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In the coming weeks, Microsoft will push more than ever for you to upgrade to Windows 10 because from July 29 on the upgrade will cost $119. For Microsoft, it’s more valuable if you upgrade now — for free — because Windows 10 creates long-term revenue and it’s easier to support.
And we all know you won’t pay to upgrade your old Windows 7 or 8 machine.
Microsoft speculates that once you do wake up to Windows 10, chances are you won’t go back. Maybe you’ll enjoy Windows 10 or you won’t know how to downgrade. But what if you do want to continue running Windows 7 or 8?
How to Avoid the Windows 10 Upgrade
Microsoft has been trying several different tactics to get you to upgrade. First, they launched the Get Windows 10 app, which featured ever new pop-up windows, alerts, and messages designed to make you upgrade.
On a Windows 8.1 PC. Mostly full screen pop-up. No clear "No thanks" button, just download Windows 10 now or later. pic.twitter.com/RRoaFMST9r
— Brad Chacos (@BradChacos) December 11, 2015
Most recently, they made Windows 10 a recommended upgrade. We covered this development in our post on How to NOT Upgrade to Windows 10.
The takeaway from all that we’ve covered on the aggressive Windows 10 upgrade so far is:
When the Get Windows 10 app pops up and announced your upgrade was scheduled, find the link Click here to change upgrade schedule or cancel scheduled upgrade and cancel it. Note that closing the window using the X button will no longer cancel the upgrade!
Manually remove updates and apply registry keys to remove or block the Get Windows 10 app.
If Windows Update wants to get the upgrade started, simply Decline the EULA.
Disable recommended updates in Windows Update.
Clean up the already downloaded installation files to recover disk space.
You can try to keep on top of Microsoft’s latest moves and manually counteract them or you can let a third-party application take care of it. We recommend these two:
GWX Control Panel was one of the first tools to remove the Get Windows 10 notification and it also keeps Windows Update in check.
Never10 can apply reversible system configurations to disable the Windows 10 upgrade and it helps you clean up left over Windows 10 installation files.
How to Undo a Windows 10 Upgrade
You literally woke up to Windows 10 installed on your computer! Or maybe the setup is still in progress. Do nothing until it’s done!
You have three options:
Re-install your previous Windows version.
Install a system backup you made.
Roll back or downgrade within the next 30 days.
We have covered all downgrade methods in depth in our article on How to Downgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 7 or 8.1.
Here’s a brief summary of the third option: Press Windows key + I to launch the Settings app, head to Update & Security > Recovery, and under Go back to Windows 7 / 8.1 click Get started.
This method only works if your previous installation was backed up into a Windows.old folder, as it should have. Also note that the rollback option expires after 30 days or when you update Windows 10 to a new version.
Now that you know how to undo or — better yet — prevent an involuntary Windows 10 upgrade, you can sleep tight again.
Do you have any other Windows troubles that keep you awake at night? Or dreams of a better Windows? Share them in the comments and maybe we can help!