How to stop your Windows 7/8 computer from auto updating to Windows 10?
Published: June 27, 2016

Windows is now offering a free upgrade to Windows 10, and it will keep asking you to install the new update, whether you want it, or not. Some people want to avoid updating to Windows 10 because it can create some problems for your system, if you are already using a stable version of Windows 7 or 8.


Other people want to avoid updating because they are perfectly happy with their Windows 7 or 8 computers. At the Computer Geek, we can both appreciate and respect. So, for those who do not want to update, follow the instructions below:

Step 1: See if the download already exists.

It is necessary to check if the upgrade files already exist on your computer. Do this by manually verifying the $Windows.~BT folder on your hard drive:

  1. Open File Explorer, and from the ribbon menu, select View, and click on Folder Options.
  2. Select View, go to "Advanced settings" and check "Show hidden files, folders, and drives".
  3. Click Apply and OK.
  4. Go to the root drive or "C:" and you should look for the $Windows.~BT folder. If the folder exists, you can check the properties of the folder. If the download has completed you will notice that the folder size is anywhere between 3GB to 6GB.

Step 2: Disable automatic downloads via Windows Update service.

The disabling of automatic downloads from Windows 10 upgrade files will slightly differ if you're running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1:

  1. Launch Control Panel and open Programs and features.
  2. In the left pane click on the View Installed Updates link.
  3. If you're running Windows 8.1 Update, check for these updates: KB3035583 and KB2976978. If you're running Windows 7 Service Pack 1, verify if the following updates exist: KB3035583, KB2952664, and KB3021917.
  4. If any of these updates are found, right-click on each update and click Uninstall from the context menu.
  5. If prompted to restart, just click "Restart later" and continue uninstalling the updates.
  6. Finally, reboot your computer.
Step 3: Now that the updates are uninstalled, we need to configure Windows Update from installing those updates in the future:
  1. Launch Control Panel, and search the word "Update" in the search bar. click Check for updates.
  2. Click "Check for Updates" from the left pane, then click "Show all available updates" if that comes up.
  3. Once the screen leads, click "Optional" and deselect "Upgrades to Windows 10" and press OK.
  4. Reboot your computer.

Whenever you plan to install Windows 10, just go to Control Panel > Windows Update > Restore hidden updates to unhide the updates so they can be downloaded and installed.

If you followed all the steps correctly, Windows should not force an update on you. Contact the Computer Geek at 905-426-1784 if you have additional questions or problems.

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