AutoPatcher is an application that hundreds of thousands of people, especially those working in IT, depend on and use regularly. It’s a simple and free application that has been around since 2003. It has served a vital purpose for many people by providing Windows Updates in one consolidated package that could be downloaded. These were available for XP, 2000, 2003, Vista, and even various versions of Office.

The entire point of AutoPatcher was to make updating multiple computers a piece of cake. I always used this after formatting my PC so that I wouldn’t have to sit and download all of the updates just to get my computer back up to speed. The great thing was that AutoPatcher was updated monthly therefore providing the latest updates. Each of those updates came in two different flavors:

Core releases – these are the main releases which contain the bulk of the patches. These are rather large in size (normally several hundred megabytes), and are often only downloaded by first-time users.

Update releases – these allow you to update a Core release with additional patches as new ones are created.

AutoPatcher does require that you install the app first, but after that you can pick and choose which updates you want installed. The program even gives you a brief description of what each update does:

Click to Enlarge

Unfortunately Microsoft saw this application in a different light, and decided to shut it down. As of right now the AutoPatcher site remains available, but the links to the downloads have since been removed. From the looks of it Microsoft hasn’t been able to reach the mirrors yet to have the files removed:

Download AutoPatcher Cores (most recent versions):

Alternatively the downloads are readily available from several sites, or you can download AutoPatcher via Torrents. The only bad part is that the software probably won’t be updated anymore. :( Maybe this wouldn’t be such a big deal if Microsoft made it easier to install these updates offline. Honestly they should be offering a tool themselves that does the same thing as AutoPatcher.

Of course the only thing that AutoPatcher is doing wrong is redistributing the patches that Microsoft provides. They could possibly get around this by having users download a small application that will retrieve all of the updates from Microsoft. I’m sure there has to be a workaround, and hopefully the AutoPatcher team will find it!

Source: AutoPatcher [via Neowin]