Microsoft Gives Windows 7/8 Users Numerous Ways To Avoid Nagging Windows 10 Upgrade Notifications

Microsoft announced yesterday that it is expanding Windows 10 upgrades to include small businesses that currently deploy systems running Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1. Business users in certain scenarios have been immune from Microsoft’s incredibly persistent “Get Windows 10” app notifications, but that all changes latest this month (a global rollout will take place shortly thereafter).

windows 10

Microsoft has updated the criteria for systems eligible to receive notifications informing them to upgrade to Windows 10 to include:

  • Systems currently running Windows 7 Pro or Windows 8.1 Pro
  • Systems that are currently configured to receive updates via Windows Update
  • Systems that are joined to an Active Directory Domain

This change in tactics is sure to annoy millions of business users that aren’t too keen on upgrading to Microsoft’s shiny new Windows 10 operating system, and will likely become a hindrance for system administrators that will likely start fielding increased calls from users complaining about nag screens on their computers. However, Microsoft reiterates that the Windows 10 notifications still will not be enabled for systems running Enterprise or Embedded version of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

There is some relief in store, however, for business that wish to block the Windows 10 update altogether, effectively overriding Microsoft’s latest upgrade push. Microsoft has released the following Group Policy Objects to make sure that systems “never detect, download, or install” Windows 10 from here on out:

KB3065987 Windows Update Client for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2: July 2015

KB3065988 Windows Update Client for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2: July 2015

You can also block the Windows 10 upgrade using Computer Configuration, or disable it by making the following modifications to the Windows registry:

Subkey: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate

DWORD value: DisableOSUpgrade = 1

There are a number of other scenarios in which the Windows 10 upgrade can be suppressed by carefully reading this Microsoft support document.

So strap on your seatbelt and prepare for a bumpy ride, because the Windows 10 upgrade bonanza is just getting started. Microsoft wants Windows 10 installed on over a billion machines during its life cycle, and the company is pulling out all the stops to make sure that it hits that mark. And if Gartner has anything to say about it, Microsoft likely will hit a billion installs and perhaps easily surpass it.