How to cancel Windows 10 upgrade (for now)

I have Windows 7 installed. I had reserved a copy of Windows 10 through the GWX app and when I got the message it was ready for downloading, I started it. Reason being that, whenever I am ready to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10, I wouldn't have to spend time waiting for the download.

But ... at the end of the download, it came up with a question to accept the License Agreement, which I did (not knowing what would happen if I declined). And the Upgrade Windows box came up, asking me to upgrade now or later. Since I don't want to upgrade now I selected later. But that only gives you the option of today, tomorrow or the day after. To give myself some time, I have selected the last possible day and 23:00 (11pm).

Now I have the situation that Windows 10 is about to be installed, this probably happens at the first boot after the selected date and time (or maybe Windows even reboots automatically at the selected time if the computer is powered-on at that point in time).

Trouble is, I didn't have a chance to make a last-minute backup and any backup I now make of the system partition includes the state of Windows 10 being on the brink of install. Suppose I upgrade to Windows 10 and have to go back to Windows 7, at the next reboot it'll probably re-install Windows 10 !

I think it is rather awkward to have an "offer" to reserve a copy of Windows 10 but then being locked-in to installing it within 3 days of Microsoft deciding to push it to your computer.

I have found the registry entry for the scheduled reboot (probably OSUpgradeRebootScheduledTime under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update), so I can probably postpone the upgrade to Windows 10, but Windows Update will no longer offer or install Windows 7 updates since an OS Upgrade is pending. It only offers to reboot the machine (which does nothing until the specified time I guess).

I would like to go back to the situation where Windows 10 upgrade has NOT been downloaded yet (or at least not scheduled to be installed), so I can:

  • use Windows 7 for a few more months/weeks
  • get Windows Updates for Windows 7 for a few more months/weeks
  • decide myself when to upgrade to Windows 10 (when I am convinced it works and have time to fiddle with it for a while)

A last minute resort could be to delete the registry keys I found, but I would like Microsoft to comment on this and a "proper" way to do it, without breaking the system and without forfeiting the chance of a proper upgrade in the future.

One post here from MS suggested turning off automatic updates, but I think that stage is already passed.

Anyone done something that worked for them? Or any official reply from Microsoft?

I do want to upgrade to Windows 10 within the year, but not now!

 

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Last updated August 31, 2018 Views 35,190 Applies to:

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Have think I have found a(n unsupported) solution to this problem. Next few days (and upcoming Windows Updates) will have to prove if it is a permanent/good solution, so I you want to follow it, you do so at your own risk:

The steps I took:

  1. De-install KB3035583, this is the GWX (get Windows 10) software, which (amongst things) provides the taskbar icon and defines the steps the system should take. This I have done to prevent running into this same situation again.
  2. Stop the Windows Update service.
  3. Remove all registry entries in the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\OSUpgrade" tree.
  4. Remove these two registry entries in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update:
    • OSUpgradePendingReboot
    • OSUpgradeRebootScheduledTime
  5. Reboot the system
  6. Run "cleanmgr" and remove the temporary windows installer files (saved 6,21 GB on my system).
    That removes the "C:\$WINDOWS.~BT" folder where the downloaded Windows 10 files were stored.

When running Windows Update again, it marks KB3035583 as an important update again. For now I have chosen to "hide" it. By the time I want to upgrade to Windows 10 I will install KB3035583 and follow the (now familiar) process, or download the Windows 10 ISO and perform the upgrade manually.

If I encounter any adverse effects of my actions, I will note them here.

I hope this helps people in a similar situation. If someone follows my tips (no guarantees given, this is not Microsoft official or anything!) and runs into trouble, *please* post an update here for future readers! If this works perfectly, I'd like to hear that too :-)

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Why not do a system restore!

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Where do you find/accomplish  steps 3 & 4?

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Steps 3 and 4 in more detail:

  • Start the registry editor (regedit) by clicking on the Windows logo and typing CMD in the search box and press Enter.
  • If the full (directory listing like) tree opens because you used Regedit before, click on the word Computer at the top left (the very first line).
  • Select File from the top menu, select Export, select a location and file name where a backup of the current registry settings is to be made. Make sure Export Range is set to All.

To delete the OSUpgrade tree, click on the following elements

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
  • then SOFTWARE
  • then Microsoft
  • then Windows
  • then CurrentVersion
  • then WindowsUpdate
  • click on the OSUpgrade with your right mouse button and select Delete
  • confirm the deletion

To delete the two OSUpgrade items under Auto Update

  • go back to the WindowsUpdate branch
  • then WindowsUpdate
  • then Auto update
  • in the right window, select both OSUpgrade* keys
  • hit the Delete key
  • confirm the deletion

Exit registry editor by selecting File and Exit from the top menu.

Confirm to save if that question is asked.

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I have Windows 7 installed. I had reserved a copy of Windows 10 through the GWX app and when I got the message it was ready for downloading, I started it. Reason being that, whenever I am ready to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10, I wouldn't have to spend time waiting for the download.

But ... at the end of the download, it came up with a question to accept the License Agreement, which I did (not knowing what would happen if I declined). And the Upgrade Windows box came up, asking me to upgrade now or later. Since I don't want to upgrade now I selected later. But that only gives you the option of today, tomorrow or the day after. To give myself some time, I have selected the last possible day and 23:00 (11pm).

Now I have the situation that Windows 10 is about to be installed, this probably happens at the first boot after the selected date and time (or maybe Windows even reboots automatically at the selected time if the computer is powered-on at that point in time).

Trouble is, I didn't have a chance to make a last-minute backup and any backup I now make of the system partition includes the state of Windows 10 being on the brink of install. Suppose I upgrade to Windows 10 and have to go back to Windows 7, at the next reboot it'll probably re-install Windows 10 !

I think it is rather awkward to have an "offer" to reserve a copy of Windows 10 but then being locked-in to installing it within 3 days of Microsoft deciding to push it to your computer.

I have found the registry entry for the scheduled reboot (probably OSUpgradeRebootScheduledTime under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update), so I can probably postpone the upgrade to Windows 10, but Windows Update will no longer offer or install Windows 7 updates since an OS Upgrade is pending. It only offers to reboot the machine (which does nothing until the specified time I guess).

I would like to go back to the situation where Windows 10 upgrade has NOT been downloaded yet (or at least not scheduled to be installed), so I can:

  • use Windows 7 for a few more months/weeks
  • get Windows Updates for Windows 7 for a few more months/weeks
  • decide myself when to upgrade to Windows 10 (when I am convinced it works and have time to fiddle with it for a while)

A last minute resort could be to delete the registry keys I found, but I would like Microsoft to comment on this and a "proper" way to do it, without breaking the system and without forfeiting the chance of a proper upgrade in the future.

One post here from MS suggested turning off automatic updates, but I think that stage is already passed.

Anyone done something that worked for them? Or any official reply from Microsoft?

I do want to upgrade to Windows 10 within the year, but not now!

I am also in the same boat

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I followed the steps listed by MatthewJohnsson above, and all went just perfect. I made the same mistake of assuming that I could download and accept the license and then wait for the weekend for the actual upgrade, and also was suprised to only have the option to delay 2 days. I installed a critical software that needed to restart the computer, and I was concerned it would start the Windows 10 upgrade.

After following the steps, I was able to restart, and nothing happened, I still have Windows 8.1.

I will install Windows 10 in the weekend after a full backup.

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Just wanted to post a giant THANK YOU for this.  I have spent the last week or so trying to fix this Windows Update issue after cancelling the Windows 10 upgrade, and the only thing that solved it is the registry edit you posted.  A very frustrating issue that Microsoft hopefully is aware of and will remedy soon.

Thanks again

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Just to share that after following the steps I was never able to install Windows 10 using the "automatic update". Even if I got all the notifications, it did not happened.

However the solution was simple: I downloaded the Windows 10 Media Creator Tool, created a Windows 10 Installation USB, and executed the upgrade from there.

All run perfect, even Windows 10 is activated.


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Just to share that after following the steps I was never able to install Windows 10 using the "automatic update". Even if I got all the notifications, it did not happened.

However the solution was simple: I downloaded the Windows 10 Media Creator Tool, created a Windows 10 Installation USB, and executed the upgrade from there.

All run perfect, even Windows 10 is activated. 

*******

I think you may be talking about the following free software to have accomplished what you are saying. It is, however, most interesting to note the comments made on that site concerning Windows 10.

Windows 10 Release  

<Removed>


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I would like to echo the gratitude expressed by other people who have found this to be the only solution (so far) to a very, very irritating problem. 

I could write at length about my frustration with how Microsoft implemented the Windows 10 upgrade:

- Not making it clear that there was a choice to either upgrade (using Windows Update) or download an ISO file for a clean install (the two methods should have referred to one another, but it looked like they were each managed by teams that didn't talk to one another)

- Not making it clear that if using the ISO file for a double boot installation, the activation will move from (in my case) Windows 7 to Windows 10 and will leave Windows 7 inactivated

- Not making it clear that the activation key for Windows 7 cannot be used in the upgraded Windows 10

- ...

But by far the most irritating thing was if a user reserved an upgrade (because he/she wasn't aware of the ISO route) but no longer had the Get Windows 10 app which made the reservation (many people restore clean images before doing software installations), it proved almost impossible to stop the download on Windows 10 (until I read Matthew Johnsson's article).  Nice pic BTW Matthew - looks like you work out :-)

I'd like to add a couple of things to Matthew's instructions which might be helpful to other readers:

- The KB3035583 update will keep on being re-installed if the Windows Update setting "Give me Recommended the same way I receive Important updates" is not de-selected.  I also changed from "Install updates automatically" to "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download or install them" so I could be 100% Windows would stop trying to install the KB3035583 update

- I observed that the OSUpgrade folder in the registry editor is automatically restored if deleted.  However, that doesn't seem to be a problem.  The important thing is that there are no items in there other than the default, as additional items in that folder are used as part of the download process

Hope this is helpful and thanks again Matthew

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