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Microsoft just made updating Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 less of a headache

Windows rollup updates

Microsoft is simplifying updates to its Windows 7 and 8.1 operating systems by rolling cumulative updates into a single downloadable package.

For Windows 7, the SP1 convenience roll up will include all security and non-security updates in a single package. By downloading and installing the package, you'll have all updates prior to April 2016, meaning you'll have to download just a few updates after installing Windows. It's not Windows 7 SP2, but it's the next best thing.

In addition to the Windows 7 SP1 rollup, Microsoft will be providing rollup packages for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 in the future. Unlike the Windows 7 SP1 rollup, these monthly rollups will not contain security updates, so you'll still need to download those after a clean installation.

To download these rollup packages, you'll need to use Internet Explorer 6 or later. Other browsers are not supported as the packages require ActiveX, a software framework created by Microsoft.