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How to disable Windows 10 pop-up notifications

You can disable those annoying pop-ups in Windows 7 and 8 that encourage you to upgrade to Windows 10, and it's actually pretty easy.

Microsoft has taken a somewhat pushy approach to getting Windows 7 and 8 users to upgrade to Windows 10. But if you're not interested in making the jump, you can disable Windows 10 pop-up notifications fairly easily.

It's actually pretty simple. Here's how you can free yourself of the annoyances:

As a temporary fix, you can kill the GWX task in Task Manager. But to stop the Windows 10 upgrade icon from appearing, simply open the Windows 7 or 8 Control Panel, go into the Notification Area Icons section and set the GWX Get Windows 10 selection to Hide icon and notifications.

You should also delete the associated executable file -- gwx.exe -- from your local file system. For 32-bit machines, this file is located in the C:\windows\system32 folder. For 64-bit machines, it can be found in the C:\windows\SysWOW64\GWX folder.

Another option to get rid of the Windows 10 upgrade pop-ups is to uninstall the update called Update for Microsoft Windows (KB3035583). To find it, go to the Control Panel, then Programs and click View installed updates. This update may not be installed on every machine, and those that do not have it often still receive persistent notifications to upgrade.

If you just need an expedient way to fix everything so you can disable Windows 10 pop-up notifications -- especially if you have numerous devices on your network with this ailment -- you can use the GWX Control Panel tool. It provides an automated means to get rid of the pop-ups that annoy users, and it helps you take back control over upgrades. The GWX Control Pane lets you disable the Get Windows 10 icon, change Windows Update settings and prevent Windows 10 upgrades altogether.

GWX Control Panel

If users accidentally installed one of the Windows 10 upgrade options and currently have all 6 GB of it downloaded onto their machines, they will see the following pop-up window:

Win10 ready to install

The GWX Control Panel lets you delete those files as well.

Shady strategy?

A couple of decades ago, the Windows operating system brought about the rise of Microsoft. Yet, starting with Windows ME, then Vista and Windows 8, it seems the company just keeps shooting itself in the foot with OS fails. As much as people disliked Windows 8, I think there is an even greater level of disdain toward the aggressive way Microsoft tries to get users to download Windows 10. The company's strategy has certainly worked in terms of market share, but it annoys users, and the company's upgrade tricks aren't being taken lightly.

If you're like me, you don't want vendors forcing their wares upon you when what you currently have works just fine, but it seems Microsoft will do what it wants to get users to upgrade to Windows 10.

Next Steps

How to upgrade from Windows 8 to 10

Understanding Windows 10 update branches

Should you avoid upgrading to Windows 10?

This was last published in June 2016

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