More Users Hit By Surprise Windows 10 Upgrade

John Lister's picture

Microsoft's attempts to get all users running Windows 10 has taken yet another step further. It's now rolling out a sneaky way of getting users to "consent" to the update.

As we've previously covered, Windows 10 is now classed as a "Recommended update" which means it will download and attempt to install on all Windows computers where the user hasn't actively changed the update settings from their default.

After that reclassification, some users started seeing a pop-up message saying that Windows 10 was ready to install and the scheduled upgrade time. The user had the option of clicking on "OK" which gave the go ahead to update on this schedule or "Upgrade now" which started the process immediately. 

Closing Request Window Gets Windows 10

Unbeknownst to most users, simply closing the request window by clicking the white cross on a red background was treated as a go-ahead for the Windows 10 upgrade. If the user didn't respond to the message within an hour (for example if they were away from their computer) the upgrade was scheduled. The only way to cancel the upgrade was to click the word "here" in the sentence "Click here to change upgrade schedule or cancel scheduled upgrade."

Although this change was widely covered in the media at the time, it seems it only affected a few people. Over the past weekend, however, it seems to have been rolled out much more widely as a large number of users -- some of them relatively tech-savvy -- have reacted angrily by being caught out in this way.

Windows 10 Upgrade: Block, Decline Or Recover

Now, users have three choices to prevent Windows 10 from installing onto their machines:

First, you can block the process before it happens. This isn't easy as it involves three possible methods all with drawbacks: editing the Windows registry, which isn't a simple or risk-free process; using a third-party blocking tool, which isn't guaranteed to work forever; or changing your Windows Update settings so that you have to manually approve every update. (Source:

Secondly, if Windows 10 starts updating, look out for the End User Licence Agreement screen and click "Decline". For now at least, this halts the update, though it's possible Microsoft will try again later.

And lastly, if Windows 10 does install and you want to go back, you have 30 days to do so without having to reinstall your earlier version of Windows and risking losing files. To do so, open the Start menu, select "Settings" then "Update and Security" then "Recovery" and look for the option to "Go back to Windows 7" or "Go back to Windows 8.1". (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Were you hit by an unexpected upgrade this weekend? Is it fair for Microsoft to go ahead with an upgrade even if you don't explicitly click a button positively confirming you give consent? Is it worth Microsoft losing goodwill if it means getting everyone on the latest system?

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Average: 5 (11 votes)


Dennis Faas's picture

Windows 10 wouldn't be so bad if it were a lot more stable. That, and the Start menu is absolutely horrendous - both in functionality and in usability. At least that part can be changed with Classic Shell, thankfully. :)

Navy vet's picture

I agree. Classic Shell is a godsend.

caseymcpoet's picture

I almost fell for that sneaky MS 'ready to install' sly trick as it appeared I had somehow on purpose, or accidently, or been tricked into downloading it. I desperately searched for the download to delete it before it was installed, but was unable to find it. I then did a 1/2hr search & found a suggestion on one of the sites to simple 'hide it'. Which I did. That was Sunday. Today, still no more mention of it. Before I do download (the deadline is in July?) I want to back up my Win 8.1 hard drive in total as recommended. I really don't trust MS as they are so eager to 'trick' us into installing it. And I also understand one should do a 'manual' installation to stop them from installing their 'spook' programs. And thanks, Dennis for being on the ball with all this.

nospam_5346's picture

I am really getting tired of Microsoft's underhanded methods regarding Windows 10. In addition to trying to install it sneakily, they continually try to get you to install their telemetry updates by constantly reissuing them using the same update number so that if you have hidden it previously it shows up again with the same less than helpful description.

I have to investigate every update to make sure it's not Windows 10 related.

I updated a second copy of Windows 7 on my computer although I haven't logged into it for months and have no plans to unless I eventually have to for some reason. I don't want nor do I plan to ever update the copy of Windows 7 I use everyday.

This really amounts to malware and their telemetry updates to spyware.

In the end, it won't make any difference because even though the customers are mad they'll forget it and just accept it. Microsoft is looking out for their bottom line as supporting only one version of Windows will be much cheaper for them. They really don't care about their customers. Most can't go anywhere else for a variety of reasons.

kitekrazy's picture

Maybe people fear this more than the latest virus. I'm slowly moving on to the Windows 10 bandwagon. You have to tweak it to get it just like W7 with Classic Shell, disable Cortana and Edge.
Other than the GUI and lack of customization I don't really see a performance benefit over W7 that wows me.

nospam_5346's picture

The problem I have with "disabling" the built in apps such as Cortana is that Cortana still loads into RAM. It still phones home constantly using bandwidth. In other words, you don't really disable these things when you disable these things. Even if you use PowerShell as often suggested, it just removes them from your sight. They are still on your hard drive. They can still be reactivated by Microsoft in an update.

I shouldn't have to continually check the settings on an OS to make sure they haven't been changed without my knowledge or permission. I shouldn't have to constantly hide the same update over and over.

blueboxer2's picture

I"m unsurprised at the latest confirmation of my opinion of Microsoft's ethics. But it can dealt with simply. The UltimateOutsider blog offers the GWX Control Panel which stops installation cold until you specifically ask for it, and Gibson's never10 app ( seems also bulletproof so far.

So you can take 10 and play with it then revert any time is the next 30 days. Or you can block it till you want to reconsider, if ever. For full belt and suspenders effect, you should be doing a regular image backup anyway. You can them do the image backup of 10 installed, salt it away, delete 10 in favour of what you're running now and still have 10 re-installable if you ever want it. Or if you get too put off with MS and their games, go to some flavour of Linux.

The answers take some work to execute but are simple and effective. Just another built in Windows inconvenience but no big deal.

ruellej's picture

I was a bit surprised by your article because the windows 10 (KB3035583) update has been offered as an OPTIONAL update on my systems for a while now. Yes, I just verified this on both my win7 home and pro systems.

Anyway, here is a suggestion for anyone interested in having their desktop system run both Win7 (or 8.1), and win10.

1] install a second HDD and clone your current drive to the newly installed one.
2] boot into your boot manager program at startup and select the cloned HDD.
3] run windows update, select and install the KB3035583 update to the clone.
4] reserve your copy of win10 on the clone drive before the July 29th deadline. It could take a week or two for win10 to become ready to install so check periodically by booting into the clone drive.
5] when you get win10 installed onto the clone drive use your boot manager to boot into either the win7 or win 10 drives.

This will provide you with two windows systems on one machine. Switching between OS is quick and simple. Just do a system restart.

If you don't want to get win10, don't select KB3035583. If you decide you want it after the drop dead date, you will have to buy the program.

matt_2058's picture

I'd like to clone my laptop drive as "ruellej" suggested, but it wasn't possible the last time I tried. I had installed a drive into an enclosure to clone the drive. Either the software or the OS did not allow using the USB port and it did not work.

I'm going to try again using a different program.

BTW...anyone install Windows 10 on a small tablet yet? I've got a Toshiba Encore and considering updating from 8.1.

ruellej's picture

Hi Matt...I used Acronis TI home 2010 to clone the internal HD, and have used same to write disk & partition images to a HDD mounted in an enclosure connected via a USB port to both my laptop & desktops.

I would be curious to know if acronis would also make a clone via the USB. Logically it should since the program can write to drives attached to the port. Incidental, I booted my system with an acronis boot disk that contained a full version of TI 2010.

If you get the clone to work, and you don't have a boot manager, you will have to set the bios boot sequence as DVD / USB / HD

good luck