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.
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.
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.
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.
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.