Microsoft Download Center Archive
Welcome to Legacy Update’s archive of the Microsoft Download Center.
In August 2020, Microsoft deleted thousands of downloads for prior versions of Windows, Office, Visual Studio, SQL Server, and more. These downloads include ones for Windows 95, 98, Me, NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Vista, and 7, old versions of runtimes such as the .NET Framework, Visual C++ Redistributable, and DirectX, and freeware tools such as Microsoft Virtual PC and Microsoft SQL Server, among countless other Microsoft products released prior to their transition to the more secure SHA-2 code signing scheme.
Legacy Update has catalogued the Microsoft Download Center as it stood prior to August 2020. You can browse the archive below, or use the search box to find a specific download. We’re working on categorising the archive so you can find the thousands of downloads it holds.
Want to update your old PC? You’ll want Legacy Update.
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.NET Framework: Programs written using the Microsoft .NET Framework will require one of the following runtimes to be installed. .NET 3.5 installs separately from .NET 4 and later. Unless you have a specific need, use the latest .NET 4 version compatible with your Windows version.
Microsoft Visual C++ and Visual Basic Redistributables: Programs written with Visual C++ or Visual Basic often depend on these runtimes. Runtimes prior to 2015 are not compatible with each other - a program requires a specific version of a runtime. On 64-bit installations of Windows, 32-bit programs will require a 32-bit runtime.
Microsoft Layer for Unicode (Unicows.dll): More recent software developed for Windows 95, 98, and Me, notably including KernelEx, may require the Microsoft Layer for Unicode to be installed.
Windows Installer: Required as a prerequisite to install some later programs. These Windows Installer updates are additionally delivered as required updates via Windows Update.
Windows Script 5.7: Some programs may require an updated Windows Script runtime (JScript and VBScript). Windows Script 5.7 is included with Windows Vista.
Windows Help (WinHlp32.exe): Programs that use legacy Windows Help (.hlp) files require this package to be installed on Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1. Not supported on Windows 10 or later.
Microsoft SQL Server Express: Many enterprise programs use Microsoft’s more advanced database server software. SQL Server Express is the free edition that many such apps require.
Microsoft Report Viewer: Some programs require this component to display reports. The version required depends on the program.
DirectX Runtime: DirectX is a set of APIs that allow games and other graphics-oriented programs to work directly with your video and audio hardware.
Microsoft XPS Viewer: XML Paper Specification (XPS) was a document format intended to replace PDF. XPS documents can be viewed and printed on Windows XP through the XPS Essentials Pack.
Virtual PC: Microsoft’s free x86 virtualization software based on Connectix Virtual PC, and predecessor to Hyper-V.
Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK): Toolkit used to image and deploy Windows Vista and 7, including Windows PE, Dism, and ImageX.
Resource Kit Tools: A collection of command line tools for administrators.
PowerShell: Microsoft’s modern replacement for Command Prompt, bringing powerful system configuration and automation.
BitLocker To Go Reader: View the contents of an external drive encrypted with BitLocker To Go on Windows 7.
This archive could not be as comprehensive without the incredible work done by Archive Team, who sprung into action when Microsoft rudely announced the removal of thousands of legacy downloads with only a few days’ notice, through an obscure forum post. The reason many of the downloads have been archived at all is because of their The Microsoft Download Center Takedown project.
Downloads are provided through the Internet Archive’s incredible Wayback Machine project. Without Internet Archive’s archival bots continuously humming along in the background, making backups of anything and everything they can find, insane amounts of our recent online history would be lost forever.
You can help Archive Team in their mission! Visit their website for more info.
A huge thank you also goes to:
- The Library of Congress’s web archival project, which filled in some gaps in the Wayback Machine’s archives
- fullpwnmedia, for helping out with some of the archival efforts
Legacy Update is made available for free thanks to generous support from these fans:
Dan Mahoney, GiovanH, Junior Moreno, Ryan Croughn, Timon, @mstg, @jeanluc162, @jcgraybill, @Inlesco, @valnoxy, @Emil215p, Marrianne, Teena Rodriguez, Alex Auspitz, and 2 private supporters.
Microsoft software may be subject to certain license agreements - please read them carefully before using the software. Any use of the software downloaded through this website is at your own risk.