Microsoft is releasing a new Windows 10 version every six months with new features, stability improvements, user interface improvements, and security fixes. Every time there is a new major update, Windows 10 automatically downloads and installs it.
If you want to create a bootable USB drive then you need to download the Windows 10 ISO file. However, if you go the official Microsoft page to download Windows 10 ISO, you are forced to download the Media Creation Tool. Microsoft does this by detecting your system and your browser's user agent.
If you visit the same download page from any other operating system other than Windows, you will be able to download the ISO file directly.
Using Media Creation Tool, you can download the ISO, create a bootable USB drive, and even upgrade Windows 10 in place. The benefit of using Media Creation Tools is that you just open the application, select the appropriate option and you are good to go. The tool will do everything for you. It's easy, it's simple and gets the job done.
- Problems with Media Creation Tool
- Download Windows 10 ISO using Chrome
- Download Windows 10 ISO using Firefox
Problems with Media Creation Tool
As good as it is, on occasion, you might face some problems while using the Media Creation Tool. Now, there are not many problems with the media creation tool. However, the few problems it has might be a deal breaker for many.
Some of the problems are as follows.
- From time to time, the media creation tool throws random errors and stop downloading. A good example would be having no administrative privileges, corrupted downloads folder, not having necessary Windows updates installed, etc.
- There is no easy way to pause and resume downloads in the Media Creation Tool.
- The download speed may not be that great when using the Media Creation Tool.
- Last but not least, for whatever reason, Media Creation Tool is painfully slow. I mean, why should I wait for at least two to four minutes at the "Gettings a few things ready" screen?
To avoid all this, use the below methods to download Windows 10 ISO without using the Media Creation Tool.
Download Windows 10 ISO Without Media Creation Tool
Like I said before, Microsoft detects your browser's user agent and redirects you to download the media creation tool. So, all we have to do is fool Microsoft website into thinking that we are not using Windows. We can do that by changing your browser's user agent. After changing the browser's user agent, you can download Windows 10 ISO without Media Creation Tool. There are many extensions and add-ons that let you change the browser user agent with just a few clicks.
Note: As of now, Microsoft Edge browser has no extension to change its user agent. So, either use the Chrome or Firefox to Download Windows 10 ISO without Media Creation Tool.
When there is a user agent switcher extension for Edge, I will update the article to include those instructions.
Using Chrome Browser
1. Launch the Google Chrome browser and install the User Agent Switcher extension.
2. After installing the extension, click on it and select "Android -> Android KitKat". We are going to emulate Android user agent. Other than Windows, you can use anything you want.
3. The above action will instantly change Chrome's user agent. Now, go this official Microsoft Windows 10 ISO download page. Since we've changed the user agent, you can now download Windows 10 ISO directly. Select "Windows 10" from the drop-down menu.
4. Select your language. In my case, I've selected "English International".
5. You can now see the direct download links to Windows 10 ISO. Just click on the download link and you can download the ISO file. Do keep in mind that the generated download links are only valid for 24 hours.
Reset user agent to default:
To reset the Chrome user agent to default, click on the extension icon and select "Chrome -> Default".
Using Firefox Browser
1. Launch Firefox browser and install User Agent Switcher add-on.
2. After installing the add-on, click on it and select "Android Phone/Firefox" option under Mobile. Just like with Chrome, you can select any user agent other than Windows.
3. Now, go to the official Microsoft Windows 10 ISO download page and download the ISO.
Like before, the download links are only valid for 24 hours. So, download the ISO as fast as possible.
Reset user agent to default:
To reset the user agent to default, click on the add-on icon, select "Default".
That's all there is to it. Isn't that simple and pain-free when compared to using the Media Creation tool?
Let me know what you think about this approach to direct download Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft website.