Ever since Windows 10 arrived, Microsoft has been attempting what some might call Win10 upgrade tricks to get Windows 7 and 8.1 users to install that free upgrade. Over time, their approach has varied. Here’s a litany of the various Windows Update offers MS has tried to move users up the OS ladder.
Older Win10 Upgrade Tricks
The “Get Windows 10” offer (usually abbreviated as GWX, where the X is actually the Roman numeral 10) first appeared late last year. Two good fixes include the GXW Control Panel and Steve Gibson’s Never10. Install either of these programs and the offers will disappear forever (or until after July 29, if indeed the free upgrade expires on that date).
The automatically ticked selection for Windows 10 upgrade in the host OS’s optional update list. Those who find this item checked need to uncheck it to prevent an unwanted or unintended Windows 10 upgrade adventure.
The migration of the Upgrade to Windows 10 from Optional to Recommended in Windows Update. You can always click the navigation arrow at the upper left to return to the Windows Update home page, or again: close the WU window with the X at the upper right.
Here’s the latest of the Win10 Upgrade Tricks
And as of last week, the reworking of the GWX offer in a new format to persuade users to take the Win10 plunge. GWX Control Panel and Never10 (links provided earlier in this blog post) will also defeat this offer screen as well.
Source: Tom’s Hardware, 5/14/2016
The key to avoiding an automatic or unwanted upgrade is to remember that upgrades, like insults and alcohol only affect those who internalize them. If you refuse the upgrade it won’t be installed on your machine. That said, MS has made an important change to the Window’s behavior with this latest version. Before, you could always close the Windows Update window to bail out by clicking the X in the upper right corner (the navigation gives you no other option to escape its clutches, unless you click on the link labeled “here” which does give you the option to reset the time or to cancel the upgrade schedule completely). In this latest GWX offer, clicking the X is interpreted as granting consent to perform the upgrade, and that’s just what Windows Update will do. You MUST click the small blue-ish here to avoid this unwanted outcome!! And if the upgrade does show up on your machine uninvited by some unhappy chance, you can elect to roll back to the previous version of Windows instead of keeping the new OS install. Sigh.
[Note added 5/25/2016 3:40 PM] Check out this article from Winbeta.org entitled “Microsoft provides some hints on how to manage when and how you upgrade to Windows 10” by Vu Anh Nguyen. It shows all of the bail-out opportunities that MS provides to skip the upgrade at each step along that path. The main takeaway is that “You can avoid the upgrade if you want to.” The corollary is “Turn off auto-pilot and don’t simply close the offer window. Follow the prompts instead.” Sigh again.