Windows 10 Tip: Just Say No to “Get Windows 10” on Windows 7/8.1

Posted on January 17, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 0 Comments

Windows 10 Tip: Just Say No to "Get Windows 10" on Windows 7/8.1

Windows 10 is the most modern and full-featured version of Windows yet. But Microsoft’s overly-aggressive tactics in coercing customers to upgrade are a mistake I believe. So here’s how the Windows 7 or 8.1 user can “just say no” and get rid of that annoying “Get Windows 10” advertisement for good.

Well. Hopefully for good. The issues here are many, and nuanced, but they boil down to this: Previous attempts at removing “Get Windows 10” have been thwarted by subsequent Windows Updates that bypass known workarounds as they come up. So in this case, we just have to hope that the people doing God’s work here can keep up with Microsoft’s attempts to undermine them.

So. Before we proceed, let me set a bit of context.

I love Windows 10. I believe that most people reading this will benefit from the many advances in this version of Windows, that the improvements Microsoft made benefit both desktop- and mobile/touch-focused users equally, and that the compatibility issues that often dog Windows upgrades are largely not present in Windows 10. Long story short, I think Windows 10 is great.

But I also believe that Microsoft is pushing Windows 10 a bit too aggressively, and while it is doing so unashamedly and for its own good reasons, I don’t understand why the “Get Windows 10” advertisement doesn’t include “Don’t ever bother me with this again” or “Don’t bother me for xx days/weeks/months” options.

Put even more succinctly, I’m here for you, not Microsoft. The greater good isn’t generally what’s good for Microsoft, though these things do sometimes intersect, it’s what’s good for Microsoft’s users. And in this case, Microsoft’s interests are getting in the way of what I think is best for the people who use Microsoft’s products. Not all of them. But some of them. The people using Windows 7 or 8.1 who, for whatever reason—and there are good reasons—simply want to eke out as much value from that investment as they can. They just want to be left alone.

On that note, people have been trying to figure out ways to destroy “Get Windows 10” since this insidious system tray-based advertisement has appeared. I’ve avoided writing about these things for the most part because all of the methods to date—keeping track of and then hiding or uninstalling certain Windows Updates, frigging with the registry, or whatever—have all been temporary. A new Patch Tuesday comes around and, wham, you get that freaking “Get Windows 10” advertisement again.

So here’s one method that seems to have staying power. Yes, Microsoft could subvert this solution as it has in the past, but I have much more hope in an application that can be easily distributed only and updated as needed than I do in complicated blog post explanations that have to be updated every time Microsoft changes something, forcing the users who want to do this to re-research the same topic again and again.

Let’s stop the madness.

Thanks to a free third-party application called GWX Control Panel, you can shut down “Get Windows 10.” It’s been around since last August, and it’s been updated regularly to address Microsoft’s changes, and that’s why I’m recommending it now.

As noted by the app’s authors, GWX Control Panel does the following:

Removes “Get Windows 10” from your notification area. No more nagging.

gwx alert small

Restores Windows Update so that it stops advertising the Windows 10 upgrade. No more hijacking of this most crucial system tool.

Windows Update impending upgrade

Prevents the Windows 10 upgrade from automatically downloading in the background. Saving bandwidth and sanity.

Upgrade to Windows 10 is ready cropped

If you want to remove “Get Windows 10” from your Windows 7 or 8.1 PC please download GWX Control Panel now. You need this. And, seriously, considering donating to the app authors. We need to support those people who do the right thing.

And, Microsoft. I get where you’re coming from, I really do. But you need to give users a way to opt out of this, if only for set time periods. It’s just too much.