Home / How-tos / How to dodge Microsoft's forced Windows 10 upgrade – and what to do if you've already been tricked

How to dodge Microsoft's forced Windows 10 upgrade – and what to do if you've already been tricked


No Windows 10

By now, most Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users are probably aware that Microsoft wants you to upgrade to Windows 10. Like, really, really bad. So bad that it's prepared to trick you into making the leap.

Ahead of an end of July cut-off date (July 29 to be exact) for free upgrades, Microsoft's pesky Windows 10 update notifications took a dodgy turn recently, with scores of users reporting that clicking the big 'X' box didn't defer the install, but rather saw Microsoft schedule the download without your permission.

But if you don't want to jump over just yet, fear not – you're still ultimately in control, even if Redmond-based firm may wish it were otherwise.

Review: Windows 10

How to cancel a scheduled Windows 10 upgrade

If you're seeing the new upgrade notifications but don't want to schedule an install, you now need to click the 'Here' in the "Click here to change upgrade schedule or cancel scheduled upgrade" line at the bottom of the scheduled upgrade box. It's not straightforward and it's kind of buried, but it's the easiest way to opt-out.

If you accidentally click the 'X', it might seem like you're tied to downloading Windows 10, but you're not - a pop-up window should appear via the Get Windows 10 app confirming the install, again with the option to "Click here to reschedule or cancel".

You have one last chance to defer, according to Microsoft, which says it will warn you 15 minutes ahead of your scheduled upgrade, with a "Get more time" option. Click that and you should be ported to a window where you're able to reschedule the download, or cancel it altogether.

Related: Windows 10 vs Windows 7

How to go back to Windows 7 or Windows 8 after upgrading

Of course, none of these options are any good if you're asleep or away from your computer during the scheduled download windows. Fortunately, you have the option to revert to your old version of Windows for 30 days after upgrading to W10.

To roll back, just head to the Start menu and follow this path: Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. Depending on which OS you upgraded from, you should now have the option to "Go back to Windows 7" or "Go back to Windows 8.1".

How to stop those annoying Windows 10 upgrade notifications

So, you've told Microsoft where to go with its forced Windows 10 upgrade, but you're still getting those obnoxious notifications every day. Wouldn't it be great to be able to stop them entirely? Contrary to what some people think, you actually can.

You have a couple of options. The manual solution is to right-click on the Taskbar, select 'Properties', head to the 'Notification' area on the Taskbar tab and click 'Customize'.

Once you're there, you should see a 'Notification Area Icons' window. Next to the Get Windows app icon, just select 'Hide icon and notifications'.

You can also download a third-party utility to sort our Microsoft's mess for you. Our favourite is Never 10, because it's a dead simple tool, or another option for advanced users is the more sophisticated GWX Control Panel.

Both should stop Microsoft's desperate 'clickjacking' attempts and leave you with the user experience and operating system you actually want.

Not sure whether or not to upgrade to Windows 10? The video below can help you decide if it's right for you.

Watch Now: What's new in Windows 10?

Related: 8 annoying Windows 10 problems and how to fix them

Are you happy with Microsoft's tactics to 'encourage' people to upgrade to Windows 10? Know of any other fixes? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


May 26, 2016, 2:51 am

It astounds me people try to prevent it. W10 is far superior, and preventing it is akin to taking aim at one's own foot.

Graylan Davis

May 26, 2016, 7:11 am

Being forced to use an OS you don't want to use is a problem. Plain and simple. "To each their own" right?


May 26, 2016, 4:40 pm

What is with these moral judgments on technical issues?

I'm trying to get my Kindle to show white text on a black background, and people jump in and have to tell me how wrong I am to do so, as though it were somehow immoral.

Look, it's a technical question. That's it. Maybe it's a better OS; maybe people have reasons. There may be software that's incompatible; there may be... WELL, WHO CARES??? WHY IS IT YOUR BUSINESS IF SOMEONE DOESN'T WANT WINdOWS 10?

Could you just mange to shut up about it, and let people who want to keep this heaven sent upgrade off their machines? Heck, maybe some are developers who need the older OS for testing. Just. Shut.Up.

For all the geniuses superciliously pratter on about what neolithic fools anyone resisting this nirvana in a box must be, here's some of that reality stuff for you:

We have four identical laptops. We upgraded one to Windows 10 from Windows 7 intentionally. We immediately started having difficulties due to drivers and some other incompatibilities. We also rely, heavily, on the built-in video importing system, which, bizarrely, has been excluded from Windows 10 . Two others have upgraded themselves. One we rolled back as per MS instructions, because the user preferred it that way. Since we did, it says our copy of Windows is not genuine.

When we contacted Microsoft, they said it was Lenovo's problem. When we contacted Lenovo, they said our machine was out of warranty, and would do nothing. (This has been particularly disgusting behavior from Microsoft over the years, refusing to accept OEM passwords even on the machines the software was originally installed on, even when the problem was caused by an upgrade or drive failure.)

Our Thinkpads are still excellent, sturdy machines machines. I have a hard time seeing compelling advantages of newer models, particularly given that they've gone to a newer style of keyboard that's just not as pleasant... and our machines do everything we need, including what video editing we need to do while travelling.

I'll probably upgrade everything before the July deadline, hoping the kinks have been worked out. But when I do, I'll have hours and hours of work trying to get the machines to do all the things they do just fine now.

Some incentive to upgrade.


June 1, 2016, 1:29 am

Things that don't work properly after Windows 10 comes in automatically during my last two weeks of IT work for various offices since Microsoft forced this incomplete OS on systems designed for Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1.

1) People suddenly can't find anything where it was easy to find before.
2) Favorites disappear and are inaccessible due to Internet Explorer, the world's most compatible browser--yes, even in 2016, disappearing from the taskbar, Microsoft Edge makes it next to impossible to locate favorites for most people. A simple "iexplore" in the start menu brings back Internet Explorer, but who cares when there are so many other issues.
3) Printer stops working after 10 upgrade.
4) Scanner won't communicate with computer after 10 upgrade.
5) Quickbooks 2014 and earlier don't work properly after 10 upgrade.
6) Quicken 2014 and earlier software not working properly after 10 upgrade.
7) Network device drivers not working properly after 10 upgrade, resulting in a "could not connect to the Internet" bs screen when the router and modem are fine.
8) Slow performance and useless re-indexing.
9) Re-indexing of the entirety of Windows Live Mail, what the eff? This is hell-on-earth if you have more than 20,000 e-mails in there.
10) Revert back to Windows 7 / 8.1 disappears after 30 days, which is usually around the time people decide they have had enough with a half-baked operating system.
11) Wireless networking device not working properly, random disconnects after 10 upgrade.
12) Sound not working properly after 10 upgrade, volume too quiet, or not at all.
13) Windows Update uploading at MAXIMUM ISP data cap to other people across the Internet, without a users consent--so stupid. So freaking stupid. This results in slow network performance for an entire office.
14) Power options turning off the hard drive after 20 minutes on a desktop computer. What the eff?
15) I could go on and on and on and on but I'm tired of typing. That 30 day 'revert to Windows 7 / 8.1' needs to be a permanent feature, those operating systems are still superior to 10. Aero and performance. 10 has DX12 for the gamers and enthusiasts, which are the only group I can recommend 10 to.


June 3, 2016, 7:09 pm

Since you asked, I will mention that I myself I find MS's nagging insistence VERY irritating. I use Firefox and Mozilla to get around and my dislike for MS is soaring. If I were a more sophisticated user I would greatly prefer open source. The time I tried it, I had too much trouble coordinating the work I do in Office. So I've been taking notes on how to get MS to shut up about 10 and the next pop up I will give it go.

Ramikad Atin

February 10, 2017, 3:14 am

I really feel you

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