Windows.
  • HTTPS downloads are more secure than those using HTTP.

The Microsoft Update Catalog (opens in new tab) now uses the hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) protocol for downloads. Until recently, the site only used HTTP when downloading files. As the name would suggest, HTTPS is more secure than HTTP, thanks to encryption that protects sensitive information. The change should allow downloads of Windows updates, new drivers, and hotfixes for PCs to be more secure.

IT admins and power users can utilize the Microsoft Update Catalog to download the latest updates, drivers, and fixes directly from Microsoft. Administrators can use the site to get updates to distribute to a corporate network.

Some Windows users prefer to use the Microsoft Update Catalog, as it's a way to get updates as soon as they're available and directly from Microsoft. For example, when an optional cumulative update became available that brought systems to Build 22000.953, we suggested the Microsoft Update Catalog as one option to receive the build.

While it's possible to search for optional updates through the Settings app on Windows 11, some prefer to get updates as separate files.

The change was spotted by Dr. Windows, who noted that it's unclear why Microsoft took so long to swap to HTTPS for downloads. There's a chance that the company stuck with the older protocol to ensure compatibility with older systems.

Many browsers block HTTP downloads, meaning that people had to use the Save as functionality to get updates through the Microsoft Update Catalog. That's no longer the case, as the site supports HTTPS downloads, which are allowed by all browsers.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

5 Comments
  • The last paragraph should begin with "Many browsers block HTTP downloads", not "HTTPS".
  • or should be edited to say "Many browsers including MS Edge block HTTP downloads"
    Edge was blocking downloads from http sites since version 94
  • You are very correct! Is a mistake.
  • Now this is a quick response from MS
  • well better late than never for MS to switch the MS catalog download site to HTTPS