By Martin Brinkman
Reports are coming in by users from around the world on sites like Reddit that machines running Windows 7 or Windows 8 have been updated — once again — to Windows 10 automatically. They report that the update was automated, and that they did not receive any prompt or option to stop the process once it was in motion.
Some noticed that their machines were upgraded to the new operating system after coming back from lunch or checking their computer in the morning after leaving it turned on for the night.
This is not the first time that this happened to some users running Windows 7 or 8 on their machines. Users were experiencing the same thing in October 2015 and Microsoft apologized later on stating that the enforcement was not intended to be delivered automatically.
But the issue did not keep Microsoft from pushing Windows 10 related updates to machines running previous versions of Windows, and the company stated openly that it is “going to keep at it” even though it may be discomforting to some customers.
In February 2016 then it made Windows 10 a recommended update on Windows 7 and Windows 8.
If you don’t want Windows 10, do this
The following steps are recommended to anyone who does not want to upgrade computer systems running Windows 7 or Windows 8 to Windows 10.
Step 1: Disable automatic updates
Automatic updates are convenient, as Windows will download and install critical system updates automatically.
The main issue with the setting is that you don’t get any say in the matter and no option to research updates before they are installed.
Windows updates may have adverse effects on a system. We have seen in the past that they may cause all kinds of issues on a system including preventing it to boot or upgrading it to Windows 10.
So, instead of having the system set to install updates automatically, you configure it to inform you about new updates so that you can decide whether to install them or not.
Here is how that is done (the screenshots have been taken on a Windows 7 machine, but the methodology is the same on Windows 8).
Step 1: Tap on the Windows-key, type Windows Update, and hit enter.
Step 2: Click on “change settings” when the Windows Update Control Panel opens up.
Step 3: Locate the “important updates” menu on the page that opens and click on it. Switch from “install updates automatically” to “check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them”. Click on ok afterwards.
Windows will notify you about updates but won’t download or install them automatically anymore.
This requires that you go through the list of updates manually whenever they are presented to you to select those you want installed.
You can use the built-in hide functionality to block the installation of updates you don’t want installed on your machine.
Additionally, you may want to do the following to improve the blocking further.
- Set the preferences DisableOSUpgrade and DisableGWX in the Registry to block the upgrade to Windows 10. Click on the link for instructions on how to do that.
- Install the excellent GWX Control Panel application which has been designed to block Windows 10 on machines running Windows 7 or 8.
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