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Preventing Windows 10 from auto-installing

You may have heard in recent tech news that Microsoft is making a strong push to encourage users to upgrade to Windows 10. Many users have reported that the popup window prompting them to upgrade has been confusing. Since Windows 10 is a free upgrade for a limited time, the prompt may be welcome to some users but businesses need to think carefully about the impact on their company environment and workflow before embarking upon major operating system upgrades.

Why Not Upgrade?
There are a number of factors to consider.

  • Are your employees all using computers that are compatible with the upgrade?
  • Will it cause collaboration problems if some of your users are on older versions of the operating system while others have already upgraded?
  • Have all of the software applications that are critical to your business upgraded to support the new operating system?
  • Are all of your peripherals (scanners, printers, etc.) compatible with the new operating system?
  • Has the operating system been updated consistently since its release to fix bugs and security flaws?

Failure to consider these factors can limit a company’s productivity, making an untimely OS upgrade an expensive mistake.

In an effort to help prevent you from experiencing unexpected problems, here are instructions on how to prevent Windows from automatically upgrading your computer to version 10. We will also point out how to cancel an upgrade if it has already been scheduled. We would recommend that you take these steps and encourage your employees to do so as soon as possible. While Microsoft has confirmed that this method works right now, they have changed it more than once in the past few months, so keep this in mind as you follow up.

If you have already upgraded to Windows 10 and realized that you need to go back to a previous version, there’s an option to roll back but there’s significant labor and cost involved, as well as associated downtime.

How Microsoft Prompts You to Upgrade
While using your PC you will notice a popup that looks like the graphic below.

The most obvious button to move forward with scheduling the upgrade is to click the highlighted “OK” button. Most users who are not planning to schedule the upgrade simply click the red “X” to close the Window. In what many feel to be a bit of trickery, however, Microsoft has programmed the red “X” button to mean that you are accepting the scheduled update. This leaves you only with an option to click the small “Click here” link to access options including the ability to cancel a scheduled upgrade.

How to Prevent the Upgrade
Here’s how to prevent this popup from inadvertently scheduling your PC to upgrade to Windows 10. These steps are taken directly from a Microsoft support article that you can find here. You can reference the article for the full details.

If you no longer want to receive pop-up notifications for the free upgrade offer, you can turn off notifications and hide the GWX (Get Windows 10) app. Prior to taking the following steps to turn off notifications, you should also confirm that you have canceled any scheduled upgrade by following the instructions below. (Note: If your upgrade is already scheduled, the reminder that occurs 15 minutes before the upgrade starts will appear even if notifications have been turned off.)

  • Right-click (or press and hold) the Taskbar, and then select Properties.
  • On the Taskbar tab, go down to the Notification area and select Customize
  • In the Notification Area Icons window, for the GWX icon, select Hide icon and notifications.

How to Cancel an Upgrade You’ve Already Scheduled

  • Open the GWX app from the taskbar.
  • If your upgrade was previously scheduled, you will see the following message when you open the GWX app, “Windows 10 is a Recommended Update for this PC. To cancel your scheduled upgrade, click the link to change upgrade schedule or cancel scheduled upgrade.”
  • Then select the “Cancel your scheduled Windows 10 upgrade” option on the following screen.

Click here to read the full article from Microsoft and feel free to contact our team if you have any further questions on this subject.

As you’ve probably heard us say in the past, there is no “right time” to upgrade. It always depends on your needs, your environment, and your level of tolerance for a few bumps along the way!

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