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unpack, extract .MSU filesStarting from Windows Vista, Microsoft is delivering Windows updates as well as Security updates,  patches and hotfixes as .MSU files.  MSU stand for Microsoft Update Standalone Package and it is nothing else than a file associated with the Windows Update Stand-alone Installer.  Usually, an .MSU file contains Windows Update metadata describing what the package contains, .cab files, an .XMl file meant to describe what the .MSU update package is about and a  property file that contains string properties that Wusa.exe uses. This guide will show you how to open, unpack and extract any .MSU file in order to use its content  as part of an update, for example, in Windows Images and DVDs.

  1. Click Start.
  2. In the Search field (if you are using Windows 7) or in the Run field (if you are using Windows Vista), type: cmd
  3. Right-click the Command Prompt icon and from the menu, click “Run as Administrator…”.
  4. In the black Command Prompt window, type: expand –f:* <file.msu> <type here the folder where you want the unpacked content to be sent>
  5. Here is an example: expand –f:* Windows5.4-KB176689-x64.msu C:\UpdateFolder\
  6. After you have extracted and opened the package, you can install it typing the following command: pkgmgr.exe /n:C:\ExtractedMsu\Windows5.4-KB176689-x64.XML (make sure the package comes with the .XMl file!)

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4 Comments to “How to Open and Extract .MSU Windows Update Files”

  1. Dennis F. Says:

    Thank you StarLight & Frank. I downloaded the Wise Cleaner, but don’t have time now to run it (Just picked up an iPhone today, so that takes priority, ha.). I have ISOs & full backups, so I’m not too worried about losing anything. And I’m configured in RAID 1. So far so good.

    Can’t say enough about Web Talk. I’ve tried asking questions on other blogs and usually just get “smart” answers. I trust Frank and his minions.

  2. StarLight Says:

    Sorry Dennis

    I showed my newbie status there by pasting a link in normal type.

    Here it is copied properly you’ll have to copy it into your browser address bar


  3. StarLight Says:

    @ Dennis F

    Yes they can Dennis and the Wise Disk Cleaner Professional Edition 5.93 will do just that for you with just a few clicks very easily

    To download the full version of Wise Disk Cleaner Professional Edition (worth $20) for free, visit the following direct download link.
    Download : Wise Disk Cleaner Pro Full [2.76 MB]

    [Note : This a special full version build and does not require any license or serial for activation.]

    @ Web Talk

    It’s a great idea of yours to save all these patches especially for reinstallations (and I’ve done quite a few of those believe me) otherwise re-downloading and reinstalling them at Windows Update’s speed takes forever.

    But my question is “Is there a way to input all the update file names and KB(Knowledge Base) numbers automatically because there are literally hundreds of them and doing that all by hand would take forever and a half?”


    Is there also maybe a way to extract all the files from the Wise Disk Cleaner Scan results? And I’m thinking as I’m typing here as there possibly is if a person could backup the Wise Disk Cleaner’s results then their going to have a complete set of Windows Updates for their PC ready for reinstalling should they ever need them.

    So what do you think Mr Frank P.? Although I know about the Wise Disk Cleaner being able to do what Dennis is asking about, I’m really just a relative newbie myself at this computing mullarchy, so can you advise if I’m any where near being correct please?

    Yours respectfully

  4. Dennis F. Says:

    Even at my age I learn something everyday. Can the update files be deleted after installation?

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