Microsoft is set to introduce Windows 10 as a recommended update through Windows Update for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 very soon, meaning that millions of users will be inadvertently upgrading their operating system merely by installing recommended updates. Thankfully, there is a way to disable this automatic upgrade which does not require turning off Windows Updates altogether.
The information comes, surprisingly, direct from Microsoft, and does not require installing any additional software. A 30-second registry update is all it takes:
- Open Regedit (by typing “regedit” into the Windows Start Menu searchbar and clicking on the icon);
- Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
- Find AllowOSUpgrade (if it doesn’t exist, create it: right-click, new, create DWORD (32-bit) value, rename AllowOSUpgrade) and double-click. Set value to 0;
- Then, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\OSUpgrade;
- Find ReservationsAllowed (again, if it doesn’t exist, create it. Same method as above) and set value to 0;
- Restart Windows.
The “Upgrade to Windows 10” pop-up can also be disabled, if you haven’t already:
- In Regedit, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\GWX;
- Create DWORD (32-bit) value DisableGWX and set the value data to 1.
If you’re not comfortable poking around in Windows Registry, ZDNet has written a guide to creating your own executable file to automate the task.
Save the following text in a Notepad document as DisallowOSUpgrades.reg:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
Alternatively, the file can be downloaded here.