Windows Update thinks you have a Mac ?

A few days ago I clicked on Windows Update on my start menu, and this lovely message came up :

Thank you for your interest in obtaining updates from our site.

This website is designed to work with Microsoft Windows operating systems only.
To find updates for Microsoft products that are designed for Macintosh
operating systems, please visit

Since I am currently using XP with IE 7.0, I was baffled to say the least. I had to believe that I am not the only one with this issue, and a quick Google search revealed that I was definitely not the only person experiencing this annoyance.

I’ll get right to the solution :


Open Regedit.exe by clicking on the START button, then clicking on RUN, type in regedit, and then hit OK.

Navigate to the following locations:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Internet Settings \ 5.0 \ User Agent


HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Internet Settings \ 5.0 \ User Agent

Backup the keys to separate REG files. You can backup a reg key by :

Selecting the key

Clicking on File/Export from menubar

Naming the file you’d like to save the key information to — I’d suggest UserAgent_1 and UserAgent_2 respectively.


Delete the User Agent key in the above two locations (if present)

By doing this, any overridden User Agent strings and tokens are removed, and the correct data is reported to a Web server.

Close Regedit.exe and restart Windows.

If you need to restore those keys, you’d just double-click on each of the files that you used to backup the registry files — UserAgent_1 and UserAgent_2 if you followed my naming convention.

My commentary on this annoyance is that I find it hard to believe that MSFT hasn’t made the answer much more accessible. I’d say the page should have an additional link that says “Click here if you are using XP and have reached this page due to our incompetence”.

But hey…I guess they just figure that they’ll send people to their competitor Google to find the answer.


8 Responses to Windows Update thinks you have a Mac ?

  1. John says:

    I want to thank everyone for this help. I was able to get things back to normal. It’s a real shame that I had to go thru all this because of something Microsoft could have helped me with.


  2. Simon says:

    Thank you for this corrrect solution – or at least guide as I had to hack out another 5.0\user Agent reference for success in the second key. Maybe ‘cos running XP 64bit – I don’t know just glad.

    Although ironic that once in no updates needed! Ha

    Microsoft – if they can’t get this to work the future no longer belongs to them.


  3. Brian says:

    Thanks this helped me when I had this error!

    Windows knew I was windows xp and not mac from the start menu’s update but not from IE7 > Help > Check for Updates.

    This fixed it.

  4. kat says:

    this did not work for me at all

  5. If you want to hear a reader’s feedback 🙂 , I rate this article for 4/5. Decent info, but I have to go to that damn google to find the missed pieces. Thanks, anyway!

  6. Andy says:

    Nope…..this does not work with i.e 8 and XP Pro I`m afaraid. It won`t let me delete the reg`s

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