How do I stop Windows 10?

Stop Windows 10 DesktopIf you have a computer running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you might have noticed the constant pop-ups alerting you that your operating system is eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 10.  Microsoft released its newest operating system last July, and will be offering this free upgrade through July of 2016.  Many have taken advantage of this upgrade, and for an overview of some of the system’s highlights, you can read our previous blog, “Should I Get Windows 10?”.  However, there may be some users who are perfectly content with their current system and are wondering, do I have to do this?  How do I stop Windows 10?

First of all, you are not required to do the Windows 10 upgrade.  Despite the perhaps annoying persistence of the upgrade notices, it is something you opt out of.  Windows 7 will receive extended support through January 14, 2020 and Windows 8 through October 14, 2023.  Extended support means that there will be Windows updates, security updates, and hotfixes available, but no new features will be added.  Therefore, if you are comfortable with your current system and not interested in Windows 10, stay there.

Avoiding Windows 10 is getting more difficult as Microsoft makes its big push before the end of the free upgrade period in July.  Notices that Microsoft recommends the upgrade come up multiple times a day, and seem to present only two options:  upgrade now, or upgrade tonight (or choose time).  Choosing either of these will set the upgrade into motion, so click the red “x” at the top right of the window to close that message.  Or you might see the pop-up that gives you a specific time that you say “ok” to or reschedule, so once again, you must click the red “x” to close, or select “do not schedule” below the listed time.

Stop Windows 10 Don't Schedule

Stop Windows 10 via Updates

Another way Microsoft is slipping in the upgrade is through Windows Updates.  Because Windows 10 is now listed as an “important” update, if you have all or important updates set to install automatically, Windows 10 will sneak in along with any other updates.  This means you will have to manually deselect the update.  To stop Windows 10, refer to the steps and screenshots below.

1.    When Action center notifies you that updates are available, before you install other necessary updates, go into Control Panel.
2.    In Control Panel, go to Windows Update.
3.    On the Windows Update screen, the “Upgrade to Windows 10” box will appear.  Under that, click “Show all available updates.”

Stop Windows 10 All Updates
4.    The next screen will display a list of “Important” and “Optional” updates.  Under Important, “Upgrade to Windows 10” will be preselected.  Uncheck the box next to it so that it is not included with any other updates.

Stop Windows 10 Uncheck
5.    Once Windows 10 has been deselected, you can complete the install of other updates.

If you wanted to stop Windows 10, but find that you accidentally allowed the upgrade and the process has begun, you must allow it to complete.  When the new system prompts appear, including “License Terms,” you do have to agree and boot into Windows 10.  When you are prompted to set up a Microsoft Account, you can click “Skip this Step” if you prefer not to have one.

Once you have booted into Windows 10, you have 30 days to decide if you want to revert back to your previous system of Windows 7 or 8.1.  You may find that you like the new system, but if you don’t, there are ways of going back, though you will not be prompted about this.  Contact your computer service provider if you experience problems in Windows 10 or wish to revert, as that is not always a simple process and you want to be sure your data is safe.  As always, PC Ninja recommends backing up your data before making any major changes to your computer.

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