Kinda Creepy

How to prevent forced upgrade to Windows 10

In case you haven’t noticed, Microsoft REEEEAAALLLY wants you to upgrade to Windows 10.  I was honestly pretty excited about the free upgrade when I first heard of it.  I did a clean install of Windows 7 on my laptop and did all updates.  I really had no complaints just using Office and a couple other simple IT related programs.  Then I needed to install a specialty software that I wanted to use to do a multi-site inventory.  I had gotten it working on my laptop on Windows 7 prior to formatting and it even said it was compatible with Windows 8 so I wasn’t worried.  This software installed several other components, like .net and MS SQL Express and I tried installing prerequisites first, changing options but after 2 days of trying I finally gave up.  In order to get the software installed and use it for inventory I had to format (again) and do a clean install of Windows 7.

Before I get too deep into this please understand, I actually LIKE most of what I saw of Windows 10.  It was way better than 8, and the user experience actually makes sense.  What I don’t like is how they are shoving it down everyone’s throats.What I expected to happen was that people who request and upgrade will get one for free, and then after a few months Microsoft would cut it off and then begin selling the program.  That is not what is happening.

The owner of my full-time employer, who is 67, called me the other day upset because his computer had upgraded to 10.  He is the only one who uses it and he claims he never clicked “Upgrade now”.  Based on stories I’ve read and what I’ve experienced with my co-workers, family and friends I am inclined to believe him.

Upgrade now, upgrade tonight? Why don't you want to upgrade? Did I do something to upset you? All your friends are upgrading, why don't you?

Upgrade now, upgrade tonight? Why don’t you want to upgrade? Did I do something to upset you? All your friends are upgrading, why don’t you?

I will get to the point of this which is how to remove the ominous little icon in the lower right of your screen, but first I want to rant for just a minute.  One of my chief annoyances with this update is that that once you’ve downloaded it, your computer begins uploading it to other users.  Microsoft has duped practically all of the people who got the “free” update into joining a Peer to Peer file sharing network. And yes, this is a real thing.  So basically your computer goes to work for Microsoft helping to distribute its new software, kind of sounds like a botnet virus to me.  Also there is the new Microsoft Edge browser.  This browser has dropped “Compatibility Mode” which doesn’t sound like a big deal to most people, but unfortunately it is for some.  Quite a few business to business websites, employ technologies that are no longer supported by Microsoft’s new flagship browser. A website that I am involved with that has over 2,000 users is one of those sites.  I’ve no doubt that the website is in transition to new technologies but if there is something that most people hate, it’s change.  No one wants a “new” website to have to learn.  They look up and order the products that they need and they know where everything is.  One of the first troubleshooting things I try when a customer has issues with our website is to walk them through enabling “Compatibility Mode”.  I’ve done some consulting for someone whose entire company utilizes several proprietary sites which all need compatibility settings.  One of the first things I was told was to make sure that they didn’t upgrade past IE9.  I didn’t believe that it would be a big deal until I experienced the issues they dealt with firsthand.  There are still quite a few websites that will need “Compatibility Mode” for a while.  It is my opinion that you shouldn’t attempt to change the market by taking the choice away.

Okay are we ready to get rid of that little icon yet?  Good!.  For most users the simplest method is to install GWX Control Panel by UltimateOutsider.com.  The site should look like this:

Ultimate Outsider

Once you’ve installed it, one by one you can disable the little annoyances that are Microsoft GWX components.

I suggest disabling everything until all you see is "NO" from top to bottom.

I suggest disabling everything until all you see is “NO” from top to bottom.

I haven’t enabled “Monitor Mode” on mine yet but if I ever see the “Get Windows 10” icon on my computer again you’d better believe that I’ll enable it.  This covers the basics for most users.  If you are a network administrator hoping to disable these updates system wide I am making a post to help disable GWX through Group Policy, and one I’m done I’ll link it here.  Thanks for reading!

 

4 Comments

  • Amy R Helmich says:

    This is exactly what I needed. Thanks!

  • Matt says:

    Thanks Amy. I was hoping that this post would help people. This rollout of Windows 10 has kind of got me peeved. Initially it only affected computers that weren’t part of a business network and then one day WHAMMO, it hit my network computers like a virus. I’ve had several users accidentally upgrade including the owner of the company.

    My initial idea for this blog was to target IT guys only but I’ve decided to add a section of helpful tips for any PC user.

  • Marleen S says:

    Ah this is so annoying! I see this update box pop up all the time (on my home computer as well as my work computer) and I almost gave in and updated it. So glad I didn’t, will use your tips to avoid it! Thanks for the post

  • Oh Geez, I`ll have to try this on my father`s laptop, it`s a neverending reocurring nightmare with those notifications. Thanks a bunch mate!

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