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How to stop Windows 10 from automatically downloading itself on to your computer

Stop Windows 10 Automatic Downloads

Although the numerous privacy issues that have cropped up since Windows 10 launched two months ago are indeed worrying, there is nothing quite as annoying as receiving the upgraded operating system before you’re ready for it.

That’s right, Microsoft is automatically downloading the new OS to Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers, regardless of whether or not the users reserved it. That’s all well and good if you want Windows 10, but it’s an enormous waste of space otherwise.

READ MORE: 10 hacks that will change the way you use Gmail

A few months ago, Ghacks published an easy-to-follow guide for disabling the automatic Windows 10 download, in case you’re perfectly happy with you current Windows setup and don’t want a hulking folder with several gigabytes worth of files taking up room on your computer:

  1. Search “Programs and Features” in the Start menu
  2. Switch to “view installed updates” on the left side of the window
  3. If you’re on Windows 7, locate the following updates: 3035583, 2952664, 3021917
  4. If you’re on Windows 8, locate the following updates: 3035583, 2976978
  5. Right click each update and select “Uninstall”
  6. Select “Restart Later” when the prompt appears
  7. Restart your computer

Once that’s done, you need to stop Windows from attempting to download the updates again in the future:

  1. Search “Windows Update” in the Start menu
  2. Select “Check for Updates” and you should see the updates listed above
  3. Click on “Important Update is Available”
  4. Right click each of the updates from above and choose “Hide Update”

You’ll have to go in and undo the last set of instructions if you decide to upgrade to Windows 10 in the future, but for now, you’re safe from unwanted Windows 10 upgrades (and all the hassle that comes along with them).

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.