How to Half Your Windows 7 Installation Time with an Update

Gavin Phillips 24-05-2016

It’s been over 5 years since Windows 7 received service pack 1 (SP1), an update that compiled all important updates Windows Update: Everything You Need to Know Is Windows Update enabled on your PC? Windows Update protects you from security vulnerabilities by keeping Windows, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Office up-to-date with the latest security patches and bug fixes. Read More  since Windows 7’s original release in 2009. Now, Microsoft has rather kindly announced the release of a “convenience rollup” package to close the gap, patching security issues and a host of other bits and bobs from the end of Windows 7 SP1 to the current time.


Adding to their kindness, this “convenience update is completely optional,” and won’t even appear in the standard Windows Update offerings. So the choice, this time, really is entirely yours How You Could Have Upgraded to Windows 10 by Accident & What to Do Windows 10 was accidentally auto-installed on Windows 7 and 8.1 machines without user consent. Microsoft apologized for the mistake. We analyze the events and show you once more how to NOT get Windows 10. Read More . Let’s take a quick look at why you might want to install the update, and where you’ll find it when the time comes.

The Convenience Rollup Saves Time

Have you installed Windows 7 recently? How to Get a Cheap Windows 7 or 8 License Now to Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free Worried about the future of your old or pirated Windows copy? Now is the time to snatch a cheap Windows 7 or 8 license to secure yourself that free upgrade to Windows 10. We show... Read More Probably not; you’ve only just got to grips with Windows 10. But those that have will immediately recall restarting their computer multiple times, while Windows Update downloads and installs over half a decade’s worth of security and non-security patches to bring your new installation up to date. Painful and time-wasting, the process left many users screaming for an all-inclusive package to take care of business.

Well, this time, Microsoft was listening:

“While we’ve spent a lot of time over the past year talking about Windows 10 (including new roadmap details), we know that organizations are still working with Windows 7 too, regularly updating their Windows 7 SP1 images to include the latest updates, app versions, and more.  For those that are involved in that process, you’ve probably seen a display like this too many times:”

Windows 7 Windows Update 208

The convenience rollup package works akin to a Windows 7 Service Pack 2, immediately bringing your Windows 7 installation up to April 2016, installing each and every update released since Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (February 2011) Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Released - But What's Inside? [News] Read More . Once the mega-update is installed, you’ll only have to patch the remaining months between April 2016 and the date of your installation, saving you eons of time.


The Convenience Rollup will not appear as a regular Windows Update Fix Windows Update & Make It Less Annoying Without Compromising Security Windows Update can be a nuisance. Here is how you can protect yourself from its annoyances without compromising security. Read More . You’ll have to download it from the Microsoft Windows Update Catalog and manually install it. Once installed, you can head back to regular Windows Update How to Find Out Every Last Thing About Windows Update Once a month on Patch Tuesday, Microsoft releases cumulative updates to all Windows users. We'll show you how to gather information about updates and which Windows Update settings you should be aware of. Read More and patch up to the current date.

In this case, given the size of the release, we’ll accept this installation quirk.

How to Manually Install the Covenience Rollup

Let me show you how to add the Windows 7 convenience rollup, aka Windows 7 Service Pack 2 (but please do not call it that, because it most certainly isn’t), to your existing Windows 7 installation.

1. Check Your Windows 7 Version

For this to work, you must already be running Windows 7 Service Pack 1. Hit the Windows Key, type winver, and press Enter. This will show you what version of Windows you’re running. If it says Service Pack 1, like the image below, we’re good to go. If not, follow this link to the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 download page.


WinVer Windows Version

Grab it, install it, and meet us at the next section.

2. Check Your System Type

Check which type of Windows 7 you’re running. Open the Start Menu, right-click Computer, and select Properties. Under System you’ll spot System type, where you’ll spot either 32 or 64-bit operating system Do I Have 32-Bit or 64-Bit Windows? Here's How to Tell How can you tell if the Windows version you are using is 32-bit or 64-bit? Use these methods and learn why it is important too. Read More .

Windows 7 System Info


3. Install the Servicing Stack Update

It wouldn’t be Microsoft without some quirk, other than the one I already mentioned. Before you can install the convenience rollup, you’ll need the latest servicing stack update. No, you don’t have to understand this. Just do it.

Head to the April 2015 Servicing Stack Update download page and locate the appropriate link for your system architecture (32 or 64 bit). Download the correct version.

Windows Service Stacking Update Download Options

Once downloaded, install the update.


4: Install the Windows 7 SP1 Convenience Rollup

The big moment arrives! The tension is palpable. Use one of the following links to download the correct version for your system architecture:

If the direct download links above do not work, head to the Microsoft Windows Update Catalog. The linked site requires ActiveX, so you’ll have to use Internet Explorer. Backwards, I know, but work with it for a moment.

The website will also need to install the “Windows Update Catalog” add-on, which you should accept. Once installed, you’ll spot several different packages available for download:

  • Update for Windows 7 (KB3125574): For 32-bit versions of Windows 7.
  • Update for Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 Edition (KB3125574): For 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB3125574): For 64-bit versions of Windows 7.

WIndows Update Catalog

Select the version for your system, and press Add. The download will be added to your basket. Click the basket, and you’ll arrive at your download. Select a location to save the package too, and off you go.

Windows Update Catalog Choose Location

Once the download finishes, double-click it, and install the update.

Any Other Good News?

Well, yes, in fact there is. While not quite as exciting as the massive Windows 7 package, Windows 8 and 8.1 haven’t been entirely left out. Non-security updates and patches will now be available as a single monthly rollup, rather than several smaller updates. Moving forward, Microsoft will continue to release a single update, each month, containing all of the non-security fixes to “improve the reliability and quality of our updates.”

Exciting times for Windows 7 users (like me!), and perhaps a great opportunity to commit to a clean install now that it’ll be completed within a few hours. There’s nothing like the smell of a freshly installed operating system!

Are you happy to see Microsoft devote some attention to Windows 7? Or are feeling aggrieved as a Windows 8/8.1 user? Let us know below!

Image Credit: Hardworking businessman by zoff via Shutterstock

Related topics: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1.

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  1. lou
    October 11, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    As long as one knows to install the correct drivers, Windows 7 still works like a million bucks.

  2. Calmin Adulyanukosol
    July 31, 2016 at 7:37 am

    hi when i open the .msu files its stuck at searching for updates on this computer forever. both with the april 2015 servicing stack update and the rollup. I've been all over the internet trying to find a solution but nothing. using a 64-bit windows 7 ultimate, service pack 1.

  3. Dan
    July 5, 2016 at 6:12 pm
  4. Anonymous
    May 25, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    I've found that the May 2016 rollup for Windows 7 still takes forever and a day to install, even if you already have the ~450MB .MSU file handy.

    But I keep the Windows Offline Updater content for every current Windows version on a handy flash drive for times when I need to update a non-domain workstation, so even when something isn't talking to my local Windows Update Server, it never takes more than maybe 15 or 20 minutes to bring a new system up to date.

    • Gavin Phillips
      June 3, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      Do you know if WOU updates itself every now and then, or do you need to periodically download a newer version?

      And yeah, it is still a slow process, though I managed a new installation in a few hours, rather than a seemingly never ending slog. Better that it is shorter, though I guess most people will be installing W10 now, rather than W7.

      • Anonymous
        June 3, 2016 at 1:58 pm

        @Gavin Philips,

        The downloader component checks the Windows Update manifest for the selected OS(es) and downloads any updates you don't have. That part is a manual process that I need to trigger monthly, although it's not terribly burdensome after the initial download.

        I actually keep everything from Vista to 10 available in the same place. It's well worth the ~10GB to have the files on hand.

        Installing from the Offline Updater involves use of a client application that can be triggered from a network share or just the client folder on a flash drive.

        Having the files on hand also make rolling them up into an updated OS install ISO or VHD a relatively straightforward process, which is another reason to keep those files around.