How to get updates for Windows XP after end of support. For now at least.

How to get updates for Windows XP after end of support. For now at least.

by Mihai Neacsu on 27 May 2014 · 5658 views

Windows XP logoAs you know by now, Microsoft ended support for XP on 04.08.2014 and advised all XP users to move on to a newer OS such as Windows 8. From that point on, all patches for XP have stopped, except for this IE security patch.

A small tutorial appeared 4 days ago on this german forum, with instructions on how to trick Windows XP to still receive updates. For the 32-bit version of Windows XP you basically need to create a .reg file with a few lines of code and run it, as we will show you below. For the 64-bit version of XP, you need to follow the tutorial at the source.

WARNING: Use this at your own risk! These updates are not tested on a regular XP system and could damage your OS. Back-up everything before proceeding with this fix.

How to create the .reg file to enable updates for Windows XP 32-bit

1. Right-click on your desktop and create a new .txt file. Rename it to xp.reg and make sure the ending extension is .reg, not .txt.

2. Right-click xp.reg again and choose Edit.

3. Copy and Paste these lines below in the Notepad editing window:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

4. Save the file and double click to run it. Click 'Yes' for confirmation.

5. That's it. You can now open the Windows Update and check for new available updates for your XP system, no reboot required.

What exactly does this trick do?

It tricks the Windows Update service to consider XP as a POSReady 2009 OS. POSReady 2009 is a custom OS built by Microsoft and based on Windows XP Professional. It will still receive updates until April 9, 2019.

Microsoft's reaction?

As expected, Microsoft warned users to stay away from this hack and upgrade to a secure, newer OS, such as Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. The official reply states:

"We recently became aware of a hack that purportedly aims to provide security updates to Windows XP customers. The security updates that could be installed are intended for Windows Embedded and Windows Server 2003 customers and do not fully protect Windows XP customers. Windows XP customers also run a significant risk of functionality issues with their machines if they install these updates, as they are not tested against Windows XP. The best way for Windows XP customers to protect their systems is to upgrade to a more modern operating system, like Windows 7 or Windows 8.1." - Microsoft, via Cnet.

So there you have it, a working trick to keep your XP updates going, at least until Microsoft comes up with a countermeasure.

If you did upgrade to Windows 8.1 and you miss XP, don't forget that you can still use it as a virtual machine.

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