Ask CyberGuru: How can I prevent being upgraded to Windows 10?

Ask CyberGuru

“Help! I’ve been accidently upgraded to Windows 10!” is the cry I have been hearing from a number of unsuspecting users running Home Premium or Professional versions of Windows on their computers.

Whilst in some cases the user may have accidentally clicked to accept the upgrade (which can be done in a number of ways, including closing a particular “Get Windows 10” window), I understand that for many clients this hasn’t been the case. Some upgrades have been successful and positive experience but a number of them have been problematic and required a full reinstallation of the computer to bring it back to a usable state.

Microsoft is enthusiastic about the adoption of Windows 10, proudly advising that there are more than 300 million devices running it worldwide according to Microsoft by the Numbers (link opens in new window). However, it has not said how many have been done automatically. Unfortunately, there is no magic button to prevent this from happening.

However, we are working on identify ways to take control of this. We have installed third-party software as well as changed particular settings in Windows to prevent this upgrade occurring automatically. We are particularly cautious to ensure only suitable computers are upgraded computers where we can, however it is a challenge to keep on top of the various methods of notifications that Microsoft has used since its introduction. Whilst Microsoft has advised these notifications will cease once the free upgrade period ends at the end of July this year, we are working on identifying successful ways to keep on your existing Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 without having to upgrade.

Whilst we encourage the adoption of new products such as Windows 10 and appreciate the improvements and new features, it is concerning that Microsoft is aggressively pushing users to upgrade without due consideration of the full ICT environment or the potential impact on productivity. As previously mentioned in a previous CyberGuru Blog article, I suggest only upgrading your computer to Windows 10 if it is a brand-name, up to two years old and running common line business applications (such as Microsoft Office).

If you would like support to prevent your computer to being upgraded to Windows 10 or require training in taking advantage of Microsoft’s newest operating system, please contact us for more information. If you have any questions you would like CyberGuru to answer in a future Ask CyberGuru instalment, please contact us also.