• KB3184143: Uninstalling the GWX (Get Windows 10) campaign remnants

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    Hi Folks!

    There’s been a good deal of discussion about Microsoft’s GWX, or Get Windows 10  campaign after Michael Horowitz published an account of what he found running on a computer for a small business he supports. The AskWoody thread about it can be found here.

    Amongst all the posts in the thread, one fact seems to be missing: The KB3184143 update that was released via the Windows Update/Microsoft Update mechanism was released as an Optional update, meaning that scores of people never installed it, because they have been told to never install optional updates. Many other folks may have seen or read that it was associated with the GWX campaign (or “mess” if you prefer) and decided to hide it, never bothering to read the entire title or look into what it was all about.

    So, for those still wanting to install it and be forever done with the GWX mess, launch Windows Update and let it search for (but not install any) updates. Once it’s showing you the results of its search, click on the “Optional” updates listing to see if KB3184143 shows up in the list. If it does, select it as the only item to download and install. This means also going to the “Important” updates listing and deselecting (removing the check marks from) all the updates you find with check marks on that list. Remember, as of this writing, we’re still at MS-DEFCON 2 so nothing else for January should be installed yet. Once you’ve made sure that KB3184143 is the only thing checked for installation, go ahead and let Windows Update install it and reboot if asked to do so. You should then be all set, and rid of any little pieces of the GWX campaign.

    If the above search for KB3184143 doesn’t yield any results, you can go here to download the GWX removal package for your specific installation of Windows 7. Once you’ve downloaded it, just double click on the file to run it. Again, reboot after it’s run its course if you’re asked to do so.

    Since I didn’t use the GWX Control Panel myself, I would be more than happy for any AskWoody MVP’s or other knowledgeable folks who’ve been using it to comment on the proper sequence to remove that application from one’s machine: Should it be removed before the “installation” of KB3184143 or after the “installation” of KB3184143? The reason for removal of the GWX Control Panel is simple: After “installing” KB3184143, the GWX Control Panel will no longer be necessary, due to the lack of any files or Task Manager entries associated with the GWX campaign.

    I’ve looked all over two computers I have with Win7, and there are no entries in Task Manager relating to GWX, nor have I found any files or folders associated with GWX on either computer. Both have KB3184143 installed back on Sept. 30th, 2016 as an “Optional” update.

    How’d I make it through the GWX campaign without using the GWX Control Panel? Easy! About the time the program was released, there were a few articles showing how to alter a few entries in the registry so that you wouldn’t be affected by the GWX campaign. I chose that path because I’m fairly comfortable making registry entry changes as long as I understand their intent and am given specific instructions of exactly which entry (or entries) to modify and exactly what type of data is required by the modification (or modifications).

    I made these changes after I’d already gone down some of the GWX path. My original intent was to upgrade both of my Windows 7 computers to Windows 10 after the one year mark from initial release to give MS time to work out the bugs, so I was taking the “upgrade preparation” updates that came out. However, once I saw the extent of the upgrade mess and the constant stream of patches and botched patches and new features that “broke” the Win10 installations on many machines, I decided against upgrading either of my two machines, and to stick with Win7. At that point I made the registry changes that disabled the GWX campaign on both machines, and “installed” KB3184143 very shortly after it became available.

    I hope this helps anyone wondering just how to finally eliminate the remnants of GWX from their machine after reading the thread mentioned above in the opening paragraph.

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    Viewing 2 reply threads
    • #313817

      Many thanks for this. I went down the registry change route myself some moons ago and have been wondering whether it was still necessary to instal KB3184143 and, indeed, whether I should take it at face value. I may give it a whirl now.

    • #313979

      I echo The Surfing Pensioner’s comment, thanking @Bob99.  I took a different approach.  Rather than making changes to the Registry, I disabled the 4 processes in GWX in the Task Scheduler Library, under the sub-library Microsoft/Windows/Setup/GMX on May 15, 2015:

      Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Task Scheduler > Microsoft > Windows > Setup > gmx

      After reading the above referenced topic earlier in the week, I checked the Task Scheduler: the gmx folder is still empty (and I may decide to delete it once and for all).

      As for KB3184143 when it was offered in 2016, I hid it because it was unchecked, optional, AND it “removes GWX 10 & related software,” according to my notes.  I had already disabled the 4 processes a year earlier.

      For the same reason, I never installed the GWX Control Panel.

      Still undecided as to whether I “should” install KB3184143 at this point . . .

      Win 7 SP1 Home Premium 64-bit; Office 2010; Group B (SaS); Former 'Tech Weenie'
      • #313993


        I just looked at Task scheduler on my W7 Pro and I have no setup or GWX folders in Task Scheduler>Microsoft>windows. I never installed KB 3184143 and I had the GWX fix installed until recently when I uninstalled it.

        Don't take yourself so seriously, no one else does 🙂
        All W10 Pro at 22H2,(2 Desktops, 1 Laptop).

    • #327487

      For me I had to manually install KB3184143 on all my Win7 & 8.1 computers to prevent/remove most of the GWX related stuff. KB3184143 was never distributed automatically thru Windows Update/Automatic Update and Win7/8.1 users back then (in late 2016) had to manually obtain it.

      No ill effects when installing KB3184143.

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