How To Block The Automatic Windows 10 Update Microsoft’s Sneaking Onto Your Computer

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I was getting pretty tired of those annoying “Update to Windows 10 now for free!” dialogs that have been popping up on my Windows 7 laptop for the past few months, but at least it seemed like the Windows 10 Update was still a choice, and I could still refuse to download or install it.

Yesterday, tech news outlets started reporting that Microsoft has begun sneaking the Windows 10 upgrade files onto the computers of people who keep turning it down by adding the files to the list of “Recommended” updates in Windows Update, which most users rely on to keep their Windows software up to date with security and stability patches.

Since Windows users have long been advised it’s safest to let both “Important” and “Recommended” updates download and install automatically, this change will result in millions of computers updating to Windows 10 whether their owners want the update or not—and there are some good reasons not to want it, like privacy/security concerns and the lack of native DVD player support.

 

 

How To Block The Update

There are two parts to this: removing any Windows updates containing the Windows 10 upgrade that may already have been installed, and blocking those updates from being downloaded and installed in the future.

Here’s the how-to from Lifehacker, which Lifehacker got from Ghacks.net:

 

1. Search for “Programs and features” in the Start Menu.
DMM Note: This means click Start in the desktop menu bar, then type “Programs and features” in the search box. You can also get to Installed Updates from Start > Control Panel > System & Security > Windows Update > View Update History > Installed Updates.

2. Select “view installed updates” on the left side of the window.

3. Windows 7: locate the following updates: KB3035583, KB2952664, KB3021917
Windows 8: locate the following updates: KB3035583, KB2976978

4. Right-click and select uninstall for each of the above updates.

5. Select Restart Later when prompted to restart after each uninstall (if prompted).

6. Restart when you’ve finished these steps for all updates above.

 

Once you’ve finished this process, you’ll need to block the updates from being installed again. To do that, follow these steps:

1. Search for Windows Update in the Start Menu.
DMM Note: This means click Start in the desktop menu bar, then type “Windows update” in the search box. You can also get to Windows Update from Start > Control Panel > System & Security > Windows Update.

2. Choose “check for updates.” Windows should find the same updates from above.
DMM Note: the list will also have any other available updates, so you may have to hunt through the list to find the specific updates involved—the ones you just uninstalled.

3. Click [to open the list of available updates].
DMM Note: Some or all of the same updates you just uninstalled will be shown on the list.

4. Right-click [on] each of the updates above and select “Hide update.”

 

It Worked For Me, But I Did One More Thing…
I followed the steps above to uninstall the update files and block the Windows 10 upgrade on my own computers, and it worked. After I was done I decided to go a step further and uncheck the box that lets Windows automatically install “Recommended” updates, just in case Microsoft tries to sneak this update in again with different files.

 

Windows Update Settings

 

If you want to do the same, here’s how get to the screen shown above (click or tap on screenshot above to view a larger version in a new tab or window):

Start > Control Panel > System & Security > Windows Update > Change Settings

 

Shame on you, Microsoft!

 

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