Older versions of Windows like Windows 95, 98 and others can once again access online updates, allowing them to benefit from the latest fixes and improvements available. We explain to you.

Windows 95 desktop

If you’re interested in retro computing, you know how hard it can be to find the latest bug fixes and official updates for older Internet-age versions of Windows, such as 95, 98, and NT 4.0.

A new independent project called “Windows Update Restored” aims to remedy this by hosting slightly modified versions of older Windows Update sites as well as the update files themselves. Thus, new installations of these old operating systems can benefit from several years of patches that are not present on the old installation CDs and diskettes.

Fixes and updates for old Windows with Windows Update Restored

These older versions of Windows mostly depended on Windows Update to work, rather than the built-in update tools used in current versions of Windows. Microsoft retired the version of the site to scan and update Windows 95 and 98 sometime before mid-2011. The Windows Update Restored site is a slightly modified version of the original Microsoft code and it does not use any type of SSL or TLS encryption. So older versions of Internet Explorer can still access it without any changes.

To access Windows Update Restored update sites, you will need Internet Explorer 5 or higher. Although this browser is no longer directly available from Microsoft, the Windows Update Restored site offers download links to IE5 and IE5.5 in all supported languages.

Version 3.1 of the Windows Update Restored site is currently the only functional one, but support for other versions is planned. This version supports Windows 95, both editions of Windows 98, NT 4.0, ME and some versions of Windows 2000 (except the most recent one with Service Pack 4 installed).

If you are using an early 2000s version of Windows, such as 2000 or XP, another project called Legacy Update might be more appropriate. Windows 2000 and XP updates are still available from Microsoft’s Update Catalog, and Legacy Update simply allows these older operating systems to communicate with the company’s modern websites and servers.

It goes without saying that a working version of Windows Update does not make these operating systems secure for use on the modern Internet; updates for Windows 95 ceased in 2001, while Windows 98 and ME stopped receiving new updates in 2006. Modern browsers, anti-virus products, and other software have not supported these operating systems for several years. The best is always to be up to date on Windows 10 or Windows 11.


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