Newsletter Archives

  • Are Win7 and 8.1 users protected from KB 2952664 and KB 2976978 by GWX Control Panel?

    Here’s a question I’ve heard in various versions over the past six months. From a tweet by @Ladyfirst:

    Just wondering if 8.1 users are protected from KB2976978 by still having GWX Control Panel installed?

    There’s an analogous question for 7 users and KB 2952664. Like two bad pennies, they both re-appeared in Windows Update earlier this week.

    Short answer: No.

    Longer answer: You don’t need to worry about the “Get Windows 10” campaign any more. Microsoft discontinued it on July 29, 2016. Although the upgrade from Win7 to Win10 and Win8.1 to Win10 is still free, Microsoft isn’t pushing the upgrade down your throat. You won’t see any “Get Windows 10” icons or dubious dialogs about installing it.

    If you have GWX Control Panel installed, you can uninstall it. Josh Mayfield’s excellent utility flips some bits in the registry that block Microsoft’s intrusive “Get Windows 10” push. GWX Control Panel doesn’t do anything to block snooping associated with KB 2952664, KB 2976978.

    Microsoft may restart the “Get Windows 10” campaign at some point, although it’s highly unlikely we’ll see a rematch of the 2015-2016 year-long debacle. I fully expect Microsoft to publicly acknowledge that the upgrade’s still free – the nod-nod-wink-wink thing is a bit beneath them. But if there’s a renewed push to get Win7 users to Win10, it’ll likely come with much more carrot, and much less stick. Cooler heads now prevail in Redmond. Right, Joe?

    If you need to protect your Win7 or 8.1 system from some future upgrade shenanigans, I’ll be screaming from the rooftops, right here and in InfoWorld – much as we did with the original GWX campaign.

    In the meantime, though, GWX Control Panel doesn’t do anything.

  • Time to say “thanks” for GWX Control Panel

    Free upgrade has ended

    Now that the “Get Windows 10” push is over, it’s a good time to thank Josh Mayfield for all the work he put into protecting everybody from the marched upgrade to Win10.

    Head over to Josh’s “Donate” page and send him whatever you can afford. I just did.

    We’re lucky to be in an industry where one guy can stand up to a huge company, and actually make a difference.

    Josh did more than write GWX Control Panel. He sorted out Microsoft’s documentation. About a year ago, Microsoft published KB 3080351, a set of guidelines for administrators, telling them how to keep “Get Windows 10” off their clients’ computers. One little problem: The guidelines were wrong. Riddled with errors.

    Josh went in and reverse engineered Microsoft’s erroneous documentation. He showed me the results, which became my January 8 InfoWorld post, Banishing ‘Get Windows 10’ nagware isn’t as easy as you think.

    Somebody at Microsoft saw Josh’s work, likely muttered an epithet or two, and rapidly changed KB 3080351. Before January 8, many industry wags parroted the information in that KB. After January 8, they parroted again – but they had the details right.

    So raise a glass to Josh, toast his health and longevity. And slip him some green while you’re at it. I have a feeling we’ll be hearing more from him.

  • The KB 3035583 patch is NOT overriding Windows 10 registry settings

    There are reports all over the web that the new KB 3035583 – the detested “Get Windows 10” patch — is violating Microsoft’s terms of engagement, and blowing away the registry settings that are supposed to keep Windows 10 off your machine.

    In my experiments, that just wasn’t true. Microsoft seems to be following its own rules.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • Steve Gibson’s Never10 vs Josh Mayfield’s GWX Control Panel

    Many of you have asked. Here’s the whole story.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

    This from Josh on updating GWX Control Panel:

    Beginning with 1.7.3, you still have to initiate the right-click -> Check for updates -> Click to check for a newer version yourself, but once you do, if an update is available, it will download/install automatically (previously, it just took you to the downloads page). In version 1.8, monitor mode will check for updates in the background and give you a notification when an update is available. (The monitor mode icon will have a different look with an update is found.)

    Also, note that both GWX CP and Never10 have standalone, no-install-necessary versions.

  • News from Josh Mayfield, the GWX Control Panel developer

    Just saw this on Josh’s site:

    Hi folks, I’ve had virtually no personal time in the past week due to work, so haven’t been able to respond to emails or blog comments much.

    I am aware of the new Microsoft updates (KB3139929 and KB3146449) that infect Internet Explorer with Windows 10 ads and I am actually putting several other GWX Control Panel features on hold in order to study and hopefully fix and/or prevent those patches. Keep an eye on the “News and Hot Tips” section of this post over the next few days; I will update once I know more and have a fix.

    If you have questions about other Windows Update patches, please read the first topic of theGWX Control Panel FAQ. 

    If you’re looking for other assistance with the program, please read about the “Save Diagnostic Info” feature at this post and contact me with details, with the understanding that I might be rather slow to respond, due to having very little personal time outside of work in recent weeks.

  • Dodging the “Get Windows X” campaign takes more than two Registry changes

    And there’s no guarantee about future infestations.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • GWX Control Panel update

    A better blocker available to shield you from coerced “Get Windows 10” updates.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • Do you have a “Get Windows 10” icon that won’t go away?

    Even after using GWX Control Panel to zap it?

    Josh Mayfield is looking for volunteers who have a persistent GWX icon, who are willing to Skype with him so he can see what’s going on.

    Shoot me email: woody at ask woody dot com. Thanks!

  • Unwanted Win7/Win8.1 upgrades to Win10 can now be stopped

    The new GWX Control Panel 1.4 seems to be blocking even the most advanced case of Windows 10-install-itis

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • Call for testers – new GWX Control Panel

    Do you know anyone who’s trying to get rid of the “Upgrade to Windows 10” sequence, but can’t shake it. 

    I’m specifically talking about people who see the message in Win7 and Win8.1 Windows Update that says “Your upgrade to Windows 10 is ready” or “It’s almost time for your upgrade.” I’m also looking for volunteers who are only being offered an opportunity to postpone the Win10 upgrade.

    In short, I’m looking for Win7 and Win8.1 users who don’t want Win10 just yet, and can’t seem to shake the devil off their tails.

    Josh Mayfield has a beta going, with a version of GWX Control Panel that appears to fix those problems. He needs all the beta testers he can get.

    If you know anybody who’s in those particular dire straits, please point them to Josh’s GWX CP 1.4 beta test page. Have them run the new version of the program, and report back (either to Josh, or right here) on their results.

    Hopefully Josh will have a new all-encompassing version out in the next day or two.