FOR THE NON-TECHNICAL:
So you’re happy with your Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 computer, and you just don’t want Windows 10 to install on it? Got your fix right here. Right-click the following link and choose Save Target As or Save Link As, then save it somewhere you can find it (in the Downloads folder or on your Desktop are good choices):
Now find the file where you downloaded it, and double-click it. You will be asked up to four different times if you are really sure you want to run it… each question will be different, but in each case you need to go forward. The last dialog will tell you the process is a success, and provide an OK button.
After you click the final OK, restart your computer in the normal way. This should be enough to prevent Windows 10 from installing on your computer. Note if you have msn.com as your home page, you will still see ads telling you that you should upgrade… just ignore them, or change to a different home page if it gets really annoying.
I don’t use Windows myself, but I do sell and support computers that must run Windows. Most of my customers are very fond of Windows 7, and even though its days are numbered they still want to keep using it.
When Microsoft pushed out the GWX update (KB 3035583, if you care), things became… annoying… for those people I just mentioned. There’s no apparent way to turn that nonsense off. The only solution I found in the early days was to kill the program, then change the privileges on the folder C:\Windows\System32\GWX and delete it. So I went around doing just that.
And Microsoft re-issued the update, and they all came back. Gah.
I searched again, and after extensive revisions of my Google search parameters I finally found a page on Charles Allen’s blog where he explained the secret. But he gave the steps in the manual mode, and I’m too lazy for that.
So here’s a registry patch to do the job.
Mostly this is here so I can find it later… as usual for Notebook entries.
UPDATE: In addition to the anti-GWX registry entry, I’ve become aware of the group policy option entitled “Turn off the Upgrade to the latest version of Windows.” Even with GWX disabled by the aforementioned option, Windows Update may still offer Windows 10 as a “regular” Windows update (especially now that it is “Recommended” instead of merely “Optional”). This new policy option just sets a registry entry, of course, and I’ve added that registry entry to my KillGWX.reg and uploaded it to the location above.
I found this information here:
Turn off the Upgrade to the latest version of Windows GPO
It’s been there for months, but it’s darned hard to find with an ordinary Google search; when I tried to find it again to post it here, I kept finding ways to block ALL Windows updates (not a good idea) rather than the specific upgrade block I was wanting. So as usual, I’m posting it here so I can find it again.