Enterprise Software

Microsoft details how to block Windows 10 upgrade

Redmond reveals how Windows users can stop getting nag messages to upgrade to Windows 10 but also says the Get Windows 10 app will be installed to a wider range of business PCs.

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Microsoft has published detailed instructions on how to stop your computer from trying to upgrade itself to Windows 10.

The walkthrough will allow IT admins both to opt out of the automatic upgrade to Windows 10 and disable the Get Windows 10 icon from showing on the taskbar.

The guide, published here, details how to install and configure a Group Policy Object to block the upgrade options. The policy settings can be enabled by users running Windows 7, Windows 7 for Embedded Systems, Windows 8.1, and Windows Embedded 8.1 Pro.

The configuration changes reportedly work, although there is always a chance that future changes may re-enable the Get Windows 10 app, which nags users of Windows 7 and 8 to upgrade.

From next year Windows 10 will automatically begin installing on most Windows 7 and 8.1 machines - although the tweaks will also block this upgrade from taking place.

The instructions were published at the same time that Microsoft revealed it would be pushing the Get Windows 10 app to even more PCs. The app will be downloaded to machines that have previously been exempt, including those network setups commonly used by small businesses.

The upgrade nag message will now appear on PCs running Windows 7 Pro or Windows 8.1 Pro, configured to receive updates directly from the Windows Update service or joined to an Active Domain Directory.

The Get Windows 10 app will be rolled out to these additional devices, in the US later this month and in other markets "shortly thereafter".

Microsoft said it has made the changes "because of ongoing customer requests from many small businesses and other small organizations to easily take advantage of the free upgrade".

PCs running Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 8.1 Enterprise, aren't eligible for the free upgrade and will not see the Get Windows 10 app. Those who manage their own updates using onsite tools such as WSUS or System Center Configuration Manager will also not receive the app.

Earlier this year Microsoft announced that more than 200 million devices worldwide were running Windows 10.

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Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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