5 Unintended Consequences of Windows 10 Upgradegate

Tina Sieber 13-06-2016

One thing that really annoys us about Windows 10 is Microsoft’s aggressive upgrade strategy How to Block the Aggressive Windows 10 Upgrade on Windows 7 and 8.1 Microsoft ramps up its efforts to make users upgrade to Windows 10. Come 2016, many people will wake up to a new operating system, despite never having consented to the upgrade. Don't be one of... Read More .


Steve Jobs famously said “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” Microsoft must think this is true for Windows 10. And so its developers keep finding new ways to trick Windows 7 and 8 users into upgrading Microsoft Tricks Users Into Windows 10 Upgrades, Windows Phone Is Dead... [Tech News Digest] Microsoft resorts to dirty tactics with Windows 10, Windows Phone is deader than a dead thing, Reddit introduces embeds on other sites, Edward Snowden says no to Allo, and the new Star Trek Beyond trailer... Read More because surely they will like Windows 10 10 Surprising Reasons Why You Will Like Windows 10 It's almost cool to hate on Windows 10 these days. Don't let that deprive you of all the benefits Windows 10 will bring! We show you what you're missing out on. Read More once the see it. Or they’ll just surrender.

Personally, I do like Windows 10, but I also appreciate the reasons of those who oppose the upgrade. And I think what Microsoft has been doing is deeply disturbing and unethical. Microsoft acts as if its goal for 1 billion Windows 10 users supersedes the company’s responsibility for its existing Windows customers Why to Upgrade Windows at the End of Extended Support Eventually, support for every Windows version expires, leaving PCs full of holes, entry points for malware, and opportunities for hackers. Windows 8 recently reached end of support status - we show you why and how... Read More .

This reckless battle has unintended consequences, which not only hurt Microsoft’s customers, but also its business.

1. Lost Trust in Windows

When a live broadcast is interrupted by a stubborn Windows 10 upgrade notification, it sends a clear message to thousands of witnesses and millions of people worldwide: Windows cannot be trusted.

People feel confirmed that it’s not just them. No, it’s really not! Everybody using Windows 7 and 8 is suffering from Microsoft trying to get them to upgrade to Windows 10, by hook or by crook Microsoft Strikes Again - How to NOT Upgrade to Windows 10 Windows 10 is now a recommended update on Windows 7 and 8.1 computers. If you're not yet ready to upgrade, it's time to double-check your Windows Update settings. We show you how. Read More .


Many users who intended to stay with their old Windows and thought they denied the free upgrade offer, disover that Windows 10 was downloaded to their system nevertheless. Worse, some users get automatically upgraded to Windows 10 in their absence and — as far as they are concerned — against their will.

It’s those WTF moments that make people lose trust in Windows and Microsoft. The stories spread and those that have been spared so far are terrified to suffer the same fate. So what do they do?

2. Users Disable Windows Update

Disabling Recommended updates is exactly what suspicious Windows 7 and 8 should be doing to stop the Windows 10 upgrade. However, a heads-up comes from Wes Miller, Research VP at Directions on Microsoft, who thinks people might go further than that:


And he’s right. The aggressive Windows 10 upgrade causes deep distrust in any system update. This makes users disable not only Recommended updates — which should be sufficient — but also critical updates.

In Windows 7 and 8, completely disabling Windows Update 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 is fairly easy. The downside is that it could lead to an increase in Windows systems infected with malware or otherwise paralyzed. It’s ironic because Microsoft is supposedly pushing Windows 10 so hard to get users upgraded to a safer Windows environment.

Note: Instead of turning off critical Windows updates, we recommend that you disable only Recommended updates and install GWX Control panel or Never10. Also read everything we know about blocking the Windows 10 upgrade How to Block the Windows 10 Upgrade, Everything We Know Microsoft really wants you to upgrade to Windows 10 for free before July 29. Windows 10 is a cash cow and easier to support. We show you how to avoid or undo an accidental upgrade... Read More .


3. Lost Time, Money, and Bandwidth

As we’ve established, Windows 10 is automatically downloading and installing on countless computers, whether or not users want to upgrade. This is a violation of user choice and an incredible waste of resources.

Installation files get deleted and — in the worst case — auto-downloaded again. People lose bandwidth, to the point where their Internet data plans are exhausted.

And a computer that is upgrading to Windows 10 cannot be used. More time is wasted when users need to downgrade from Windows 10 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 to their previous Windows version. In some cases, people have lost files because the upgrade failed or they couldn’t go back.


Windows Upgrade Bricked System

Some people even got blamed for upgrading a school or work computer to Windows 10, even though the computer did it all by itself.

Once they are running Windows 7 or 8 again, the fight continues. It’s a battle that won’t end until July 29, when the free Windows 10 upgrade expires.

Note: We recommend that you keep backups of your files and don’t leave your Windows machine unattended. If you need to downgrade after an involuntary upgrade, open the Settings app (Windows key + I), head to Update & security > Recovery, and click Get started under Go back to Windows 7 / 8. Good luck!

4. Many Home Users Will Abandon Windows

What do you do when your trust has been violated and your resources wasted? You break up and start a new relationship.

Windows users have options. When it’s time to buy a new device, Macs, Chromebooks, and Android devices are attractive candidates. Meanwhile, Linux runs on Windows hardware. Not surprisingly, worldwide Windows market share has dropped from 72.3% in June 2015, to 59% in April this year.

OS Market Share Compared

This drop isn’t necessarily caused by Windows 10. It correlates with an overall trend to decommission bulky desktops and switch to lighter devices, which is why Android (from 10.15% to 20.16%) and iOS (from 8.12% to 9.25%) are on the rise. Linux has actually lost market share (from 1.28% to 1.10%). Meanwhile, Macs are up and down, oscillating between 6% in June 2015, down to 5.26% in December 2015, and up to 6.36% in April 2016.

At this point, Windows continues to be the most widely used operating system, but Windows 10 is clearly not helping to reverse the negative trend. Whether it’s really causing the decline to accelerate, we can’t tell for sure, but we do consider it plausible and we suspect it will continue.

5. Consumer Protection Looks Weak

Microsoft will eventually get sued over upgradegate. This is probably a calculated risk. Microsoft knows fair well that it could face court time in the EU, China, and other markets.

It happened before. In 2009 the European Commission passed a directive to stop Microsoft from bundling Internet Explorer with Windows. Instead, Microsoft had to provide users with a selection of possible browsers, the so-called browser ballot Is Internet Explorer Making A Big Return In 2015? Microsoft no longer has to offer EU Windows users a choice of browsers. Moreover, Microsoft is working on a new browser. Nevertheless, we'll show you how to install your favorite browser without touching IE. Read More . This did cost Internet Explorer significant market share in Europe.

Browser Ballot

One challenge with the aggressive Windows 10 upgrade, however, is that it’s a temporary offer, which leaves little time to prepare a trial and have it blocked before it expires.

In December last year, German consumer protection organizations issued a call to order to stop the forced download of Windows 10 installation files to Windows 7 and 8 machines. Microsoft told Heise Online that the company respects local legal requirements. Meanwhile, it’s June, the Windows 10 push continues, and Microsoft has not been taken to court yet. In this case, consumer protection could prove to be a paper tiger.

In Microsoft We Trust No More

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a Windows user who fully trusts Microsoft, this user included. I was excited for Windows 10 Act NOW to Keep Your Windows 10 Upgrade Free After July 29 Microsoft has confirmed that the free Windows 10 upgrade will expire. After July 29, a Windows 10 license will cost $119. We show you how to become eligible to install Windows 10 for free, even... Read More . With new leadership, I anticipated a new Microsoft, one that would listen to its users and act in their interest. It’s what they promised and Windows 10 did turn out to be a great operating system; for the most part.

However, I am deeply disappointed to see how Microsoft continues to abuse its users. Aggressive upgrades to Windows 10 is just part of the story. Forced updates in Windows 10 7 Ways to Temporarily Turn Off Windows Update in Windows 10 Windows Update keeps your system patched and safe. In Windows 10 you're at the mercy of Microsoft's schedule unless you know hidden settings and tweaks. So, keep Windows Update under control. Read More , Start Menu ads How to Ban Windows 10 Ads & NSFW Content from Your Desktop Windows 10 may be crossing a line with desktop ads and NSFW content. Microsoft and third-party developers can push promotional material directly onto your desktop. We show you how you can defend yourself. Read More , Windows Store bloatware Tired of Bloatware? How to Purge Windows 10 Store Apps For Microsoft, Windows 10 is a cash machine. With future updates, more apps will be pre-installed and promoted on the Start Menu. Let us show you how to easily remove pre-installed Windows Store apps. Read More , and privacy issues How to Configure Windows 10 Privacy Settings During Setup If you're installing Windows 10 for the first time, you may be unhappy with the assumptions Microsoft makes when selecting their Express Settings presets during installation. What liberties are Microsoft are taking with your privacy? Read More complete the grim scene.

How do you feel? Have you become a Windows 10 upgrade victim Are You a Windows 10 Upgrade Refugee? Do This First! Did Microsoft just upgrade your computer to Windows 10? Since February, Windows 10 is being pushed as a Recommended update on Windows 7 and 8.1 computers. This is what you can do after you've been... Read More and what did you decide to do?

Image Credit: run away from by Jaaak via Shutterstock

Related topics: Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Upgrade.

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  1. cat1092
    October 15, 2017 at 9:38 am

    My HP dc5800 has been semi-bricked since the release of the Anniversary Update, which I installed on the PC because it had successfully ran the Previews & the initial release. Since it was registered to my Microsoft Account, only need to install & sign in.

    Unfortunately, the worst happened, unlike with Windows 7, Microsoft only checks the CPU, GPU & RAM for Windows 10 installs. While the install first appeared to boot, instead crashed & have never, despite many attempts (no less than 100), been able to revive the BIOS of the PC. The only glimpse of hope was when I seen the BIOS screen, then disappeared as fast as shown. Most likely, need a new BIOS chip, or the installed one reprogrammed, too costly for what was a $99 PC on Newegg shipped with Windows 7 Pro (refurbished PC COA).

    Lesson learned, will no longer allow my remaining legacy PC's to be upgraded to Windows 10.

    However, one thing seldom mentioned, there's a way to still get W10 at no cost, under the disguise of needing assistive technologies (no proof required) & it even says on the page that it's not a requirement (read FAQ #3). Maybe a backdoor way for those who initially declined W10 to get in legally.

    Thought I share, although steer clear of decade old computers running Windows 7, Linux Mint or Ubuntu may be better & more secure options.


  2. ken9545
    September 14, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    I used every app possible to stop windows 10 update including shutting off all windows updates
    Still on 7, no plans to go to 10 ever until they stop the spying
    Still have all windows updates shut off and they will stay that way
    Badly need a linux distro that runs windows games native, no wine MS would be dead in a year
    When and if I am forced to windows 10 because of the lack of support for 7 from 3rd parties and MS it will be on a "local" account only, no MS account, no cortana, no BS from MS

  3. mike birtchnell
    August 30, 2017 at 3:57 am

    found that on prepaid access all my credit gone on upgrade that I did not ask for or want.How dare Microsoft upgrade my computer without my agreement and then cause me to lose all my credit because of it.Disgraceful!

    • Tina Sieber
      August 30, 2017 at 7:11 pm

      You mean they downloaded the upgrade on your (prepaid) mobile phone connection? That sucks!

  4. Ted
    August 14, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    My Dell laptop was apparently in mid forced download of Windows 10, when it was shut down. The next day it refused to boot. A trip to the computer shop, and two days later, I had it back on Windows 7, which is too good to give up thank you. I was however without everything that you forget is necessary for modern life, including Email, tor the two days. After paying $135.00 for the repair, and I do admit it could have probably been much worse, who do I talk to at Microsoft. If you go on their site, they are quite insulated, I couldn't find an Email link anywhere.


  5. Dave
    July 26, 2016 at 6:52 am

    I got so mad with my machine when it bricked itself after an unauthorised Win 10 "upgrade", I smashed it on the floor, ripped it apart by hand, and then chucked the bits in the rubbish bin. It was an expensive tantrum, but worth it after I then went out and bought a Macbook Air! The learning curve on the Mac was worth the piece of mind that it wouldn't do anything that I didn't want it to do. Fortunately, I store all my data in a DropBox account, and all my software has a Mac equivalent, so I was up and running in an evening and haven't looked back since! No more issues with MS so I'm smiling now :)

    • Tina Sieber
      July 26, 2016 at 4:43 pm

      Watch those tantrums, they're bad for your heart (and your environment). Glad the Mac is giving you some peace. :)

    • Joe
      August 5, 2017 at 8:53 pm

      I have come so close to doing the same thing with my own laptop. It's a 1 year old HP that came with Win 10 factory installed. I have had to completely rebuild the machine from scratch 3 times having to blow away all my software and find new alternatives. This doesn't stop with Win 10. I also purchased a new copy of Office 2016 to find that it is laden with spyware and telemetry built in. I have spent months of time debugging windows updates (I am not exaggerating) and even tried taking my laptop back to the retailer and requesting a return. Microsoft is completely unethical with its current business practices. If the same number of consumers had purchased automobiles that malfunctioned in this way, the maker would have been class action sued out of business. Microsoft deserves to lose all of its customers over Win 10. There is no excuse for their sleazy, dishonest, and obviously unethical practices in respect of Win 10 and many of its other software components. Can anyone say pop-up ads and malware forced onto your computer as part of One Drive? !!!! I seriously thought my computer had been hacked only to research and find out the "hacker" was Microsoft. Please let's put this company and any that behave like it out of business. Windows 10 is the worst virus to ever hit computers worldwide. And to think it came knowingly from MS themselves. My next device will not be a Windows machine. The "Mac Tax" is tiny in comparison to the total cost and piracy of your rights that is now required to run a Microsoft based system. Tina, poor Dave found the only true solution to the Win 10 virus. Dave, I am so glad you made the switch. I need to do the same. This is the universe righting itself. Cheers and have a great day.

      • Tina Sieber
        August 6, 2017 at 6:13 pm

        I wonder whether Apple is more ethical than Microsoft.

  6. maxsteffens
    June 21, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    I said goodbye to windowns'm happy with Ubuntu (and its ease of exchange for other interfaces) without virus, fast, easy to install and free.
    At most turn to a virtual machine to run software from companies who boycotting Linux.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 21, 2016 at 9:43 pm

      Yep, that's a great alternative to running Windows as your main operating system. Sad but true.

  7. waicool
    June 18, 2016 at 12:05 am

    I just spent most of the day (TODAY) re installing my windows 7 on my machine and then all of my programs and devices.. yep, came to work, opened a file to print, printer wasn't working over the network, troubleshooting led me to realize my machine was running 10. I never agreed to anything and thought i had closed those aggressive pop-ups. i found out about gwx, downloaded and intalled it on the machine, went through that process and now 8 hours later, i can print my file. hey microsoft, where do i go for the reimbursement for my professional time spent restoring my property and livelyhood you willfully damaged.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 18, 2016 at 1:34 am

      I keep hearing story after story like this. Thank you for sharing yours! It's crazy how disrespectful this upgrade is.

  8. rjp
    June 15, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    I wouldn't mind if the "anniversary" update were released Dec. 29th versus July 29th as rumored. As Microsoft needs to THOROUGHLY test this update to make sure we don't have another snafu like the November update.

    Here's my laundry list of issues I've dealt with since purchasing my first windows 10 computer 9 months ago:

    1) Start menu stopped working on my daughter's user account
    2) Several apps have stopped working on all 3 of our accounts: Wife, daughter, myself
    3) Updates have stopped working
    4) Cannot install certain applications from the app store, and on some of our user accounts NO APPS AT ALL
    5) The computer wouldn't go to sleep
    6) After the November update the computer would re-boot itself in the middle of the day for no reason at all. And then go into a recursive update-loop.
    7) recently even the Windows app store itself stopped working!

    To repair these issues I've been forced to do the following:

    1) Soft Reset the machine once
    2) Hard Reset the machine once
    3) Delete and re-create each of our user accounts several times
    4) Try: WSReset.exe, Powershell scripts that are supposed to restore you apps, and registry hacks that are supposed to as well
    5) Recently Microsoft tech support suggested an "in-place" upgrade
    6) The mail app takes "forever" to sync with

    Microsoft, if you are listening, this is UNACCEPTABLE. In today's world we expect our devices to run like appliances. Meaning you turn them on and they just work. Not everyone is a techie like myself (a Windows developer and engineer with over 20 years of experience).

    This is by far the "worst windows ever"... when it comes to stability. Otherwise I really want to love Windows 10. As a developer I love the idea of write-it-once for an app and it will run on ANY device.

    But that is the key word. When the app I write won't actually "run", because the OS is so unstable, then it defeats the entire purpose.

    Bottom line: GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER, and spend some of that 12 BILLION in profits on proper testing!!!!!!

    • Tina Sieber
      June 17, 2016 at 6:40 pm

      Wow, you've really had some nasty experiences with your Windows 10 PC.

      I've been running the Insider Preview since it came out in October 2014 and have had only one of the issues you describe. Updates stopped working earlier this year and I had to re-install to get to the latest preview version. But that's the preview version, where issues are expected.

      Thank you for sharing your experience! I do hope Microsoft will get their act together.

      Windows Insiders are currently running the build that will become the Anniversary Update and are involved in the pre-launch Bug Bash. Let's hope we catch all the bugs! Although I admit it's comical and feels wrong that a pro-profit corporation like Microsoft is -- at least in part -- relying on the support of volunteers.

  9. Brad Fehrenbach
    June 15, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    One thing I did on my own laptop is I installed a different hard drive, then I reinstalled windows 7, then I upgraded to Windows 10. Then I pulled that hard drive out and put my windows 7 hard drive back in. That way I could take advantage of the Windows 10 upgrade and not loose my Windows 7 install. On another of my machines I install a different hard drive also but after I did the upgrade I used active disk image creator and made an image of it and stored it on my backup drive, with the active disk image creator the program crunches down the backup image extremely small and only backs up what is used on the hard drive and the active disk image creator will let you install it on a different size hard drive then from the original size that it was on. Also I just want to say I am in no way involved with the company that created Active Disc, I just really like the program because you don't have to have it installed on your pc in order to use it because you boot your computer right from the cd or flash drive

  10. Brad Fehrenbach
    June 15, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    I'm the IT admin for a Dr office and I got a call one day and was told that when thay came back from lunch all of their computers were upgrading to Windows 10 and they couldn't use any of their computers to take care of patients, so they ended up closing the office for the day so I could revert all of the computers back to Windows 7, What a pain in the neck. Now I had to change the windows update settings to check for updates but let me choose the updates to install because Microsoft considers their windows 10 upgrade crap an important update, Really MICROSOFT!!! Now I have to baby sit every freaking computers updates so that they don't get infected with a virus or infected with WINDOWS 10!!

    • Tina Sieber
      June 15, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      Unbelievable. Why isn't anyone suing Microsoft for the damage this is causing?

  11. avis ruthven
    June 15, 2016 at 6:56 am

    Windiws 10 kept trying to load. I contacted microsoft help desk to ask them to stop. Lady said sure let me log into your computer. Well I did and she looked, said it wasn't installed. I asked her to stop it from trying again and she said OK. Suddenly my screen went blank and she was gone. I managed to get it up, but somehow shd has disabled my internet conne tion. I have tried every solution they have suggested, but still cannot get online. ANGRY! Frustrated.
    My new hardly used computer iis now useless. Will prbably have to pay some tech big bucks to fix it.

  12. Chris
    June 15, 2016 at 3:23 am

    I was in the middle of a video design project with a very tight deadline for a big corporate client a couple of weeks ago. Working with After Effects, things can get pretty heavy, so I usually render videos throughout the night. One particular morning, I turn on my monitor to check the render and was surprised to be greeted with the "Welcome to Windows 10! Let's waste your morning to set things up!" screen. I had been putting off the install everyday already so that I can finish my project without disruptions... the last thing I needed was to deal with a new OS install... what if I lost my render from the night before? Or worse, what if it bricks my PC and I have to reinstall all my software from scratch?!

    I ended up spending about 2 hours (frustratingly, annoyingly, stressfully, fearfully) setting things up, not to mention deleting/moving files to create enough free space for Windows 10 to finally install properly... I guess I was very lucky that my PC still functioned afterwards, minus the system fonts were a little off because I used Classic Shell for my Windows 7. But at least I could continue to work on my project after the unexpected delay. Thanks Microsoft! << insert sarcasm...

    I'm all fine with software publishers to release updates and patches to make things better, faster, safer... but literally forcing a product upon customers against their will? Doesn't that go against every good business practice and ethical rule?

    And on a related note, how do you remove the new Start Menu Live Tiles and ads? They are not only annoyingly useless, but probably wasting my system resources.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 15, 2016 at 6:10 pm

      Glad your upgrade to Windows 10 wasn't a total disaster! And I do think that what Microsoft is doing is terrible business practice and unethical.

      You can manually remove all tiles. Right-click and and select Unpin from Start. You can also use tools to remove some of the pre-installed Windows Store apps.

    • Brad Fehrenbach
      June 15, 2016 at 6:18 pm

      Chris what I use is a great little open-source program called Classic Shell, it gives you the Windows 7 start menu back and you can customize it into your ultimate start menu to your own liking. Not to mention that it helps make the entire operating system more usable then it was right out the gate. I hope it helps.

    • Michael Mason
      June 17, 2016 at 5:57 pm

      Chris, you can remove all the live tiles and resize the Start Menu (the same way as an application window) to the familiar Windows 7 size.

  13. Rain
    June 15, 2016 at 2:47 am

    Windows 10 is way better. it didn't harm my PC at all and internet will get slow of course because of some updates. I'm using Skylake 6th gen version. and it's perfect.

    I hope everything would work perfectly since i'm using Win 10 3 days now.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 15, 2016 at 6:11 pm

      At least someone is happy they were upgraded to Windows 10. Did you initiate or welcome the upgrade before it started?

  14. Miqui
    June 14, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    Its pretty easy to see what Microsoft is doing. There is no need for data dumps, wireshark, or any other third party 'tools'.

    Microsoft was not selling software at the same rate, they could not compete in the hardware arena. That includes Xbox. The only money making space that was available to them was advertising. The vast majority of windows users never change their web browser. Microsoft leveraged this.

    They are gambling on this hard. Thus the malware style tricks to get you to install. Now if you click the x to close when the pop up shows up, it is permission to install. Go ahead, try it, I will wait.

    Also, how many people make second accounts just to use their computer? Not many. So now Microsoft has built and is distributing a superior OS with a not so superior browser. A browser built from the ground up to be an advertising platform. On an OS that as of July will behave a lot like Apples system. Meaning, it will turn feature on and off, disable some third party apps designed to circumvent ad delivery and user telemetry. You can expand on this on your own. But the unsophisticated user is about to become even more of a revenue tool than it has ever been. Why do you think they gave, shoved, tricked and cajoled everyone, including pirates with 'free' software. Which isnt free by the way. You paid for it when you bought the previous version. As soon as you upgraded you no longer own your OS. Its software as a service.

    You want to use the internet trouble free? Turn off Cortana. After the initial windows 10 setup and necessary updates, run services.msc and stop and disable update service. If you do not, every time windows updates it will turn everything back on. Dont use Edge, run firefox with adblock and reek/grease monkey. If you detest the advertising these are your only options. Or go back to 8.1.

  15. WhoCares
    June 14, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Windows 10 will only install with Administrator accounts. So if the user is running as an administrator and Windows 10 installs, then it's the users fault

    What do these people do when malware, spyware, viruses pop up and say "click here for a free unicorn!"? I bet they click it. As they are logged in as an administrator... Boom. Unicorns on everything.

  16. DRG197
    June 14, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    when they officially launched it, i was excited to get dx12, unfortunately, i was left with a half broken desktop. No audio through spdif for DTS 5.1, the only source of audio available to me because of my set up. This problem took almost a year to get fixed and it forced me to go back to 8.1. When they finally addressed the issue, another one came up. i couldnt activate my copy. the only way i was able to install 10, was to clean install 8, upgrade to 8.1, then upgrade to 10. I was unable to do a clean install of 10, even contacted M$, the only help they offered was to sell me a copy. 4 times the agent tried to sell me a copy during that conversation, even after i asked why they were trying to sell me something that was supposed to be a free upgrade, and even continued to say that my copies of 7 and 8 weren't eligible for the upgrade... which is funny cause guess what OS i have right now? Screw M$ and their money grubbing BS

  17. T.S. Dionne
    June 14, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    One thing I didn't like about the FORCED installation of 10 or the underhanded way Microsoft decided to tell ME that I wanted this upgrade, even though O specifically decided against it...My computer had to go to a repair shop and after paying almost 200 dollars to "repair" lost files etc, Microsoft can suck the big one

  18. Bradley
    June 14, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Windows 10 didn't harm my computer at all. It's just slow every now and then.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 14, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      Does the slowness coincide with updates being downloaded or installed in the background by any chance?

      • Miqui
        June 14, 2016 at 11:43 pm

        Its the maintenance utility

  19. Anonymous
    June 14, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    Recently upgraded my work laptop to Windows 10 Home. Aside from not being able to use third-party themes with VirtualBox, I've had no real problems with it. Classic Shell, Destroy Windows 10 Spying (DWS Final), OldNewExplorer, O&O ShutUp10, and the Windows 7 Games for Windows 10 took care of just about all the "problems" that could crop up.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 14, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      Hadn't heard of OldNewExplorer before. Thanks for the comment, Howard!

  20. Uday
    June 14, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Seems like a Microsoft haters group or paid up group by rivals to bah. Iam an end user and upgraded to Win 10 and never felt un happy about it
    1) You have a feature to get offline installer (USB / ISO) by Microsoft in case you want to upgrade multiple systems
    2) People generally ask for bundled apps and here you are criticizing for that. if they don't bundle anything then possible you say there is nothing bundled thus Microsoft is useless
    3) there are many improvements. some you see and some you don't see.
    4) what is basis to say chrome book is good and window 10 is bad. how can i compare a bare web OS with full scale OS. Is chrome book guaranteed by you that no information passing on to google?

    • Anonymous
      June 14, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      "Seems like a Microsoft haters group or paid up group by rivals to bah"
      And you sound like you are paid by M$.

      Just because people do not like Win 10 does not mean they are "Microsoft haters", In fact, most of them state explicitly that they love Win 7. Since you do not like what they have to say, you must hate them.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 14, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      Uday, I think you're missing my points.

      1: How does that address the unsolicited download and installation of Windows 10?

      2: What? People go to great lengths to root their Android devices to get rid of "bundled" apps and Apple allowing to uninstall stock apps was big news yesterday. It seems to me that people generally *don't* want bundled apps. Users do like free stuff of course, but that doesn't mean they want it in their face.

      3: True. Quote from my article: "Windows 10 did turn out to be a great operating system."

      4.1: I didn't say Chromebooks were good or better than Windows (10). I wrote "Windows users have options." People who feel their freedom of choice was violated or that they can no longer trust Microsoft will turn to other attractive offers, for better or worse.

      4.2: Most users also don't need a full scale operating system like Windows, hence it's great to have options.

      4.3: Mind you that in this article I didn't criticize privacy issues inside Windows (10). I reflected on the unintended consequences of the forced upgrade alone.

    • Miqui
      June 14, 2016 at 11:48 pm

      The only thing that is improved is Microsofts ability to tap into the incredibly lucrative advertising stream that until last september was dominated by Google. Bing was and is a joke, but it is now growing in use. Not because its popular, no, because the vast majority of users never change browsers or home pages or search engines. Edge basically body blocks google and others out of the way by default. Home users that do make changes on the lower tier windows versions are going to see their changes reset for microsoft apps at every windows update.

  21. Bannion
    June 13, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    I personally know at least 4 people who had their computer fry because of windows 10 and their system was not able to handle it running and burned up their processor and/or motherboard. They never had a issue with overheating with 7 or 8.

    One friend lost several video recordings that he had saved because windows installed 10 overnight on him while he wasn't even at the computer. No terms of service agreement accepted or anything. He even deleted the update that constantly pops up asking to install. These videos could not be replaced or recreated, thanks windows! If that happened to my tower I was using up till just recently and it fried my motherboard (most likely would have considering how out of date the hardware was) I would be sending windows a email telling them they owed me a new computer or I would be in contact with a lawyer. I am honestly surprised more people are not doing or at least we are not hearing about it if they are.

    Anyways part way through the article they said "Once they are running Windows 7 or 8 again, the fight continues. It’s a battle that won’t end until July 29, when the free Windows 10 upgrade expires." If the free offer truly expires on the 29th it can not get here soon enough and we don't have to worry about 10 ninja installing itself without our permission. If apples weren't complete piles for gaming and cost twice as much to build I would consider going to a apple computer. But since I use my computer for a gaming rig apple is kind of pushed out of the picture on that one partially because most of the newer gaming hardware is not compatible but also most games don't support their OS.

    I, for one, am now extremely skeptical of windows and really wonder if all these switches that say they turn off allowing windows to do this or that like mentioned in a prior comment about the Cortana Virus is just a placebo switch that only hides what is really going on in the background. I am running 7 only because I don't use a touch screen monitor so I have no need for 8. I am constantly hiding the update that installs the windows 10 popup but it comes back every time in the update list. This only adds to my distrust honestly..

    Soon enough though they are most likely going to move onto their next tactic and stop all updates for 7 and 8 to force people to upgrade like they did with XP which was still a perfectly fine operating system. There is still come computers out there that are not capable of handling 7 or 8 let alone 10 that people only use only for email and searching the web. Why should they have to buy a new faster/strong computer when the one they have works perfectly fine for what they use it for?

    • me
      June 14, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      Never10 from prevents windows 7 or 8 from upgrading thus ending your battle.

      In all likelihood the real problem is the hardware and/or old age. The only software that I know of that can kill hardware is overclocking software, but you void your warranty and accept the blame.

      Any modern processor has thermal shutdown built in, and by themselves almost never fail. Now there are a dozen ways a poor quality motherboard and/or power supply can fry or cause the CPU to die. However, this isn't a software problem, the manufacturer put a super cheap part in there, like a time bomb waiting to go off. Also, many company put power supplies in computers that if the temperature they are exposed to is above 78 (or some low number) they provide less power than they should, and gradually damage the hardware. Many hide these details in cleverly worded fine print of the legal agreement, but are present to legally protect them.

      Windows 10 provides better default drivers than previous version of windows, and your hardware runs faster/more efficiently than before thus in some cases generating more heat. If your motherboard can't handle this then its your motherboard's manufacturers fault.

      Regarding missing files did they look in c:\windows.old\users\\
      All the files from the previous OS are usually moved there. Free programs like PhotoRec from cgsecurity maybe be able to recover the file it is hasn't been overwritten. Also hard drives fail regularly , and operating without a current backup is dangerous indeed. You can get a 2tb external hard drive for around $70, or use cloud backup for $5-10 a month(cheaper if purchased in bulk (1,2, or 3 years at a time).

      Why should they have to buy a new faster/strong computer when the one they have works perfectly fine for what they use it for?
      As hardware dies and is replaced with newer faster components software vendors add features that were not possible before. Thus as the lowest component goes up so do the minimum software requirements.

      Take for example your web browsing friend. WebGL offers hardware acceleration to website for them to have advanced features, but require faster video cards. Sure, today <1% of them use it significantly but every year you will see more and more of it until every website has enough of these features your old system can't handle. Most of the features we consider new/advanced today will be common place in a couple years.

      Also advances in technology like the SSD vs hard drive make upgrading truly a worth while.
      Windows 10 provides DirectX 12 which is a beneficial feature you will never see in Windows 7 or 8. 3dmark by futuremark shows a 10-12x boost in performance is possible once games and/or programs that use DirectX12 are optimized for it. Maybe Vulkan will supplant it, but only time will tell.

      Even more truly great features await us in the future, and you will need new hardware to keep up.

    • me
      June 14, 2016 at 4:53 pm

      Get never10 from grc, and the upgrade warnings will all go away.

      Whoever lost the videos, first look in "windows.old" folder and then the "users" folder, then attempt recovery with photorec. Google it. Then have them get a backup, either external hard drive or cloud based backup. I prefer cloud backup as I don't have to replace the external hard drive every few years or transfer the data. They also meet the "lazy human" requirement, where they silently operate in the background with no user intervention.

      Hard drives are unreliable, and a current backup would have saved your friend.

      For gamers, only windows 10 has DirectX12 which demonstrated by 3dmark shows a 10x-12x improvement in draw calls which will offer much faster graphics with the same hardware once games have support for it. So you will have a need for windows 10. Although Vulkan might eventually supplant it, DirectX12 is already ready and has 6+ games with support.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 14, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      Those are some really unpleasant experiences, Bannion. Yes, it's strange that we're not hearing more about lawsuits against Microsoft for the forced upgrades. As I wrote above, I suspect that consumer protection and the courts are just moving too slow to do anything about it.

      Note that all Windows versions are on clearly defined support lifecycles.

      Windows 7 is already on extended support, which will expire in 2020 (almost 6 years after Windows XP). Support for Windows 8 expired recently, but Windows 8.1 will be supported until 2023.

      Even Windows 10 support eventually expires, unless you continuously upgrade to the latest version. The next one is due this summer.

  22. Anonymous
    June 13, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    If You Have Ever Bullied A Luddite, Let Me Tell You Something I Read A Couple Of Days Ago:



  23. G3M1N1
    June 13, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    I guess I don't understand the fight against Windows 10. I upgraded a 6 year old netbook from Asus and it went perfectly, no driver or software issues of any kind. In fact, I have yet to see a PC fail to upgrade or somehow be broken by an upgrade to 10 (then again I don't own any Samsung hardware, but the lack of driver support from Samsung is entirely Samsung's fault.) Everyone complains very loudly about their Android phones not getting the latest version of Android and yet those same people bitch about Windows 10. *smh*

  24. John
    June 13, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Byron you sure went to great lengths to try to deal with W10! And even then it is a continuing struggle. I don't undrestand why you are doing all this. As igor said, W10 is really just a huge bundle of spyware!

    I tried W10 on a laptop which I upgraded from W7 Pro. I tweaked the interface and did all sorts of things to make it useable. It failed monumentally. I hated it. I went back to W7.

    I have stopped all three machines taking any updates to Windows. None. I may turn it back on after the 'free' upgrade onslaught ends. Not sure. Why? Because I am not sure I could trust them to not 'reclassify' some crap update to suddenly be critical and infect my computers.

    On another machine I have installed Mint Linux with which I have been very impressed. I am going to have to sit down and evaluate whether I really need Windows to run anything I use. Inertia has been my only impediment to doing that. If I can do everything I want to do with Mint then bye bye Microsoft.

  25. Abbie
    June 13, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Since it is my home computer (I have no other techie items - no smart phone, no ipad, etc) and is only used for email and games, I might just as well stay with Windows 7.

    I don't need all their "apps", free or otherwise, nor the hassle of trying to find 3rd party privacy enhancements that MS should have taken into consideration.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 13, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      Very true, Abbie. As Perry wrote below, if everything works well for you on Windows 7, you have no reason to upgrade. Never fix a running system. :)

  26. igor
    June 13, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Hello Tina, as someone who after 2 years has thrown in the towel with Linux due to the lack of decent video editing software. I quickly upgraded to Windows 10 due to 8.1 being so bad.

    You mention Microsoft's aggressive stance in getting you to upgrade, well sadly once you have then the next pitch battle begins. Windows 10 is basically spyware dressed up as an operating system attempting through a multitude of avenues to gain access to all of your activities.

    Want to create a non admin user without a Windows Live account, prepare to be bullied and harangued, they don't make it easy. I had to use an online tutorial to achieve it, such is the lengths Microsoft will go to to prevent anyone using a computer without enabling Windows spyware.

    If you have Window 7 I would recommend staying where you are, this brave new world is pretty nasty.

    igor Griffiths

    • Tina Sieber
      June 13, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      Thank you for your comment, igor!

      Yes, Windows 10 may be free, but it does cost you way more freedom and privacy than previous Windows versions.

      Which version of Windows 8.1 were you running? You can downgrade to Windows 7 with some Windows 8 licenses. It has to be a Pro licenses.

      Here is a Microsoft resource, if you'd like to look into that option:

    • Jason Ward
      June 14, 2016 at 3:16 am

      You do not get "bullied" for making a non admin user or a local user. That is simply not true. In point of fact, after the first account (which is inherently the admin account) is created, ALL subsequent accounts are always, 100% of the time, created as non-admin *by default*. Moreover, you always have full control over whether that account is local or a Microsoft account. Yes, some services require a MS account, but that is no different than any other OS or any other cloud based service.

      Finally, nothing about Windows 10 is "spyware". Since you say you needed a tutorial to setup a local user account, I'll just have to assume you don't understand how to use tools like Wireshark to analyze network traffic, but let me give you the long and short of it: Windows 10 sends no personally identifiable data to Microsoft. It only sends telemetry, which contains technical data about OS errors, application crashes, driver problems, etc. All this data is analyzed in aggregate with hundreds of millions of other users, its sole purpose being to identify trends and common problems so they can be fixed by future patches and updates. Telemetry helps programmers make better software for you and me, period.

      • me
        June 14, 2016 at 2:01 pm

        I have to agree, I have seen no real evidence of spyware just telemetry data. Sure there are tons of people using fear, uncertain, and doubt to spread panic.

        If you want to convince me you will have to show me packet dumps that I can verify on my computer. Someone else's computer might be infected with a virus and it might be to blame so unless I can verify it, it is not evidence.

  27. Abbie
    June 13, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    and all games are have to set up a MS account, buy everything and let them know everything you are doing...........I went back to Windows 7... support or no.

    • Anonymous
      June 13, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      You can set up a local account to avoid that, and it doesn't cripple anything except for "free" Microsoft "services" (quotes mine). There are also third-party privacy enhancements for Windows 10 to limit and in some cases block Windows Store ads and other intrusive notifications.

      But if your gear and apps run well on Windows 7, and you have good anti-malware protection, then there's no reason to upgrade.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 13, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      Sorry that you lost your games, Abbie! That shouldn't have happened. What kind of games were they?

      Perry is right, you can use a local account. In case you ever have to deal with Windows 10 again, here's how to switch to a local account.

      • Abbie
        June 13, 2016 at 5:50 pm

        Thanks, Tina

        Chess, solitaire (various versions)....the chess game is free, BUT THEN, you have to pay to keep ads out?..............give me a break!

        • Tina Sieber
          June 13, 2016 at 6:05 pm

          Ah, I forgot about those games. Yeah, those ads really suck!

  28. Anonymous
    June 13, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Great article Tina. I too use Windows 10, both Home and Pro and I think it's a good OS. However, I have lost all trust in Microsoft so I take equally heavy-handed measures to block certain aspects of it.

    First I get control of all automatic updates. I set all wifi connections to metered. Then I use group policy on the pro machine to disable automatic updates. I just shut down the WU service on the Home machine. I turn it on only when I'm ready to update the machine and have plenty of bandwidth left at the end of the monthly data limit.

    Next step is to uninstall the Cortana Virus. No, not that fake slider that merely disables the user interface, but I take ownership of searchui.exe and revoke all read, write, and execute privileges. It won't even run in the background then.

    I have a whole list of things I do to bring 10 under control but those are the 2 main concerns for me. Even when I do allow an update to install, I have to go back through that whole list and reset some of them. The Cortana Virus comes back after every update.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 13, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      Thank you for sharing your approach, Byron!

      Do you do anything to save bandwidth when updating your multiple Windows 10 systems? I was thinking, maybe you'd be interested in manually downloading updates once, then using the download to install on multiple machines. This would also put you in a decision to weed out updates you don't want. Portable Update can do that.

      • Anonymous
        June 14, 2016 at 12:11 am

        Thanks for the tip Tina. I will look into it. I usually wait until the end of the cycle (like the evening before a reset) and see if there is enough remaining bandwidth. If not, no dice for MS. My Pro laptop takes priority depending on what's left.