Rufus: Microsoft blocks ISO downloads for Windows
Rufus: Microsoft blocks ISO downloads for Windows

Rufus: Microsoft blocks ISO downloads for Windows

It looks like Microsoft has started blocking Windows ISO downloads that come from Rufus. Rufus is a popular open source tool for creating bootable media.

rufus windows iso locked

Windows ISO image download options were introduced in Rufus 3.5, which the developer released in 2019. The ability to download Windows 8, Windows 10, and Windows 11 ISO images was a welcome addition as it made the process of creating of Windows boot media more comfortably.

The developer has added several features to Rufus in the meantime, which have significantly improved the program for some Windows administrators and users. Options to bypass Windows 11 system requirements during Inplace updates and create local accounts instead of Microsoft accounts and permanently decline privacy questions were added in 2022.

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Downloads are powered by the Fido script in Rufus and this has worked well since the feature was introduced. The script pulled download information from Microsoft servers and the downloads were provided by Microsoft.

Rufus users are now getting error messages when trying to download Windows 8, 10 or 11 using Rufus.

The current error message is displayed after selecting an operating system version in the downloader. It states:

Error: Downloading Windows ISOs is no longer available because Microsoft has changed their website to prevent this.

Windows 7 ISO downloads are still supported and work the same as before. It’s not clear why Microsoft doesn’t also block Windows 7 downloads.

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Microsoft still offers Windows ISO image downloads from its own website. A visit to the Windows 11 download page on Microsoft’s website continues to provide users with ISO images when they request them.

A link to a thread on GitHub discussing the issue is provided. According to the information published there, Microsoft made a deliberate change to prevent downloads from any source other than its own website.

The Fido 1.30 changelog also confirms the change:

Disable Windows 8? Windows 11 ISO Downloads
It seems that Microsoft has intentionally made their download servers hostile to our script, and trying to fix this will probably take a long time…

The developer is asking for help to find a way around this limitation. Although it is possible to download official ISO images from Microsoft, the downloads are limited to only certain versions.

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With Rufus and Fido, users could choose different versions to download. Another advantage was that the entire process was integrated into one program.

Closing words

I’ve reached out to Microsoft to learn more about the issue, but have yet to hear back.

Now you: have you used Rufus in the past? Why do you think Microsoft is blocking downloads?


Rufus: Microsoft blocks ISO downloads for Windows

Item name

Rufus: Microsoft blocks ISO downloads for Windows


It looks like Microsoft has started blocking Windows ISO downloads that come from Rufus.


Martin Brinkmann


Technology News Ghacks