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Fearing forced Windows 10 upgrades, users are disabling critical updates instead

Brad Chacos | May 30, 2016
Some Windows 7 and 8 users would rather chance a malware infection than an involuntary Windows 10 upgrade.

Reddit and other forums around the web hold more tales of woe and disabled updates…

Comment from discussion Microsoft criticised over ‘deceitful’ and ‘nasty’ Windows 10 upgrade.

Comment from discussion Warning: Windows 7 computers are being reported as automatically starting the Windows 10 upgrade without permission..

…and users explicitly encouraging other people to disable Windows Update.

Comment from discussion Warning: Windows 7 computers are being reported as automatically starting the Windows 10 upgrade without permission..

Comment from discussion Microsoft criticised over ‘deceitful’ and ‘nasty’ Windows 10 upgrade.

Ironically, improved security is one of Windows 10’s selling points. But by pushing it on users in such a heavy-handed way, Microsoft is encouraging users who have very valid reasons to stick with Windows 7/8 to perform actions that leave their machines open to attack. That’s bad. Very bad.

For the record: Don’t disable Windows Updates unless you’re an advanced user who wants to parse and manually install Windows patches. Instead, leave them active but also install GWX Control Panel or Never10, free tools that block the Get Windows 10 pop-ups and behavior. Microsoft’s been known to push out new patches that work around those tools in the past, however—again, violating Windows Update’s sanctity to push its new OS. Be sure to read the fine print if a GWX pop-up does appear in order to avoid being tricked into Windows 10.

Or you could try this clever trick if you have old hardware lying around collecting dust.

Windows 10 updates

While the decision to abuse Windows Updates is clearly burning goodwill with numerous Windows users, the people who suddenly find themselves on Windows 10 won’t be able to prevent actions like this from occurring in the future.

The consumer versions of Windows 10 don’t allow you to disable or manually install Windows Updates. If Microsoft pushes out a Windows 10 update, you will receive it eventually. Some versions of Windows 10, including Windows 10 Pro, allow you to defer feature updates—though not security updates—which bumps your computer off the consumer update path and onto the Current business branch, effectively delaying new features from hitting your PC for “several months.” How-To Geek has an excellent write-up explaining Windows 10’s deferred updates.

That’s likely part of the reason Microsoft’s willing to take this dangerous roll of the dice. A significant portion of average users won’t have the technical knowledge to roll back to Windows 7 or 8 after a surprise upgrade. If you’re a standard, non-technically inclined PC user pushed into Windows 10, there’s no way to cut off Windows Updates even if you don’t trust them anymore.

 

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