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How to escape that forced Windows 10 upgrade you mistakenly agreed to

Mark Hachman | May 25, 2016
Sadly, it's not as simple as stating.

If you've accidentally triggered the Windows 10 upgrade, you’ll receive a second, final alert: a 15-minute countdown timer that, again, is pretty useless if the upgrade takes place during a time when you’re away from your PC.

windows 10 15 minute reminder
The final countdown (to Windows 10).

According to Microsoft, there’s also a second opportunity to opt out, part of the GWX app on your taskbar—the same Windows icon that appears in the reminder popup, above.

Before you actually click that app, however, you’ll need to make sure you don’t have any existing GWX dialog boxes open, because you’re essentially relaunching the app. According to Microsoft, once you open the GWX app, you’ll either see messages saying Windows 10 is a Recommended Update for this PC, Microsoft recommends upgrading to Windows 10, or You signed up for Windows 10, and it’s ready!

A second chance

This is where the choices begin to resemble a "Choose Your Own Adventure” book, and not a customer-friendly opt-out process. You may notice that the Windows 10 is a Recommended Update for this PC dialog is the same popup window that, when closed via the red button, began this whole process. Don’t make the same mistake twice!

windows 10 choose a time to upgrade
If you wish to opt out of Windows 10, click the “cancel scheduled upgrades” link.

For the first two options, to opt out of Windows 10, look for and click the following link in the dialog box: Click here to change upgrade schedule or cancel scheduled upgrade. (Microsoft says that you can also click the red X to opt out, but we’ve heard this line before.) If you receive a popup that says, You’re set! click the link at the bottom to opt out, Microsoft says.

For the screen, You signed up for Windows 10, and it’s ready! you should see a link to change upgrade schedule or cancel scheduled upgrade. In any event, if you want to get rid of Windows 10, you’ll want to end up on the screen titled Cancel your Windows 10 upgrade

windows 10 cancel your upgrade
Hopefully, this screen means that you’re out of the woods.

You can hide notifications, too

So does this mean that the Windows 10 upgrade monster has finally been slain? Well, as of revision 12.0 of Microsoft’s support document, yes. Hopefully things won’t change.

Microsoft’s reminders, however, won’t end (until possibly after the July 29 cutoff) until you take the following steps:

  1. Right-click (or press and hold) the Taskbar, then select Properties.
  2. On the Taskbar tab, go to the Notification area and select Customize....
  3. In the Notification Area Icons window, for the GWX icon, select Hide icon and notifications.


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