Microsoft is making Windows 10 available as a free upgrade for computers running Windows 7 or later. If you don’t want to install Windows 10 you don’t have to, but if you choose to upgrade by July 29th, 2016, you don’t have to pay an extra penny.
But Microsoft would really like you to upgrade… and the company’s making it easy for you… by sending Windows 10 files to computers even if users haven’t explicitly registered for the free upgrade. You know, just in case they change their minds.
The Register got a note from a reader, pointing out that he had not registered for the Windows 10 update, but that he found a huge file in a hidden folder on his computer that suggested his PC had downloaded the Windows 10 installation files.
So The Register reached out to Microsoft, and a representative confirmed that “we help upgradeable devices get ready for Windows 10 by downloading the files they’ll need if they decide to upgrade.”
In other words, if you’ve got automatic updates turned on (which you should, since this is how Microsoft pushes important security updates to your computer), Microsoft may send up to 6GB of data to your computer.
That’s kind of a huge waste of bandwidth and storage if you have no intention of upgrading to Windows 10. On the other hand, if you do plan to upgrade, it should speed up the process since you should already have many of the files you need on your computer.
Want to delete the folder to free up space? Microsoft will just download it again. But you can (at least temporarily) stop your computer from trying to download Windows 10 files by uninstalling the KB3035583 update.
via Ars Technica