Cisco Software Downloads Help & FAQ
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Software Release Lifecycles
The Download Software area offers software releases for Cisco products. You can download the latest releases and updates here and also look at security advisories and other notifications for Cisco products. In most cases, you will need to be registered with the site and have a valid service contract to download software.
The Download Software area on the Cisco website offers software releases for Cisco products. The software releases include embedded software and stand-alone software applications.
Cisco IOS Software Release Naming Convention
This graph explains the different sections in a Cisco IOS software release name. It is important to note that non Cisco IOS software releases do not use the same naming convention.
For more information on Cisco IOS software releases click here. Learn more
Registration and Login requirements
Log in required to access software with a lock . Guest level users can access non restricted software (firmware, drivers, etc.) Obtain a login and create a user profile at the Cisco.com Registration page if you don't have one.
Service Contract must be associated to the user profile to access the software with View instructions.
Navigation in the Download Software Area
Cisco products are broadly categorized into these Software Product Categories in the Download Software area:
To locate software by product, navigate through the product categories to the desired item.
If the selected model is a modular product that supports different processors or cards, you can select the software that runs on the chassis or the software that runs on the interface or module.
Alternatively, products can be found by searching across all product categories. You can enter the complete product name or a partial string, such as 1711 for Cisco 1711 Security Access Router. Autosuggest feature allows you to select items similar to your search indicating the number of matches found.
If the selected model has multiple software types running on it, you can select the desired software type.
Navigation by IOS and NX-OS Software
Select 'Cisco IOS and NX-OS Software' as per the example below.
Next, select 'Cisco IOS' as per the example below.
Next, select 'Cisco IOS Software Release 12.4 Family' as per the example below.
Next, select 'Cisco IOS Software Releases 12.4 T' as per the example below.
Most Popular Downloads
You can check the popular downloaded products based on the Cisco product lines you are interested in.
Downloading Software using the Download Cart
Once you have selected the software image/file that you need to download, you can either click on the 'Add to Cart' button or the 'Download' button. 'Add to Cart' will add the selected software to the download cart and allow you to remain on the software listing page to select more software files. You can add up to 25 software files to the Download Cart. The 'Download' button would allow you to go directly initiate the download on the software listing page.
You can click on the 'Download Cart' link on the top right of the screen from any page in the download navigation to directly access the Download Cart.
The Download Cart displays all the
software that has been added to the cart. It shows the
Product, Release Version, Image Name, Feature Set (if
available) and the Release and Image level
Compare and Research Feature
This feature allows you to compare features available for two images within a release and select the appropriate image that you require. The screenshot below shows the software listing page where you can select two images to compare by selecting the check box beside it and clicking on the 'View/Compare Features' button. The page will refresh to show the feature information for the two images
You can view the details of each feature by clicking on the link to the feature. This will pop up a speech bubble which contains information on each feature.
This feature allows you to view all the features that are supported by an image. There are two ways to access this feature: Select an image and click on the check box beside it to view all its features, or select an image in the Download Cart and click on the 'Image Features' to view features of the image.
You can add the selected product as a device during the download process. This can be referenced later in the My Added Devices area. You can also add device from the Download Cart.
Set Cisco Notification Alert
You can set the notification alert for a product so that any software changes to that product will be notified to you. This notification alert can also be set from the Download Cart
The Related Information section allows you quick access to support content related to the selected release/image such as Release Notes, Field Notices, Known Bugs, Command Reference, and Security Advisories. You can switch between different sources of information by clicking on the radio buttons. Clicking on 'Product Literature' link will cross navigate to the marketing documentation for the product
Searching for Release Version
You can search for a specific release within the page using the Search Release box. You can enter the complete release version or a partial string, such as 12.4.15 for a 12.4.15T14. A match will result in an open folder where the leaf nodes containing the match are highlighted. A message will appear under the search box indicating the number of matches found.
Releases and associated images
Once you have selected the product and the software type (if applicable) in the Download Software area, you will see a list of releases categorized into 'Latest Releases', 'All Releases' and 'Deferred Releases' folders. The 'Latest Releases' folder contains the most recent releases as determined by distinct rules for IOS and other software types. 'Deferred Releases' folder will show only if a product has deferral advisories for some/all images within a release for a given product and software type. If you click on a release number, you will see all the images associated with that release name for different feature sets. You can also sort the image list based on File Name, File Size, Memory and Release Date. The default sorting on the image list is by the File Name.
The icon next to the release number indicates that a software image(s) under that release has received an elevated status designation from Cisco. The program name(s) for an image is listed under the image name. The program name can be clicked for specific program details.
The icon next to the release number indicates that the software image(s) under that release are suggested for use by the Cisco Software Research Tool. Suggested releases are listed under the Suggested category.
Links to the release notes are posted along with the software images in the Download Software area. You can easily find the release documentation at the release level pages and the image details in the Download Cart. These are some examples of release documentation published in the Download Software area.
Software Download Agreement
You are required to accept the below Download Agreement before you download any software on the Cisco website.
Software Download using the Download Manager
The Download Manager is a cloud based software download solution. It requires installation of the Akamai NetSession Interface client
This download option allows you to monitor,
pause/resume or cancel the software downloads. Selecting
the 'Download All' option will prompt for installation
of the Akamai NetSession Interface client. Once the
client has been installed successfully, you can provide
a destination location once for all images. Once you
provide a destination folder for all your images the
downloads will start. You will be able to view the
details of each image being downloaded. Also, the
Total Progress bar shows the overall progress status for
all the images being downloaded. Any images that are not
downloaded continue to remain in the Download Cart.
Download Manager allows you to monitor, pause/resume or
cancel the software downloads.
Additional information about the Akamai NetSession client interface can be obtained at
You will be prompted
for installation of the client and acceptance of the
Once you provide the destination folder for downloads, the download process will start.
You will be able to view the details of the image being downloaded. The 'Total Progress' bar shows the overall progress for all the images being downloaded.
Direct Software Downloads without using the Download Manager
You can download software directly from the My Download History area, the Software listing page and the Download Cart using the Download button. Download using this button does not require java to be installed on the computer.
Read and Write Reviews
The Software Reviews feature has been enabled for certain
Write Reviews from the Release page:
15 days after a download, users will receive an email with an invitation to provide a review of the software they downloaded:
By clicking on the link in the email notification you
received after you downloaded software, you will be taken
to the read reviews page to write a review:
Users can unsubscribe from email notifications of
Review requests by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the
Users can navigate to software for products on their
contracts. This feature is available to most users.
Users with very large number of contracts or very
large number of products on contract will be offered
on the ' All Products' option.
Downloads using My Download History
You can now see the software you downloaded before and also any latest available software for that image in the My Download History area. You can hover over the release version to see the software details and release notes.
You can download the files directly from the My Download History area using a single click.
Navigation by Recently Used Products
Click on 'Recently Used Products' link to
navigate directly to the products that you have previously
Navigation by My Added Devices
Click on 'My Added Devices' link to view the devices that you have previously added. You need to login in order to use this feature.
Click on '10720 Router' link to view the Troubleshoot Mashup Page as shown below.
Troubleshoot Mashup provides the ability to see all software releases and download software for saved devices in the troubleshooting dashboard. You can add the images for any release for that device and download software directly from Troubleshoot Mashup.
You can now view information related to Recently Used Products, Software Alerts, Added Device in My Cisco and navigate directly to the relevant software download area for downloading your software using minimum clicks.
Cisco IOS Product Lifecycle Dates & Milestones
The Cisco IOS� Software release product lifecycle establishes the policies and milestones for Cisco IOS Software releases. These policies and milestones facilitate the Cisco IOS Software release selection process for deploying technologies during the supported software product lifespan, and provide migration path options for a proactive and streamlined software upgrade before a release reaches end of software maintenance. Learn more
Software Release Lifecycles
We welcome your comments and suggestions to help us improve your software download experience on the Cisco website. You can provide feedback with the Feedback Form by clicking the Feedback link in the application.
A. Access to certain
Cisco software requires registration due to export
regulations and contract access. To create a
Cisco.com account you can register here: http://tools.cisco.com/RPF/register/register.do
A. To associate a service contract to your profile follow the instructions at http://www.cisco.com/web/Downloads/SDS/unentitled_instructions.html
Q. I am already registered as a Guest user and logged in. Why am I still unable to download software?
A. Certain software needs additional access and cannot be downloaded by a Registered Guest user. To download this software you need to have a valid Technical Support Services Agreement. This can be obtained by:
> Contact your Cisco
Account team if you have a Direct Purchase Agreement.
A. If you just registered or added a SMARTnet support contract your account may not be updated yet. However, if you just created an account you will not be able to access VPN software until a valid SMARTnet support contract is associated to your profile. You can find the instructions at http://www.cisco.com/web/Downloads/SDS/unentitled_instructions.html
can be searched using our global search function which can
be found throughout Cisco.com in the upper right-hand
A. Software can be navigated by products, technology, releases, category, etc. There are two ways to navigate in the Download Software Area:
1) Type a search
term in the Find box within the Product Selector.
Possible matches to your entry will be provided in the
drop down for your selection while you are typing.
If you select "find", you will be presented with all
possible matches for further selection.
1) Type a search term in the Find box within the Product Selector. Possible matches to your entry will be provided in the drop down for your selection while you are typing. If you select "find", you will be presented with all possible matches for further selection.
2) There can be multiple paths to find the software you need. For example, the latest software for Voice Gateway Cisco 3745 Multiservice Access Router can be found using three navigation routes:
A. Yes, you can download up to 25 files at a time using the the download cart when logged in with your Cisco account.
A. The Add to Cart button adds the software image to the Download Cart while keeping the user on the same page. The Download button initiates the download without going through the cart.
A. My Added Devices allows you to keep track of all your devices from one convenient place. You must be logged in to use this feature. You can add devices to your profile by selecting the Add Device icon on the image listing page or from your download cart. You will be prompted to name the current product and it will be added to your device list.
You can access My Devices two ways:
a) Select 'My Added Devices' from the first pane in the Product Selector.
b) Select the 'My Cisco' tab and further selecting "Added Devices"
A. Software Notification Alerts allow you to receive software updates for the selected product. You can request to receive software notification alerts for specific products by selecting the 'Set Cisco Notification Alert' icon on the image listing page or from your download cart. You will be prompted to name the notification. You can access your notifications by selecting the 'My Cisco' tab and expanding 'Support Notifications.'
A. Selecting Software on Chassis will present the software that runs directly on the product model chosen in the Software Downloads Area
The Related Information section allows you quick
access to support content related to the selected
release/image such as Release Notes, Field Notices,
Known Bugs, Command Reference, and Security
Advisories. There is also a link to the Product
area on Cisco.com.
The Related Information section allows you quick access to support content related to the selected release/image such as Release Notes, Field Notices, Known Bugs, Command Reference, and Security Advisories. There is also a link to the Product area on Cisco.com.
A. You can use the breadcrumb to navigate within the software downloads area.
For example, to select a different software type than Aironet Client Bundle, click on the link Aironet Client Bundle (Firmware, Driver, Utility) which will refresh the page with a list of all software type options available for the Aironet 350.
Downloads for select Cisco Small Business products are now
available on Cisco.com without the need to register or
A. An image with icon requires login and/or registration. An image with icon requires a service contract in order to download.
A. No, The Cisco VPN Client is included with all models of Cisco ASA 5500 Series Security Appliances(excluding ASA 5505). Customers with Cisco SMARTnet support contracts and encryption entitlement may download the Cisco VPN Client from the Cisco Software Center (requires Cisco.com login) at no additional cost. For customers without Cisco SMARTnet support contracts, a media CD containing the client software is available for purchase. This CD does not provide access to the most current patch releases.
The list of Cisco supported browsers is at:
The supported operating systems are Windows XP (SP3
32-bit, SP2 64-bit), Windows Vista (SP2 32-bit and
64-bit), Windows Server 2003 (SP2 32-bit and 64-bit),
Windows Server 2008 (SP2 32-bit and 64-bit), Windows 7,
Windows 8 (desktop), and Mac OS X 10.5+ (Intel). The
supported browsers include Internet Explorer, Firefox,
Safari, and Google Chrome.
A. Please enable http posts in the proxy server to download using the Download Manager.
A. If you are have a valid session when you re-connect to the internet , the Download Manager will automatically re-start the download for the current image.
If your session has expired on the download navigation
pages, you will be asked to either login again, or refresh
the page. If your session has expired within the Download
Manager, please navigate back to the Download Cart and
re-start the download process.
Q. When searching for a product, in the third column, I'm unable to click on the product to go to the download page. Also, the 'Download' button from the cart is unresponsive. I've tried several browsers. What should I do?
A. We have found that this sort of issue may be caused due to conflicts with the 'Ghostery' add-on on user systems. Whitelisting software.cisco.com in Ghostery should rectify the issue.
Q. On my IE 8 browser, clicking 'Download' next to the image name does not initiate the download. Also, clicking 'Download' from the cart removes the item from the cart without downloading the file. What should I do?
Please follow the following steps to resolve the issue:
A. We have View Features in our software downloads area. You can select the check box next to the IOS image and view the features or you can compare the features of two images using this View Features option.