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Stop automatic Windows 10 upgrades without installing any extra software

Stop Automatic Windows 10 Upgrades

It’s a new year, but that doesn’t mean Microsoft is giving up on converting all of its users to Windows 10. In fact, the notifications are as pesky as ever, but thankfully, there is a way to block the upgrade once and for all.

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To be clear, as a Windows user, I personally have no complaints after upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 last year. It’s faster, more secure and has an improved UI (although I do wish Microsoft would be more open about the data it sees). But if you have a good reason not to upgrade, it’s worth taking a few minutes to disable those annoying notifications.

Earlier this week, Ed Bott of ZDNet published some helpful instructions for a relatively simple series of registry edits that will block the upgrade from your computer. If you’re uncomfortable with editing a registry, you might want to avoid this method, but otherwise, it’s the best way to stop Microsoft from pestering you about Windows 10.

The following step is only available for users with access to Group Policy on their machines:

First up, you’re going to want to go to Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update. Within that menu, you need to double-click Turn off the upgrade to the latest version of Windows through Windows Update and then click Enable.

Before you begin the next step, back up your registry file in Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 by opening the Registry Editor, locating the registry key that you want to back up, clicking on File > Export and choosing a location and name for the file.

This step is necessary for everyone looking to disable automatic upgrades from Windows Update that don’t have access to the Group Policy management tools.

Open the Registry Editor and find the following key:


Create a DWORD value called DisableOSUpgrade and set it to 1.

(As Ed Bott notes, if the above jargon makes no sense to you, don’t attempt to edit the registry without help from someone who knows exactly what they’re doing.)

Next, in order to banish the GWX icon from your taskbar, you need to create the following registry key:


Create a DWORD value called DisableGWX and set it to 1.

Restart your computer and you should finally be free from the incessant nagging of the Windows 10 notifications. Microsoft has also finally published these instructions to its website, so if you need any more clarification, head to this link.

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.