Instructions: What to do if your system is automatically upgraded to Windows 10?

Technical Level : Intermediate

Microsoft has begun an accelerated push, to upgrade Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 systems to Windows 10. Recent Windows Updates now advertise the free Windows 10 Upgrade and also starts the upgrade automatically 4 days after doing so. If you want to delay the upgrade or if you want to go back to your previous version, here is what you can do.

Warning: If your system is already in the process of upgrading, please let it complete setup. For instructions about what you can do after setup is complete successfully, please read further on down.

The best way to defer the Windows 10 upgrade is by using third party tools. They are easy to use and are faster.

Option 1: How to Disable the Get Windows 10 Update GWX App Completely

Option 2: Stop the Windows 10 Upgrade with Never 10 or the GWX App Itself

Microsoft recently released new information about how to manage and schedule the Get Windows 10 app. Please review the following link for details:

Because Windows 10 is now being issued as a recommended update through Windows Update, this is why the operating system is automatically installing itself. You can modify these settings.

Press Windows key + R

Type: wuapp

Hit Enter

Click Change settings

Under Important updates, click in the list box then select the option Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them

Also make sure you uncheck: Give me recommended updates the say way I receive important updates

Click OK

Microsoft’s Official Info on Windows 10 Upgrade Notification and Scheduling

Microsoft to Remove Windows 10 Upgrade Nag Notification

By default, you should be prompted to accept an End User License Agreement before the upgrade is initiated. Here is how that works.

After the upgrade is downloaded, the user should be notified Windows 10 is ready to be installed. If you decide to start the installation, click OK, let's continue

This is another part where you will be asked to start the upgrade now or schedule when you would like to install it. Click Start the upgrade now button. If you choose schedule, it will assume you want to install it and you might forget. This is what I believe, might be giving users the impression of an automatic upgrade.

Here is the crucial part you need to choose carefully. Simply click 'Decline', then click OK, this will tell Get Windows 10, not to install Windows 10 on your computer.

What if your system has been upgraded to Windows 10?

For systems that have been already been automatically upgraded without notification, you might be able to Rollback. This must be done within 30 days (1 month) since the upgrade happened.

See instructions: How to: Rollback to a previous version of Windows from Windows 10

I would advise, before performing the Rollback, see how Windows 10 works first by familiarizing yourself with operating system. Who knows, you just might like it. Learn more in the following article with links to resources how to get started with Windows 10:

Get Started with Windows 10

I would also advise, just in case, if and when you do decide to upgrade to Windows 10, you could have a system image that you could just restore:

Because of how uncertain the reliability of the Windows 10 Rollback utility is, it is suggested you do this before initiating it. Some users have reported it takes up to 1 week to restore a machine to a previous version; often resulting in failure. It took more than 3 hours just to restore a system with a few files and Microsoft Office installed. So, the more complex the configuration, the more time it will take.

How to prevent the upgrade from starting automatically or after rolling back:

There are many ways to do this, the easiest method is by using the free GWX Control Panel:

How to Disable the Get Windows 10 Update GWX App Completely

Microsoft provided official instructions you can use, this involves entering the Windows Registry, then making certain modifications to Registry Keys. See instructions in the following article:

Microsoft Gets Less Pushy with Windows 10 Update for Windows 7/8

Make sure you backup your registry before carrying out these instructions.

Another way you can block the update is by uninstalling the associated KB updates Windows Update installs:

Press Windows key + R

Type: appwiz

Hit Enter on your keyboard.

Click View installed updates

Here is a list of the updates you need to look for and uninstall depending on your installed version of Windows:

Windows 7 - KB3035583 and KB2952664

Windows 8 - KB3035583 and KB2976978

Windows 7 and Windows 8 - KB3146449 and KB3139929

Tip: use the search command to find each update.

Once you have found all these updates, right click the update, then click Uninstall.

Next, set Windows Update to check for updates manually:

Also, use the option to hide Windows Updates. First, check for updates, then proceed to view available updates, right click, the update KB numbers that will install Get Windows 10 app (GWX), then click Hide.

Windows 7 - KB3035583 and KB2952664

Windows 8 - KB3035583 and KB2976978

Windows 7 and Windows 8 - KB3146449 and KB3139929

Hide Windows 7 Updates that you do not Ever Want to Install

If the Windows 10 Upgrade is listed, you can right click it then click Hide.

One last instruction is to delete the Get Windows 10 (GWX) folder.

Press Windows key + R

Type: C:\Windows\System32\GWX

Hit Enter

Search for gwx, when it appears in the search results, right click the folder, then click Delete.

That's it, you should no longer be prompted to install Windows 10 or have your system updated manually. Please note, Microsoft will provide future KB updates that will provide a means to install the Get Windows 10, GWX app and eventually install Windows 10. This is not a final solution.

Why is Microsoft doing this?

It seems Microsoft is on an accelerated push to get as many systems upgraded to Windows 10 before the July 2016 deadline. After July 29th 2016, Windows 10 will no longer be free for existing, genuine Windows 7, Windows 8 systems. You will have to buy it. 

Why is Windows 10 free, is there some catch?

No, its not a catch. We are computing in different times. Windows 10 is free so app developers can standardize on one platform and reduce the fragmented market of different versions, and editions of Windows that have been an issue in the past. When everybody is on the same platform, it means better quality apps, a healthier ecosystem and more advances in hardware and software innovation.

If Windows 7 or 8.1 suddenly decides to install Win10, all on its own — you still have one fallback point. The very last step in the new installation sequence involves clicking “Accept” on the EULA, the End User License Agreement. If you click “Decline,” the whole update unwinds and your system should be restored to its original Windows 7 or 8.1 state. (Note the operative term “should.”)

If you or someone you know made a mistake and clicked “Accept” on the EULA, they’re running Windows 10 now. I strongly recommend that you immediately go back to Windows 7 or 8.1 using the built-in tools. Detailed instructions in my InfoWorld feature “How to roll back your Windows 10 upgrade.”

Source + more info: Windows 10 upgrade starting automatically – and it happened to me @ AskWoody

What to do if you got caught with a forced Windows 10 update

May 4, 2018: I won't participate anymore in MC. Enough is enough.

I added some instructions of how users can do that.

Windows Insider MVP
MVP-Windows and Devices for IT

Is it ALL the GWX-things, we have to delete, or is it ONLY the GWX-folder?

On my Windows 7-computer, it looks like this:

Delete the entire GWX folder as listed in your search results. The other files you are seeing are those that are listed in the folder itself.

Windows Insider MVP
MVP-Windows and Devices for IT

AHA!! Thanks!!! :-)


But they will NOT get deleted, because I don't have administrations rights, and this I can't get....

You are likely encountering Trusted Installer. Take Ownership of the folder then try again.

Take Ownership of a File or Folder - TechNet - Microsoft

Windows Insider MVP
MVP-Windows and Devices for IT
Do NOT work. I give up...

The Ownership option doesn't seem to work for me either. Once I reached towards Step 3, I clicked the Advanced option, but I don't see the "Owner" tab as the guide suggested. Because of that, I can no longer proceed throughout the steps.

It says this method applies to Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2. But I have Windows 8.1, could that be the reason why? If so, where can I find the correct steps for Windows 8.1?

What  about updates on the computer  itself 

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Last updated August 16, 2019 Views 3,364 Applies to: