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Windows XP users can hack their registry to get updates, but Microsoft warns them not to

Published May 27th, 2014 6:15PM EDT
Windows XP Security Updates

According to industry monitor Net Applications, Windows XP is still being used on 26.29% of all computers globally. As such, it stands to reason that people would look for workarounds now that Microsoft has stopped supporting the aged operating system, and will no longer issue security updates.

It turns out that a simple tweak of Windows XP’s registry allows XP users to continue getting security updates through 2019, as noted in a recent report from Betanews. Microsoft, however, has issued a statement warning users not to perform the “hack.”

“We recently became aware of a hack that purportedly aims to provide security updates to Windows XP customers,” Microsoft said in a statement given to ZDNet on Monday. “The security updates that could be installed are intended for Windows Embedded and Windows Server 2003 customers and do not fully protect Windows XP customers. Windows XP customers also run a significant risk of functionality issues with their machines if they install these updates, as they are not tested against Windows XP.”

The statement continued, “The best way for Windows XP customers to protect their systems is to upgrade to a more modern operating system, like Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.”

For those willing to throw caution to the wind and ignore Microsoft’s warning in an effort to keep using Windows XP and still get some protection, Betanews has instructions on how to make the required registry changes, and the site’s article is linked below in our source section.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.