If you are like me, and obsessively ensure that all your virtual machines are kept up-to-date with the latest patches at all times, you may have wondered why your Windows XP mode virtual machine seems to be stuck with Internet Explorer 6.
No matter how many times you check for updates – you never see a new version of Internet Explorer.
The reason for this is that we have disabled that update in Windows XP mode by default.
The primary reason that Windows XP mode was designed was to allow people to run legacy applications that will not run on Windows 7. Many of these legacy applications require the older version of Internet Explorer to run – and it would be problematic if Windows XP mode automatically updated itself to Internet Explorer 8 and broke these applications.
If you do not need to keep Internet Explorer 6 around – you can update your Windows XP mode virtual machine by opening Windows Update, and choosing the custom option. Here you will see a warning that states that some updates have been hidden:
If you click on the link to show these updates again – you should immediately see the option to install Internet Explorer 8: