How can I get updates to Windows XP?

Episode 1351 (1:38:00)

Bernie from San Dimas, CA

Bernie has an old PC that he put Windows XP on. How can he still get the service pack updates? Leo says he can get them directly from Microsoft. He can get right up to April 2015. After that, Microsoft stopped Windows XP development. He won't be able to get anymore patches after that date.

There is one workaround, though. Windows XP is used in embedded systems like ATMs, and Microsoft still supports patches for embedded systems. He can change a registry key in his system to get updates until 2019. ZDNet has an article on how to do this. There's also a link to an "unofficial" service pack 4 update at He should make sure he backs up his registry before making any changes, so if he messes up, he can fix it.

Steps to protect yourself since Microsoft has stopped supporting XP:

  • Stop using XP as an administrator. Use it as a limited user instead. Add an account as an administrator and then demote your existing account to limited user. This will stop over 90% of all the exploits out there.
  • Stop using Internet Explorer. Go with Google Chrome. It's free and far more secure.
  • Don't click on links in email.
  • Only get your software from original vendors.
  • Keep your anti virus software up to date.
  • Stop using Java.
  • Use a password vault like LastPass.
  • Turn on second factor authentication wherever possible.

(See the original question on episode 1318 of The Tech Guy.)