Microsoft makes Windows 10 a ‘recommended’ update for Windows 7/8.1

Windows 10 upgrade has been re-categorized to “recommended” update for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 customers. The upgrade will now start automatically, but there is a way to stop it.

Windows 10 upgrade notification on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1

Microsoft continues its marketing campaign to get Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users to upgrade by offering Windows 10 as a “recommended” update through Windows Update.

In October, the company explained that the “reservation” phase, where users have to manually reserve their free upgrade to Windows 10, has concluded. During the next phase, Microsoft changed its delivery mechanism and began offering Windows 10 as an “optional” update through Windows Update for qualifying machines running Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.

Now, beginning February 1st, on an effort to keep pushing the new operating system and reaching its goal of having one billion computers running Windows 10 within three years, Microsoft has re-categorized Windows 10 as a “recommended” update in Windows Update.

Despite user complaints, the new change means that depending on your Windows Update settings, the installation files will download and initiate the Windows 10 upgrade automatically. However, the company says that your computer won’t proceed with the upgrade unless you manually agree to continue.

Rolling back to previous version

If it happens that you installed the new operating system by mistake, you will have 31 days to roll back to your previous version by going to Settings > Update & recovery > Recovery and clicking Get started under the “go back” option.

Microsoft also explains that even though the installation files to upgrade to Windows 10 will continue to download automatically, the upgrade will not download automatically on metered connections.

Moving forward Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs with Automatic Update enabled with the “Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates” option checked will begin to see the Windows 10 upgrade starting automatically.

Blocking the Windows 10 upgrade

The new change won’t affect machines where users have blocked Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 PCs using Group Policy and Registry to block the Windows 10 upgrade.

If you’re yet not ready for Windows 10, you can download and install update KB3065987 on Windows 7 or KB3065988 on Windows 8.1 to add the new Group Policy settings to block the update. Then you can open the Local Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc) and navigate through Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update, double-click “Turn off the upgrade to the latest version of Windows through Windows Update”, and enable the setting to block the upgrade to Windows 10 via Windows Update.

Turn off the upgrade to the latest version of Windows through Windows Update

If you’re running a home version of the operating system, you won’t have access to the Local Group Policy Editor, so you will need to use the Registry Editor to perform the same task.

Warning: It’s very important to note that modifying the Windows registry can cause serious problems if not used properly. It’s assumed you know what you’re doing and you have created a full backup of your system before proceeding.

Use the Windows key + R to open the Run command, type regedit, and hit Enter, navigate the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate, create a DWORD key called: DisableOSUpgrade, and change its value from 0 to 1.

DisableOSUpgrade setting

Finally, to stop the Get Windows 10 app notifications, on both – home and professional – versions of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you will need to navigate the following path in the Registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Gwx. Then you’ll need to create a DWORD called: DisableGwx, and change the its value from 0 to 1.

DisableGwx setting

It’s important to note that even though Microsoft is pushing its operating system more aggressively, it’s up to you to install, as thus far the Windows 10 upgrade is not a required update for Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 machines.

What do you think about Microsoft making Windows 10 a recommended update for customers? Are you staying a little longer on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Source Windows Blog via ZDNet

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].