Microsoft surprised many by announcing that Windows 10 would be a free upgrade (at least until July 2016). The new operating system was certainly better than Windows 8, but for many staying with Windows 7 was preferable. Unfortunately, Microsoft has been overly aggressive in promoting Windows 10 via it’s built-in Windows Update mechanism. We’ve all seen the relentless pop-up nags, the “optional” update, and an unlucky few have even been automatically upgraded without their approval. This behavior has more in common with malware than a responsible system update, and it’s reprehensible that Microsoft is abusing its dominant position to pressure Windows users.
So, what can be done to stop the pop-ups and prevent Windows 10 from installing? An extremely enterprising person has created an application called GWX Control Panel, which can be be found here. It allows you to remove the nag application, the optional Windows update, and all related installation files.
His website provides a couple of tutorials, but here’s what you need to do:
- Download the application here and run.
- Click on “Disable Windows 10” app.
- Click on “Disable Operating System Upgrades in Windows Update”. You will need to reboot the computer and then restart with step #3.
- Click on “Clear Windows Update Cache”.
- Click on “Delete Windows 10 Download Folders”. This step may take a number of minutes.
That’s it. There’s no guarantee, however, that this fix will be permanent. Microsoft is certainly aware of efforts to thwart Windows 10 upgrades and will undoubtedly change the delivery mechanism. I recommend checking the website mentioned above on a regular basis to make sure you have the latest “GWX Control Panel.” If you feel this software is as valuable as I do, please donate — a PayPal button is located on the right side of his page.