Disabling Windows 10 Upgrade Nagware

If you’re running Windows, then you have more experience than I do, but it seems Microsoft, for reasons best known to it, really really really wants you to upgrade to Windows 10, has been forcing nagware onto every Windows box in existence, and actively working to defeat efforts to remove said nagware.

Our Token Windows Box, an off-lease Dell Optiplex 780 that arrived bearing Windows 7 Professional, will never, ever get upgraded, because it’s running a bunch of ancient Windows programs that interface with specific bits of hardware, none of which (most likely) will work with Windows 10. In any event, I see no reason to go through the hassle of “upgrading” an old machine, (maybe) resolving all the inevitable compatibility problems, and (maybe) having no way to roll back the upgrade, all for a few programs run, at most, monthly.

Continually declining Windows 10 upgrade prompts isn’t my idea of a Good User Experience, but I’m also tired of manually inspecting and killing updates that re-re-re-install the nagware.

The GWX Control Panel (“GWX” = “Get Windows 10” in MS-speak) seems to be the least awful way of dealing with this mess. It’s not offered by Microsoft, for obvious reasons, but is offered free-of-charge.

Just do it…

6 thoughts on “Disabling Windows 10 Upgrade Nagware

  1. Actually the reasons are pretty clear: Windows 10 will convert to subscription software, so you have to pay and pay and pay to keep it “working”.

    1. Well, AFAICT, MS hasn’t actually come out and said that, even if it’s obvious to anybody who’s followed the nagware progression over the last year.

      Does anyone believe the checkbox specifying that you wanted an automatic upgrade was a mistake? IMO, the only “mistake” was that they thought they could get away with it, because they’re going to check that box again, starting early next year; the only way to avoid a Win 10 download / install is to disable Recommended Updates.


    2. I suppose I could live with a subscription service if I had to, but other parts of Win 10 bother me a lot. The telemetry/snooping and MS taking total control of the update process are at the top. MS doing this in the vein of “the most transparent process evah” make it even more thrilling.

      I learned about GWX through Woody Leonhard’s articles in Infoworld, and now follow his AskWoody dot com blog. Today’s (11/5/2015) entry discusses a sane policy on updates (set to “Notify, but let me do the install”). I stopped installing optional updates blindly after getting burned, but the paranoid have backups… BTW, the AskWoody column links to Susan Bradley’s 10/1 article on the telemetry issues.

      I’ll stay with Windows until I find Quicken for Linux or something as good. I’d stay with Win 7 for much the same reasons. My scanner was built in the XP days, but VueScan keeps it running under Win7. My dialup modems worked under Win7 (but the NetWaiting software would clobber the driver every time it handled a call), but as long as the sun doesn’t clobber the Dish satellite, I’m OK. (Sporadic outages from some flares. Yippie.)

      Must give some thought to a dual boot system, first on a crash test dummy.

      1. VueScan works perfectly under MacOS 10.10, if it matters. I like that it will let you run combo printer/scanners as scanners even if they don’t have ink (the vendor drivers, of course, require that you buy ink to scan).

        1. VueScan also works under Linux. Don’t get me started on ink..

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