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Previous months 2017: Jan
Previous months 2016: DecNovOctSep, AugJulJun

Last Update: 2017-03-14

Change notes

Microsoft apparently links to the Microsoft Catalog only starting in November 2016 - as announced in April 2016. So far the updates were available in the Download Center, too. This means that the download links are different than usual: the download link of the x86 version of an update lists all archtectures of this particular update (x64 among them). So, a little bit more attention should be paid when downloading an update, to avoid downloading it for the wrong architecture.

If you're a user of Intel Bluetooth Hardware and have trouble with BT due to KB3172605, you can take a look at the page October page; it contains some links that might be helpful in resolving the issues.


Valid as of: Oct 2016 (2016-10-11)
Valid until: Until MS breaks something again
Note: The above dates only refer to the "speedup" update, the "magic" patch, not the whole page!

This HowTo is valid for Win7 SP1 and 8.1, which have been newly installed or haven't been updated for some time. It should also help on systems that were up-to-date last month.

These instructions were only tested on Win7 SP1. Due to the changes to the Windows Updates I can't make any more statements about Vista SP2; I just don't have the time to include Vista in my tests, even less since Vista will be out of support in April 2017.

Solution to the issue

The term "solution" might be a little bit exaggerated, since the following HowTo only tries to make sure that the Update Agent doesn't need to check all updates, so the check for new updates is done faster.

Install the following updates BEFORE letting Windows search for updates, to avoid this very search taking "forever".

It's sufficient to install one of the Servicing Stack Updates. The current version is highlighted in bold.
Important: One of the Servicing Stack Updates is required before July 2016 Rollup can be installed!
KB Win7 x64 Win7 x86 Win8.1 x64 Win8.1 x86
KB3020369 Servicing Stack Update April 2015 Download Download - -
KB3021910 Servicing Stack Update April 2015 - - Download Download
Servicing Stack Update September 2016 Download Download - -
Servicing Stack Update July 2016 - - Download Download
July 2016 Rollup Download
Direct link September 2016
Direct link September 2016
- -
July 2016 Rollup - - Download Download
Maybe you wonder why July 2016 Rollup. The answer is simple: This particular update contains a more recent (as far as I know the latest) version of the Update Agent. With this update the time needed to search for new updates is reasonable, almost regardless of the updates installed on the system; the search times vary, of course, but not as ridiculously much as without July 2016 Rollup.

Monthly updates

The Security-Only update is, as opposed to the Monthly Rollup, NOT cumulative, meaning that it contains only the security updates for the current month, not those of previous months. So you must install the Security-Only updates of previous months, too, if you have decided to go this way (security updates only). The previous month is linked at the top of the page.
KB Win7 x64 Win7 x86 Win8.1 x64 Win8.1 x86
KB4012212 Security Only Download Download - -
KB4012215 Monthly Rollup Download Download - -
KB4012213 Security Only - - Download Download
KB4012216 Monthly Rollup - - Download Download


Since there is neither a Servicing Stack Update nor a Rollup for Windows Vista, the differences between Win7 and Vista are going to increase, starting in October 2016. So I can't make any more recommendations for this OS. Nonetheless I'll list those updates for Vista that will most likely speed up the search, limited to new updates (you can find the old ones on the pages of previous months).

Vista users may try the following updates:
KB Vista x64 Vista x86
KB4012497 Download Download
KB4012583 Download Download
If none of them helps to speed up the search, you might find some "speedup" update somewhere in the more recent posts of this very long VistaX64 forum thread or in the Security Bulletin Summaries for the current month; so far it's often been an update for the Windows Kernel (win32k.sys).

Important: You should verify the update's KB numbers before installing them, since the download links in the Security Bulletins might link to different or non-existent updates!

Steps to take after Windows installation

Some automation

To ease the pain of installing multiple systems you can use e.g. this script which is updated regularly. Put the script and all updates in the same directory - a USB flash drive or network share may be a good place. The script determines the Windows version (Vista, Win7 or Win8.1), its architecture (32 or 64 bit) and so on. It makes use of the command given above. Just double-click the script - after you've disabled automatic updates (see above) - and it installs all required updates automatically, including the latest Windows Update Agent (if present). Reboot the system after the script is finished, and you're done. Re-enable automatic updates as needed.

If you intend to install Windows Updates on a whole network of systems, it's probably better to use some dedicated solution for this, e.g. WSUS Offline Update, which already installs the prerequisites in current releases.


If you are curious why the search for updates takes such a long time, check out the background information.

Thanks to T. Wittrock, author of WSUS Offline Update, Denniss, Canadian Tech, Woody Leonhard, Cliff Hogan, lmacri and the community.


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