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Have you noticed recently that your Internet connection was slower than usual, the free space on your system drive Need A Disk Cleanup? Visualize What Takes Up Space On Your Windows PC Need A Disk Cleanup? Visualize What Takes Up Space On Your Windows PC Oh the pressure when you run out of disk space. What to delete? The fastest way to locate junk files is to use a tool that helps you visualize your system's file structure. Read More shrunk, and maybe you even maxed out your Internet data cap? This time you can probably blame Microsoft! If you’re getting automatic updates on Windows 7 or 8, Windows Update may have downloaded the Windows 10 installation files behind your back…

We can’t give you your lost bandwidth Find Out Who's Eating Your Bandwidth With These Tips Find Out Who's Eating Your Bandwidth With These Tips Click....wait. Click....wait. Click....ARG! Does that seem familiar? It's you when you run out of Internet bandwidth! Let's find out what occupies your Internet connection and how to get it back. Read More back, but we can help you to stop it from getting stolen. We’ll also show you how to delete the hidden Windows 10 files from your system and stop Windows Update Windows Update: Everything You Need to Know Windows Update: Everything You Need to Know Is Windows Update enabled on your PC? Windows Update protects you from security vulnerabilities by keeping Windows, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Office up-to-date with the latest security patches and bug fixes. Read More from doing this again.

Anatomy of the Free Windows 10 Upgrade

Windows 10 was released on July 29, offering a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8.1 Windows 10 Upgrade - Free Doesn't Mean It Won't Cost Anything Windows 10 Upgrade - Free Doesn't Mean It Won't Cost Anything There's a catch to the free Windows 10 upgrade. Microsoft understands its audience all too well; they are more likely to pay for the freedom of control, rather than for extra features. Read More systems. Prior to that, users could sign up for the free upgrade via the Get Windows 10 app Get Windows 10: It's Not a Virus! Get Windows 10: It's Not a Virus! The Get Windows 10 icon in your system tray is not a virus. It's Microsoft's official upgrade note prior to the official release of Windows 10 on July 29th, 2015. Read More , which was delivered to their systems through Windows Update. The app presented itself with a Windows icon in the system tray, as well as a message under Windows Update. Annoyingly, removing the Get Windows 10 app How to Get Rid of Windows 10 Upgrade Notification in Windows 7 & 8 How to Get Rid of Windows 10 Upgrade Notification in Windows 7 & 8 Windows 10 is coming and Microsoft wants everyone to upgrade. The Windows 7 & 8 popup reminder ensures that even the last person will be aware of this option. Here's how you can remove it. Read More isn’t trivial.

Windows 10 Is Coming Windows Update

Users who did sign up for the free upgrade Can't See the Windows 10 Upgrade Notification? Here's How to Enable It. Can't See the Windows 10 Upgrade Notification? Here's How to Enable It. Are you also not seeing the Get Windows app on your Windows 7 or 8.1 devices? Let us show you how to enable the upgrade notification or cancel the upgrade in case you changed your... Read More received the Windows 10 installation files prior to its launch date or soon thereafter, provided their system was deemed compatible. Installation files were deposited in a hidden folder on the system drive and took up 3-6 GB.

Once an invitation to upgrade How to Upgrade to Windows 10 Now & Why You Should Wait How to Upgrade to Windows 10 Now & Why You Should Wait Have you been waiting patiently since July 29 for your Windows 10 upgrade? You should probably wait until you receive an official notification, but if you are determined, you can force the Windows 10 upgrade. Read More was issued, users could delay it for 72 hours before their system went ahead and automatically upgraded to Windows 10. Individuals who had changed their mind were left with little time to figure out how to cancel the Windows 10 upgrade How to Cancel the Windows 10 Upgrade If You Changed Your Mind How to Cancel the Windows 10 Upgrade If You Changed Your Mind The Get Windows 10 app made it incredibly easy to sign up for the upgrade. If you no longer want it, you can opt out again. We show you how. Read More .

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Windows 7 & 8 Users Are Coerced to Upgrade

Right now, Windows Update deposits Windows 10 installation files on people’s computers, regardless of whether or not they reserved the free ugprade to Windows 10. To confirm reports from the Inquirer, I booted into Windows 8.1, which hadn’t been updated in a while, checked the status of the Get Windows 10 app (no reservation), as well as the hidden folder (present, but essentially empty), and ran all pending updates.

What happened then was outrageous. After allowing Windows to run updates and rebooting twice, an adware-like notification popped up that my system was ready to upgrade to Windows 10. When I opened the Get Windows 10 app, I saw this:

Windows 10 Upgrade Ready

I had actually cancelled the Windows 10 reservation on Windows 8.1 in late July because the Windows 10 Preview I had been dual booting was upgraded to the release version and activated just fine.

While running updates, the hidden $Windows.~BT folder had rapidly grown from a few KB to 3.87 GB, exactly as reported by other outlets.

Windows 10 Installation Files Folder

My original reservation had been cancelled weeks earlier, but somehow it still triggered the upgrade, once the installation files had been downloaded. When I clicked OK, let’s continue, Declined the license terms, and returned to Windows Update, I found a failed optional “Upgrade to Windows 10 Home” update, which was released in late August. This is the update that is supposed to let you upgrade to Windows 10 How to Upgrade to Windows 10 via Windows Update How to Upgrade to Windows 10 via Windows Update Windows 10 is offered as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. When you're ready to upgrade, you can use Windows Update and keep all your installed programs and settings intact. Read More after you made a reservation.

Optional Windows 10 Upgrade Update

Microsoft told the Inquirer:

For individuals who have chosen to receive automatic updates through Windows Update, we help upgradable devices get ready for Windows 10 by downloading the files they’ll need if they decide to upgrade. When the upgrade is ready, the customer will be prompted to install Windows 10 on the device.

Not only does Windows download the installation files to your computer, regardless of whether or not you agree, Microsoft also admits that it will prompt you to upgrade, again, irrespective of whether or not you requested the upgrade. Thus it doesn’t surprise me to hear this story from an Extreme Tech staffer:

[David Cardinal] left on a two-week trip with an HTPC box running Windows 8.1U and came back to find it running Windows 10. Windows Update was configured to install automatic updates, and Microsoft has flagged Windows 10 as an important [recommended] update — so it’s at least theoretically possible that the box automatically installed the new operating system.

If this happened to you and if you catch it within 30 days, you still have a chance to downgrade to Windows 7 or 8.1 How to Downgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 7 or 8.1 How to Downgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 7 or 8.1 Windows 10 is here and maybe it's not what you expected. If you already upgraded, you can perform a rollback. And if you haven't yet, create a system backup first. We show you how. Read More .

What You Can Do to Prevent & Undo the Forced Windows 10 Upgrade

The Windows 10 upgrade is optional! At every step of the way, you can opt out, cancel, and undo whatever Microsoft did.

Stop the Automatic Upgrade to Windows 10

The files have been downloaded and you’ve been told that your system is ready to upgrade. Well, you can still cancel the upgrade. Open the Get Windows app, open the menu from the Hamburger icon in the top left, navigate to View confirmation and select Cancel reservation.

Cancel Windows 10 Upgrade

Should you have accidentally initiated the installation by selecting OK, let’s continue, simply Decline the license terms or schedule the upgrade as far in the future as possible (72 hours), then proceed to remove the Windows 10 Upgrade notification How to Get Rid of Windows 10 Upgrade Notification in Windows 7 & 8 How to Get Rid of Windows 10 Upgrade Notification in Windows 7 & 8 Windows 10 is coming and Microsoft wants everyone to upgrade. The Windows 7 & 8 popup reminder ensures that even the last person will be aware of this option. Here's how you can remove it. Read More as we described earlier.

Stop the Windows 10 Installation File Download

For now, we recommend you remove the Get Windows 10 app, as per in the link above. We can’t guarantee that Microsoft won’t or hasn’t already released other updates that will attempt to upgrade you to Windows 10, thus we also recommend you take control over Windows Update When Windows Update Fails, This Is How You Fix It When Windows Update Fails, This Is How You Fix It Did a Windows Update crash your system? Here's a quick list of troubleshooting steps that will help you restore Windows to a functional state. Read More , as described below.

Reclaim System Drive Space

After removing the Get Windows 10 app, run the Disk Cleanup for your system drive. Briefly, go to This PC, right-click your system drive, select Properties, then click Disk Cleanup. Once it has finished compiling files to clean up, click the Clean up system files button. This will give you the full amount of temporary files, including up to 6 GB of Temporary Windows installation files.

Disk Cleanup Temp Files

Stop Microsoft from Messing with You Like This

Don’t let Windows automatically install recommended or optional updates. We do recommend that you allow important updates to install automatically Fix Windows Update & Make It Less Annoying Without Compromising Security Fix Windows Update & Make It Less Annoying Without Compromising Security Windows Update can be a nuisance. Here is how you can protect yourself from its annoyances without compromising security. Read More because they protect your system from vulnerabilities and we don’t expect Microsoft to abuse this setting to force an undesired Windows 10 upgrade on its users.

To disable recommended and optional updates, head to the Control Panel (click Windows key + R, type Control Panel, and hit Enter), navigate to Windows Update, and select Change settings from the sidebar. Under Important updates, select Install updates automatically.

If you choose to be given recommended updates the same way you receive important updates, you’re offering Microsoft a path to force-feed you whatever they think is “important”, although it isn’t purely for security. That’s exactly how they’ll give you Windows 10 related updates. Thus remove the respective checkmark under Recommended updates.

Windows Update Settings

Microsoft Is Taking Windows 10 Too Seriously

While it is possible to opt out and stop the forced upgrade, Microsoft is making it too hard. For the average user, the steps aren’t trivial and the Windows 10 notifications are borderline adware Has Microsoft Installed Adware on Your PC to Promote Windows 10? Has Microsoft Installed Adware on Your PC to Promote Windows 10? Windows 10 is coming and Microsoft is going to great lengths to ensure each and every Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 user is fully aware. Is update KB3035583 essentially adware? Read More . Users will either be driven away from Windows or give in and upgrade.

But why is Microsoft in such a hurry? Extended support for Windows 7 and Windows 8 doesn’t expire until 2020 and 2023, respectively. It doesn’t matter whether one thousand or one billion users remain on either of these operating systems, Microsoft is contractually bound to provide support, i.e. ensure the integrity of these operating systems and deliver security patches.

It’s understandable that Microsoft would like to get as many people to switch to Windows 10 as soon as possible. In this case, the end doesn’t justify the means, because the Windows 10 upgrade is not necessarily in the best interest of the customer.

Particularly, Windows Home users function as Microsoft’s guinea pigs because they are among the first to receive and test run mandatory updates Pros & Cons of Forced Updates in Windows 10 Pros & Cons of Forced Updates in Windows 10 Updates will change in Windows 10. Right now you can pick and choose. Windows 10, however, will force updates onto you. It has advantages, like improved security, but it can also go wrong. What's more... Read More . Moreover, they are the most likely crowd to subscribe to Microsoft’s new entertainment offerings, such as the Music and Movies & TV services, offered through the Windows Store.

Have you had issues since the Get Windows 10 app was released? Or are you happy with Windows 10? Share your stories or frustrations in the comments!

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