Microsoft launched Windows 10 in July, making it available as a free updated for users running Windows 7 or later for the first year of availability. The company also placed a little Windows icon in the system tray of most users, prompting them to register for an upgrade.
Soon the company will be rolling out a few changes designed to make it easier to upgrade — and one side effect is that this could automatically start the upgrade process for some users who may not want to upgrade. There are plenty of ways to back out though.
Here’s what’s happening:
- Right now Microsoft is updating the “get your free upgrade” notification language to help encourage more users to take advantage of the free upgrade.
- You also no longer have to register and then wait for a download. That system was in place at launch so that Microsoft could ensure that your computer wouldn’t encounter problems during the upgrade. Now that more than 100 million devices have been upgraded, Microsoft has a lot of data about the process. Now when you sign up for the upgrade, it starts right away.
- Soon Microsoft will begin offering Windows 10 as an “optional update” in the Windows Update service for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users. This means it won’t download and install automatically, but you’ll be able to select the update if you’d like.
- In early 2016 Windows 10 will become a “recommended update.” If you have Windows Updated set to automatically install recommended updates, this means your computer might start the upgrade process without any user intervention… but it will only start the process.
That means your computer might download the Windows 10 installer when you’re not paying attention. But it won’t actually install the OS update without asking you. So if you don’t feel like turning off recommended updates, but you also don’t feel like installing Windows 10, just click no… and hope that you’re not on a metered internet connection where you have to pay for every gigabyte of data downloaded.
OK, so what happens if you did click the OK button by accident because you weren’t reading carefully? You can still go home again.
Microsoft gives you 31 days to roll back to a previous version of Windows after installing Windows 10. Just go into the Windows 10 Settings menu, choose update and security, and then choose recovery. You should see an option to uninstall Windows 10, which will restore Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 for you.