How to manually download and install Windows 10 cumulative updates

Microsoft makes available updates for Windows 10 in the regular basis to patch any security hole and to improve the functionality of the operating system. However, even now that updates are mandatory to keep devices always up to date, sometimes updates may not appear for download on your computer for a long time.

Although Windows Update is the preferred method to get updates, Microsoft also allows users to manually download new patches as they become available through the "Microsoft Update Catalog" website. While mainly a resource for IT administrators who need to test updates before pushing them to devices in their network, you can use the Update Catalog to quickly download a new update if it's not showing for you in Windows Update as an alternative option.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to find, download, and install updates manually on your device.

How to download cumulative updates

It's important to note that the Microsoft Update Catalog doesn't list anything, instead it's a search page, where you must know exactly the update you want to download.

The easiest way to find an update is knowing its Knowledge Base reference number. For example, on October 11th, Microsoft released Windows 10 build 14393.321, which Knowledge Base reference was KB3194798. You can find the references when we publish a new article about a new update, or when you visit the Windows 10 Update History website (opens in new tab). Then do the following:

  1. Visit the Microsoft Update Catalog (opens in new tab) website.Quick Tip: If you can't access the site using Microsoft Edge, you can also try opening a new InPrivate window, which should let you get through.
  2. Do a search for the update using the KB number for the update you want. For example, KB3194798.

  1. Click the Download button for the 64-bit or 32-bit version of the update. If you don't know your system type, do the following:
    1. Open Settings.
    2. Click on System.
    3. Click on About.
    4. See System type.

  1. A pop-up window will appear with a direct download link, click it to download the .msu file.

How to install cumulative updates

While you can simply double-click the .msu file to install a new update for Windows 10, you may prefer to include options, such as to prevent the operating system from restarting to finish applying the update, which is something you can do using Command Prompt.

  1. Use the Windows key + I keyboard shortcut to open the Power User menu and select Command Prompt (admin).
  2. Type the following command and press Enter:wusa C:\PATH-TO-UPDATE\NAME-OF-UPDATE.msu /quiet /norestartNote: We're adding the /quiet /norestart switches to prevent the operating system from restarting your computer after installing the update, but later on, you must manually reboot your device to finish applying the update.Quick Tip: If the name of the update turns to be very long, simply begin typing "Windows10.0-kb" and the hit the Tab key to autocomplete the name.

Wrapping things up

The Microsoft Update Catalog website works best using Internet Explorer, but recent changes that removes ActiveX requirement now allows users to access the site using Chrome and Microsoft Edge. Additionally, alongside cumulative updates, you can also download the latest updates for certain device drivers, and Surface updates.

It's worth pointing out that even though sometimes updates won't get through because of a problem on your computer, there will be other times when an update won't show up because it's not compatible with your system. If you install a patch that is not working correctly, you can always use our guide to uninstall a problematic update.

While we're focusing this guide on Windows 10, the same concept shown here works to download and install updates on previous versions of the operating system, including Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.

More Windows 10 resources

For more help articles, coverage, and answers on Windows 10, you can visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

16 Comments
  • Excellent
  • How "to" manually download... You may want to fix that.
  • Yeah, it's only the title
  • It is not to early to state that soonly we will be able to download cumulative updates for Windows 10 Mobile and Xbox One in the near future on your PC and distribute to your devices over your Wifi Network. That's something what you call Fog Computing. I would really want to see that and bullish for it.
  • Assuming Windows 10 Mobile is still around in the future.
  • Great article thanks
  • 2 hrs later and still no fix to the title.
  • I usually did the same for TH2,RS1 UPDATE(& >800mb CU updates also).
    But Commands are new for me.
    Thanks!!
  • I recently did this for a freshly built w10 VM that just would not download and update the OS from the base 14393.0 version. It so annoying that you even have to do this because the updates hang and timeout, yet once the latest update is manually installed all subsequent updates install without issue.
  • Very helpful!!  
  • This never works for me, I always get an error at the Download part. I've disabled the pop up blocker but nothing works
  • Wish I knew about this three days ago. My PC will not boot up because it says OS out of date. Was in the insider program. Unfortunately Windows update wouldn't find new builds till weeks later. Anyone know how I can get my PC to boot up?
  • wish there were any means of manually installing updates on mobile phone as well.
  • I'm on build 14393.0
    So do i have to download all subsequent updates or just the last one
  • just donwload the latest patch or the latest build that you find which is 14393.351. :)
  • very useful to thos ewho are stuck at an update.