This post relates to an earlier thread of mine to fix a problem with Microsoft Update (MSU) during which I had to re-install MSU under Windows 7, 64bit, SP1. I installed this Microsoft update to fix the problem.

However, in the process of fixing the problem I had also unchecked the setting "install updates for other Microsoft products" in the MSU setting, as is shown below in highlighted yellow [unfortunately in German, but the idea should be clear]. This screenshot is from the Office online help where it explains that the checkbox should be checked to find Office updates.

enter image description here

However, I unchecked the box before installing the MSU update as an attempt to solve my original problem. I planned to check it again later.

To my suprise, the checkbox disappeared after the update and now MSU only searches for Windows updates. See screenshot after the MSU update: the checkbox disappeared.

enter image description here

On the start page of MS update it can be seen that it only searches for Windows updates. See screenshot, first yellow highlight from top. [In German: "You receive updates for: Windows only"]

In the row below [second highlight from top] it says "Receive other updates for Microsoft products" and the link points to this somewhat oldish strange site at Microsoft, relating to Vista (!): http://www.update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/v6/thanks.aspx?ln=de&&thankspage=5

enter image description here

This all looks very strange to me. Could it be that this is a bug in the MSU update from November 2015?

I would be glad to get your help on this!

Edit: I found an old thread which discusses that when the link is opened in IE11 with compatibility view then it offers to install MS Update. Should I do this? it seems starnge to me given I just installed an MSU update dating Nov 2015? See screenshot. Plus this seems to be a VISTA help page. enter image description here

  • Install Office updates says you can enable updates from FileAccountsProduct InformationUpdate Option. I found its just more broken Microsoft documentation; Product Information is not available under Office 2013 Professional for me. There are instructions for Office 2010, too. Hopefully your mileage will be better than mine.
    – jww
    Jul 5 '16 at 5:54

I found an answer to my own question. I am running Office 2010 ("version 14.x"). To enable updates again proceed as follows:

  1. Close all running Microsoft Office components.
  2. Open Regedit
  3. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Common\General
  4. Modify the "ShownFirstRunOptIn" value from 1 to 0
  5. Launch a Microsoft Office component, it will give you the option to download the updates, make sure you select it.
  6. Done. If you go back to "Windows Update", then "Change Settings", you will see the "Microsoft Update" and "Software notifications" sections are available again (until the Microsoft Update check box is unchecked again).

The key in step 4 might have slightly different names across office versions. In my source the key was called ShownOptIn under office version 12.

Following these steps also MSU shows the missing checkbox again and it finds all updates including updates for non-office products (e.g. Silverlight)

  • I canot find my source link anymore, if I do I will post it here.
    – tomka
    Feb 24 '16 at 11:23
  • Is there some way of enabling it when you don't have any "Microsoft" products installed (eg. from a fresh Win7 installation)?
    – Hugh Allen
    Jun 6 '16 at 12:55
  • Then, I think, you don;t need it. MSU will search for Windows updates. If you don't have any other MS programs installed no updates for these programs are needed. I think it will make the option available as soon as you install any non-Windows MS program (e.g. Office or Silverlight).
    – tomka
    Jun 6 '16 at 14:03

It seems that when the Microsoft update servers are under heavy load, e.g. Patch Tuesday or shortly after, searching at the same time for updates for both Windows and MS products (such as Office), can cause various error situations to arise. Unlinking the search for MS Products, so that it only looks for Windows updates, then has a higher likelihood to succeed. It is only unfortunate that Microsoft has made it so difficult to reinstate the search for updates to its products.


An alternative to the Regedit, is simply by adding microsoft.com to Internet Explorer 11 Compatibility View list. I found this solution in the comments at the bottom here: https://iowacitytechnologyservices.com/2015/10/12/windows-updates-microsoft-products/

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