How to Keep Getting Windows XP Updates for Years to Come

Ben Stegner 23-06-2016

Windows XP has been dead and gone for over two years now, but it sadly won’t be completely gone for a long time Why Windows XP Won't Be Going Away Anytime Soon People cannot let go of Windows XP. In businesses and homes the world over, it will stick around. We spoke with three Windows XP users from different generations and backgrounds to find out why. Read More . Many businesses are stuck using XP due to laziness or forced compatibility with some ancient website or software.


Most home users should upgrade to a modern version of Windows Upgrade From Windows XP to a Modern OS in 7 Simple Steps It's time to say goodbye! Microsoft is ending official support for Windows XP on April 8 2014. Are you at risk? If you are still running this ancient operating system, it's time to upgrade. Read More (like Windows 10) or switch to Mac OS, Linux, or even a Chromebook. However, if you’re bent on using XP until it collapses, here’s how to tweak the OS to get even more life out of it.

First, open up Notepad by pressing Windows Key + R to open Run and type notepad to get a new Notepad window. Paste the following text:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



Save the file with CTRL + S — name it whatever you like, but be sure that it ends in .reg to make it a Registry file. Double-click the new file and confirm adding it to the Registry.

Now, you can restart the computer to re-enable automatic updates, or open the Start Menu and choose All Programs > Windows Update to check for updates on the web manually. You should find new updates waiting for you, despite XP not receiving any updates since 2014.

The trick is that the registry value you edited tells the update server that your machine is running Windows XP Embedded, which was a special version of XP designed to be embedded inside lightweight systems like cash registers. Note that these updates were not intended for XP and may cause issues, so do this at your own risk.


If you need more help for surviving on XP, check out our complete XPocalypse survival guide How to Tweak Windows XP and Stop Worrying About the Apocalypse Are you forced to stay with Windows XP? Using an unsupported operating system is risky, but don't despair! We show you how you can carry on running Windows XP, if you must. Read More .

Will you try this out to get new Windows XP updates, or have you already upgraded to a modern machine? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Image Credit: Evlakhov Valeriy via

Related topics: Windows Registry, Windows Update, Windows XP.

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  1. Bill
    December 18, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    This worked on my IBM T23 Thinkpad except now, I get error messages every time I try do do anything on the machine. I'm trying to find a decent Linux program that will run fast on it. The ones I tried so far run, but are very slow.

  2. Brid
    August 28, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Hi There,
    In my constant search for advice, in fear of pending doom :-), I found your site today. I have a 12 year old laptop still operating WinXP, SP3. I followed the instructions above and when completed...99 updates were successfully installed!!!
    Thanks, Brid

  3. Dennis
    August 22, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    08/22/2018. Just got 30, new Windows XP updates today. Comment at the end was that an update to Service Pack 3 could not be installed and asked to reboot. After reboot, no followup to they last update appeared.

  4. stephen anderson
    May 22, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    I am using Win-XP-SP3 because I need to save my data from my iQue 3600 (PDA/Gps) device and Gamin never updated the Palm software to work on Win-7, Palm desktop without Garmin's influence (insults) will not read the Garmin iQue 3600. When Parallels dies on my MAC (Not supported by Apple since 10.6.x) i will give up my iQue used.

  5. Peter E.
    February 12, 2017 at 5:14 am

    Why is everyone completely obsessed with Windows updates? I have turned off the updates on 2 separate XP machines about 2 years ago, and guess what! Neither of them have self destructed, developed terminal Malware or grown horns... (Yes, I do run an antivirus)
    Sure, if you spend half of every evening hitting porn sites, and click every link you get in a spam email, you might need them but otherwise you will be amazed how much better the machine runs without all the extra bloatware installed - not to mention not having to put up with Microsoft checking up on everything you do...

    And why do I still run XP?
    I hate Windows 7 (I'm stuck with it on my laptop) and Windows 10 is an abomination... Nearly everyone I know who has it hates it with a passion! Why would I want to run an operating system that wastes hours of my time EVERY 2 weeks running updates automatically that I can't turn off? No, I'm afraid ill stick with XP till the end, then its Linux time.

    I still remember a time when new versions of Windows actually ran much faster and were more reliable....

    • Elvis
      March 7, 2019 at 1:33 pm

      I agree mate! I am writing this on an XP machine - Windows 10 is on the next table by my side but it is OFF!!!!

      It is 2019 March today!!!!

  6. David
    November 21, 2016 at 10:41 am

    *Upgrade* to Windows 10 or a Chromebook?? DOWNGRADE!!! I'm using a PIII 1GHZ 512MB RAM with an older stand-alone-setup of Chrome and it works fine on just about every page. I don't want to give up 10 years of learning XP and 20 years worth of programs that will only run on XP. It will still do everything I want to do except video editing of the newer bigger video files, and sure, there will be web page issues in the future, but for now it's ok. When that happens, I'll disconnect it from the net and use the Library internet until I can afford an 'internet PC' just for browsing and video editing. (A faster XP box! :P) Plus, I hate throwing out perfectly good equipment just because MS or Google want us to run their bloatware. Winamp running in the background now playing my newest CD music files - Siamese Dream by the Smashing Pumpkins, edited by me in Wavelab, saved to my 500GB IDE drive, out to my amp and 18" high speakers. Beautiful. Don't worry baby, I won't throw you away! :-)

    • Ben Stegner
      November 21, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      Chrome isn't supporting newer versions on XP anymore, so it's only a matter of time before websites stop working.

      How many programs do you still use that only work on Windows XP? That's usually more of a concern for businesses.

      An XP machine may have been perfectly good equipment ten years ago, but at some point it's time to upgrade.

  7. Brian
    September 19, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    I'm using the "Registry Edit" after recently reading the old PCMAG article on it: works great. 170 updates for SP3. Using Mozilla with the XP machine, gets 5 hours on the battery. I'm running the Xilinx Development Environment that came with the Waveshare DVK600 FPGA development kit. Up and running in an hour. WIN7 machines tend to burn through the batteries quickly- I get about an hour on an HP I7 machine. WIN10 is out of the question for doing actual work on a computer, it's more of a "Net Connected Tablet" rather than a real computer that can be used for writing code. WIN7- which is worse, this "unack'd XP Updater or WIN7 Updater burning on the CPU". WIN8- they should recall it.

  8. Robin
    June 30, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Agree with H. Monk. Just because a person can't possibly envision a use-case for XP doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Considering the world-wide economy and the effect it's had on small businesses would enlighten one to the fact that the main reason businesses - and many individuals - stick with XP isn't laziness (as the author offered as first reason) but rather pure economics: folks can't afford to upgrade their hardware.
    Safety is, of course, an issue. Fortunately, there are a lot more options out there these days. Even those on fixed incomes can afford to dumpster-dive (get "obsolete" hardware for free or insanely cheap), then install some distro of Linux on it. Even here in Oz, you can pick up used PCs for as little as $30 ( with Ubuntu pre-installed. And there's your SAFE Internet connection - infinitely safer than with any flavour of Windows!

  9. H. Monk
    June 29, 2016 at 8:23 pm


    If you are "sick and tired of seeing these XP articles everywhere" why did you read this one. Just asking.

    I triple boot XP, Win7, and Win10. Why? Legacy software, especially games, and peripherals that will not run or run poorly on Windows OS after XP.

    Just one example, I have two HP Lasertjet 4 printers that, try all of the suggestions that are out there I may, will not run on my Win7 x64 or Win10 x64 installations - but purr on XP. Those machines are laser workhorses that yield 8800 pages with the 92298X cartridge - for $44. My Brother MFC 7840W yields 2600 pages for $35, and my HP M452dn yields between 2200 and 2600 pages - for $375.

    Secondly, of all of the Windows software that I have used, from DOS 3.2 through Win10, XP is my favorite. To be sure, later versions, e.g., Win10, are more feature packed but are lacking in the feel and experience offered by XP. Are those characteristics important? Well, having operated a successful business for 38 years, I have found that there is more to life than technocracy. For me, XP is akin to stopping and smelling the flowers.

  10. Col_Panek
    June 29, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    I have a couple machines that still have XP, but I boot Linux on them if I need to use the internet, or run new apps, or ..... well, I always run Linux on them. It runs my old scanner and TV capture card, too. Unless you have an app that only runs on XP (have you tried Wine with it?), that ship has sailed.

  11. Anonymous
    June 28, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    No m(dollar) Updates Necessary Since The SUMMER Of 2009.


  12. Brandon
    June 25, 2016 at 12:50 am

    I'm sick and tired of seeing these XP articles everywhere. I don't understand why people are hanging on to Windows XP. This registry edit is not intended for the normal user. This simply allows the latest Windows updates and security patches for ATMs, POS Systems, etc, but does not extend support for web browsers. IE 8 is no longer supported, period. Chrome & Firefox also do not support XP of any version. So you will still run into browsing issues in the very near future. It may support Microsoft Security Essentials and Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool, but we all know that both are worthless. It's truly not worth the time and effort to keep XP alive anymore, thus why Microsoft decided to cut support for it to the masses back in 2014. Either upgrade to 7 or buy a new/refurbished computer.

    • warptek
      July 7, 2016 at 5:22 am

      Yes sir! Right away!

  13. William Vasquez
    June 23, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    I've had this patch on my Windows XP Lenovo for almost 2 years now, and no issues at all. It is important because it updates Malicious Software Removal Tool monthly as well. I use Windows XP because, even though I have Linux on another machine, Linux can not run my Canon Pixma 1700 printer; my TV game show video games; and so much software that 15 years of usage has produced. Just remember...Windows 10 is over 95% of what Windows XP; Windows 7; and Windows 8 is. It has to be to make it backwards compatible.

  14. neal
    June 23, 2016 at 11:52 am

    not news, but it gives a few odd behaviors to the pc.

  15. Gilbert
    June 23, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Ssshhh don't publicize such things. :D Do you want Microsoft to stop the updates for XP Embedded? They do such evils things when such news gets attention.