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How to manually stop the Windows 10 upgrade prompts on your Windows 7 or 8 PC

If you've been running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on your computer, you're probably familiar with the "Get Windows 10" (GWX) app, which is constantly trying — sometimes aggressively — to lure you to upgrade to Windows 10. While this marketing campaign initially only included non-business computers, Microsoft has already announced its plans to continue expanding the operating system using the GWX app to small businesses and organizations.

Along with the new announcement, the software giant is finally offering officially documented instructions (opens in new tab) for IT administrators to stop qualifying computers running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 from installing Windows 10 and getting rid of the unpleasant notifications.

Microsoft is aiming the instructions for business computers joined to a domain network running Windows 7 Pro and Windows 8.1 Pro, but the steps will also work for devices that aren't joined to a domain, including the home versions of the operating system.

Previously, we described the steps to stop the "Get Windows 10" nags and prevent your computer from installing Windows 10 using the GWX Control Panel tool. But if installing a third-party software isn't your approach, and you are comfortable modifying the Windows Registry and Group Policy settings, you will want to use the following guide:

Disabling the GWX app and stop the Windows 10 upgrade

Warning: Before jumping into this guide, it's important to note that modifying the Windows Registry can be a dangerous game that can cause irreversible damage to your system if you don't do it correctly. It's highly recommended to make a full backup of your system before proceeding.

You have been warned!

If you're running Windows 7 Pro or Windows 8.1 Pro, you can stop the upgrade offer to Windows 10 and disable the "Get Windows 10" app following the steps below:

Prerequisites

To block the upgrade to Windows 10 through Windows Update, you'll need to have installed update KB3065987 in Windows 7 or KB3065988 in Windows 8.1 to make available the new Group Policy Object to perform the task.

You can download the updates using the links below:

Once you've downloaded the update for your current version of Windows, double-click the package to begin the installation, on the dialog box prompt click Yes to complete the install, and restart your computer.

Blocking the Windows 10 upgrade offer using Group Policy

After installing the required update follow these steps:

  1. Use the Windows Key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command, type gpedit.msc, and press Enter to open the Local Group Policy Editor.

  1. Browse the path Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update.
  2. In Windows Update, find and double-click the Turn off the upgrade to the latest version of Windows through Windows Update option.

  1. Click Enable, then Apply and finally click OK.

Blocking the Windows 10 upgrade offer using the Registry Editor

If you're running a home version of the operating system, the Local Group Policy Editor won't be available to you, in which case you need to stop the Windows 10 upgrade using the registry.

  1. Use the Windows Key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command, type regedit, and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.

  1. Carefully browse the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate.
  2. On the right side, right-click, select New, create a new DWORD key and name it DisableOSUpgrade.

  1. Double-click the DisableOSUpgrade key and change the value from 0 to 1.

Quick Tip: If you don't see the WindowsUpdate key when browsing the path, right-click the Windows key, select New, then Key, and name the new key WindowsUpdate.

Disabling the "Get Windows 10" nags

There is no Group Policy setting to disable the "Get Windows 10" app. As such, you will need to modify the Windows Registry in both the professional and home version of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

  1. Use the Windows Key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command, type regedit, and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.

  1. Carefully browse the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Gwx.
  2. On the right side, right-click, select New, create a new DWORD key and name it DisableGwx.

  1. Double-click the DisableGwx key and change the value from 0 to 1.

Quick Tip: If you don't see the Gwx key when browsing the path, right-click the Windows key, select New, then Key, and name the new key Gwx.

Once you have completed these instructions, the last thing left to do is to restart your computer. After a reboot, you should no longer see the GWX app in the notification area, and Windows 10 will no longer try to install on your computer.

Remember that through this process, you no longer have to remove the update KB3035583 (opens in new tab) that is known to prepare your computer for Windows 10. Microsoft says that your system will remain excluded until the changes are removed, which you can do with the steps shown below.

Reverting changes to get the Windows 10 upgrade

If later on you change your mind and feel that you're ready for Windows 10, you can undo the changes to re-enable the Windows 10 offer through Windows Update and the "Get Windows 10" app.

On Windows 7 Pro and Windows 8.1 Pro use the following steps to re-enable the upgrade offer:

  1. Use the Windows Key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command, type gpedit.msc, and press Enter to open the Local Group Policy Editor.

  1. Browse the path Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update.
  2. Find and double-click the Turn off the upgrade to the latest version of Windows through Windows Update option.

  1. Select the Not Configured option, click Apply and then click OK. This actions should also delete the WindowsUpdate and DisableOSUpgrade keys from the Registry.

If you're in Windows 7 Home or Windows 8.1 Home, you will have to manually and carefully delete the changes in the Registry.

  1. Use the Windows Key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command, type regedit, and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.

  1. Carefully browse the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows.
  2. Right-click the WindowsUpdate key, select Delete, and click Yes to confirm the deletion.

For all editions of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, you will need to re-enable the "Get Windows 10" app by deleting the keys you have previously created.

  1. While in the Windows Registry carefully browse the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows.
  2. Right-click the GWX key, select Delete, and click Yes to confirm the deletion.

Finally, restart your computer to complete the process. Once done, your computer should be able to receive the free Windows 10 upgrade.

It's important to point out that Microsoft is only making available Windows 10 as a free upgrade within the first year of its official release. This limitation means that you only have until July 29, 2016, to upgrade your qualifying Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 with Update computer to Windows 10.

More resources

For more tips and tricks on Windows 10, and get the latest news, you can visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

77 Comments
  • Are the members of Windows central have become anti-Microsoft??
  • You do realize that just because you do not want to upgrade your PC to Windows 10, you are not 'anti-Microsoft'. Everyone has their reasons and this is not an ideology or 'club'.
  • Yeah. I agree. But why such types of post again and again? Like how to stop Windows 10 update notification.
  • Because if you don't plan on upgrading to Windows 10, getting constantly nagged about it is super annoying (and isn't going to increase your sympathy for the OS btw). If I didn't plan to upgrade or planned to upgrade when I wanted to instead of when Microsoft told me to, then I'd really appreciate these instructions.
  • Windows Central is a site dedicated to Windows news, tips, help etc. That includes the good, the bad and the ugly.
  • I tried to upgrade to Windows 10 twice, once after the official release, once in December. My drivers cause the upgrade to crash and new drivers aren't released (I own an old Dell Inspiron 15R) My computer can only run Windows 8.1, so the Win10 upgrade notification is only annoying.
    However for me it was enough to remove and hide one update and the reminders were gone. The instructions in this article seem odd to me but perhaps it's the only way for some people?
  • Depending on whether you've got the all the updates, removing the one offending kb can help - though editing the reg should ensure no future updates turn on the nonsense again. In theory.
    .
    Now how about an easy way to disable the telemetry and intrusive rubbish.
    .
    And that chap above really doesn't get reality.
  • Lol this is something they should point out is how to uninstall the get w10 app & hide the update
  • My job requires that computers be on windows 7. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • DONE!  Thanks WC!!!  And I don't have to justify to anyone why I don't want W10 on my computer!  Use what you like and let others use what they like!
  • Precisely.
  • On certain computer model, Windows 10 perform poorly due to it's BIOS version, I've to upgrade BIOS for certain model for better experinces
  • and why would one want to do such? Windows 10 is the best Windows yet!
  • For many people, the Windows 10 upgrade is not always smooth. I have spoken with a lot of 'normal' non-tech people who took the update and regretted it due to bad performance, etc. Some people also have machines they just do not want to tamper with and we should respect their wishes.
  • I am one of these, I have Win 10 on a test machine, but my daily machine is on Win 7x64 and is too important to mess with just yet...
  • But it's after the upgrade process. I find no offense in update notification.
  • Maybe because you've already upgraded and don't have to deal with big pop-ups telling you to "upgrade now" or "upgrade tonight".
  • even though i'm in IT (Network Administrator) field, many of my friends (not tech savy) upgraded to Windows 10 quite easily and all tell me about how good it is, i understand though that they are people who don't embrace change and some also that might have hiccups but overall acceptance of Windows 10 is best Windows yet!
  • Yeah..upgrade process is super smooth. For me on 4 PCs
  • I must have done 40-50 upgrades (I do a LOT of tech support for local businesses) and one 1 had an issue where the best option was to go back to the previous OS, and thats coz it was a crappy atom PoS with 1Gb RAM that MS still feels will run 10 fine - newsflash: IT DOESN'T. I've even had 73 year old little old ladies calling me to say they really love windows 10 after the upgrade, which is quite a feat for MS to have achieved. Other than businesses with VERY specific requirements, or PCs so slow and old the upgrade should never have been offered to them, there really is no reason why anyone should avoid 10, and it even runs brilliantly on old Pentium Dual Core badged PCs, which is a lot more that could be said for previous OSes, vista shudder.
  • Some businesses simply don't support it. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I have two PC's that won't be upgraded to Win 10 despite being compatible. These are used for client support and development, so getting the upgrade notices on these rigs is annoying especialy when MS sneaks a changed update. Yes I could use VMs but they don't replicate the actual hardware which is what's required.
  • Why, because some people are unable to due to driver issues and software compatibility, and some people just don't want to. Worst comment yet.
  • At my work I have a very old laptop, which keeps naggind to upgrade to W10, yet when I click it, it says the system is not supported!
  • The official deprecation of Windows Media Center and its exclusive CableCARD support, for one reason.
  • I have Media Center on my Windows 10 laptop. Search here on Windows Central. There is an article explaining how to reinstall it.
  • Because I don't want to lose MediaCenter....
  • Took them long enough to document these steps. Hopefully they'll be respected by further updates of the GWX tool etc.
  • Agreed.
  • Ya & how can we stop upgrading windows 10 technical previews in phones because build 10586.29 is not working in Lumia 535, after downgrade to denim it again shows for an update to that same build version
  • There's already been many articles regarding this topic, right?
  • Different ways of doing it. Last one was using a third party app, this one is doing it yourself.
  • Today i received this popup on the Windows 2012 R2 sql server at the office. Very strange....