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You should be able to update using Microsoft's online service, but it is also important to keep your browser up to date.

How do I manually update my Windows XP using IE6? I don't use or want IE, but now when I go to Tools to update, it takes me to a page that directs me to go to program/Windows Update. I don't have Windows Update in my program list. Thanks.

In this excerpt from Answercast #11, I look at the security implications of using IE 6 and other unsupported browser versions, even in old operating systems.

Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6

Two things here: One is nobody should be using Internet Explorer version 6 anymore. It is not secure; it is not being updated.

I strongly suggest that you update to, at least, Internet Explorer 7. Under Windows XP, I actually don't see any reason not to go all the way to Internet Explorer version 8.

Finding the updates

Now, getting there from here.

You should be able to, in Internet Explorer, visit

That should take you to the Windows Update website which should either walk you through the process of updating whatever needs to be updated, or first install some software on your machine that will allow it to analyze your machine and then walk you through the steps required to update that machine.

Use Internet Explorer

You will need to use Internet Explorer for that.

  • You need to keep IE up-to-date because it is imbedded in your system whether you use it or not.

  • I strongly suggest that you move away from Internet Explorer 6 and get yourself as up-to-date as possible.

Next - Where does Windows Live Mail store my contacts?

Article C5241 - April 23, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

April 24, 2012 2:26 PM

I run WinXP Pro SP3 & use Firefox.
But, while I have intentionally refused to install IE 7,8,..etc., I manually update Windows (every week).
There are frequent updates for IE6 which I do.

So don't know what you're talking about when you say IE6 is not supported.
It obviously is, though I have absolutely 0 interest in actually using it or SilverLight, or any of the other MS crapolla being foisted on us guinea pigs.
Cut the arrogance & propaganda.
Just the facts please.

Bernard Winchester
April 24, 2012 3:01 PM

Yes, Internet Explorer 7 and 8 can be installed on XP, but not on Windows 2000 and earlier. The latest Opera browser does work in Windows 2000, and recent versions even supported Windows 95.

Dave Markley
April 26, 2012 8:31 AM

I just wanted to mention that although I do not use IE whenever possible (many websites, especially banking and government will ONLY let you use Internet Explorer), I still highly recommend updating to IE8. You will find it much faster, easier, safer and even much, much easier on the eyes.
I recommend NOT using IE7 as it has many issues and was so awful that Microsoft has a down-loadable file to stop Windows Update from ever installing it! If you must use IE (and we all must at times) do yourself a favor and get IE8.

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