Downloading a Windows ISO file from the Microsoft website has become much more complicated over the years. There is no direct download link on the ISO download page. Even if you search for “download Windows ISO”, you eventually come to the same page that required you to download the media creation tool.

However, it is possible to directly download Windows ISO files without downloading Media Creation Tool or any other application. This article lists several methods to download Windows ISO files using Chrome browser.

Microsoft wants its users to check if their system is compatible with the version of the operating system they are trying to install. Both the update tool and the media creation tool check the compatibility of the system before installing the operating system.

If you visit the ISO download website on a Windows PC, all available download paths will eventually lead to the Media Creation Tool. However, if you are using another operating system like macOS or Linux, it shows the direct ISO download links instead.

While it makes sense to get the Media Creation Tool to check your system for compatibility before downloading an ISO image, you do need an internet connection to download and install files. If the system disconnects from the Internet, the installer stops and must restart everything. Downloading only the ISO files makes installation much easier, as you can download the files once and then reuse them as many times as you want, even offline.

You can create USB installation media using tools like Rufus, or mount the ISO and run the Windows installer from there.

How To Download Windows ISOs From Microsoft Website Using Chrome

This section will detail different methods to force the Windows website to display direct download links on the page. Whenever you visit Microsoft’s website or any other website, it knows what operating system, device and browser you are using. These methods will trick the Microsoft website into believing that you are using another (non-Windows) device that uses Chrome.

Method 1: Change User Agent property in Chrome

The User Agent property is a string that the browser sends to the website to let it know about your device and the operating system it is running. When you use Chrome on Windows to access the Microsoft website, it tells the Microsoft website that you are browsing on a Windows machine. This prompts the Microsoft website to direct you to the Update Tool or Media Creation Tool.

If you change the user agent on Chrome, you can hide the fact that you are on Windows and force the website to reveal the direct Windows ISO download link. To do this, we will use the DevTools feature of Chrome. People often use Chrome’s DevTools to troubleshoot website issues, so it’s worth getting to know better.

Here’s how.

  1. Open Chrome, then type Windows software download in the search bar and press the Walk in key.
  2. On the web page, you will see all available versions of the Windows operating system that you can download. Click on on the image of the preferred OS version, and it will redirect to the download page.
  3. Scroll down and you will see that there are no links to directly download the Windows ISO file.
  4. press the F12 key in Chrome to launch the developer tools window. You can also press Ctrl+Shift+I key combination or right click on the web page and choose the inspect element ability to access development tools.
  5. Click on the three vertical dots located in the upper right corner of the developer tools window.
  6. A drop-down menu will open. Click on More tools > Network conditions.
  7. Now navigate to the bottom half of the developer tools window.
  8. Scroll down and find the User agent option under the Network status tongue. It will be set to Use Default Browser.
  9. Uncheck the checkbox by clicking on it. Next, expand the drop-down list and select the Android Browser (4.0.2) — Galaxy Nexus option.
  10. Hurry F12 to close the developer tools window, then reload the Microsoft Windows download page.

Now the download page thinks you are browsing the webpage on an Android browser, not Windows. Now we can download the ISO directly:

  1. Scroll down and find the Select edition heading on the page. It will allow you to choose the version of Windows available for download.
  2. Click on from the drop-down list and select the edition you wish to download. Then click on the To confirm button.
  3. Next, you will need to select the product language. Keep it English or choose your preferred language and click on the To confirm button.
  4. The webpage will show two download options. One will be the 32-bit Windows ISO download link. The other will be the link to download the 64-bit Windows ISO.
  5. Click any button and the download will start. The file size will be over 4 GB, so the download may take some time.

Method 2: Use Device Toolbar

The device toolbar in Chrome allows you to check how the website is performing and displaying on another device. Web developers use this tool to ensure that their website displays well on all possible devices, including mobile phones.

In the first method, we accessed the Windows download page on an Android device, and it revealed the link directly. Since the Microsoft website directly shows ISO download links when using a non-Windows device, using this method will also reveal the download link.

Here’s how to use the device toolbar in Chrome.

  1. Open Chrome, then type Windows software download in the search bar and press the Walk in key.
  2. On the web page, you will see all available versions of the Windows operating system that you can download. Click on the image of the preferred OS version and it will be redirected to the download page.
  3. Now press F12 to launch the developer tools window. Go to the top bar and click on the Toggle device toolbar button next to the inspect element button.
  4. You can also press Ctrl+Shift+M to change the layout of the website. It will now display the Windows download page using the responsive layout design.
  5. Hurry CTRL+R to reload the page. This will tell the website to reveal the direct link, as you are accessing it from a mobile device.
  6. The content of the web page will be a bit difficult to see. Hurry Ctrl+Shift+M to change the layout of the website.
  7. Now you will see the desktop version of the website which shows ISO download links. Do not refresh the web page.
  8. Scroll down and select the edition of Windows you want to download and press the button to confirm button.
  9. Next, select the language pack you want to download and click on the to confirm button again.
  10. You will now see two ISO download links. One for the 32-bit version of Windows and the other for the 64-bit version.
  11. Click on on any option and let the download begin. The download link will remain active for 24 hours.

Yes, you can reveal Windows ISO download link using other browsers. All browsers provide the ability to change the user agent and website layout for developers. But we found it easier to make changes using the Chrome browser.

Firefox doesn’t have a simplified setting for changing the user agent, and you have to do it manually. Likewise, the steps to change the user agent or access the responsiveness feature of the website appear different in other browsers. You can even use your mobile device to download the Windows ISO. But it should have enough space to store files with a size of 4-5.5 GB.

Download different Windows ISOs directly to your desktop

Downloading Windows ISO files directly can be a bit tricky if you are using Windows operating system. But now you can trick the website into thinking you are on another device. You can either change the user agent of the website layout to reveal the direct download link. You will no longer need to visit sketchy websites to download Windows ISO files.