Newsletter Archives

  • Brinkmann, Horowitz: Are remnants of the despised “GWX” Get Windows 10 campaign still on your Win7 computer?

    This is… disturbing.

    Yesterday, Michael Horowitz published a detailed rundown of GWX remnants still on a Win7 PC.

    … today, I took a glance at the Event Logs of a Windows 7 PC and found it was still trying to upgrade to Windows 10. I kid you not. The machine in question last had  bug fixes installed on December 3, 2018. In other words, it had all the November 2018 patches. The Event Log indicated the GWX (Get Windows 10) tasks were scheduled

    Ab-so-lute-ly mind boggling.

    This morning, Martin Brinkmann at provided additional background:

    What is puzzling about all this is that GWX should not be running anymore on the system. Microsoft ended the Get Windows 10 campaign in 2016 and there is no reason to keep scheduled tasks or files associated with it on the system.

    Is Microsoft preparing for another Get Windows 10 campaign? Is it a bug? Leftover files on a system that were never removed completely?

    It is unclear but it is probably a good idea to check the tasks and folders on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 devices to make sure that these tasks and files don’t exist.

    Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the GWX cesspool….

    UPDATE: Günter Born has additional background.

  • How to completely prevent Win7 from upgrading to Win10

    Just got this question from BF:

    Hello Woody,

    I want to do everything possible to prevent Win10 installing on two Win 7 computers that I use to earn my living.

    I have uninstalled KB3035583 and set Windows Updates to “Check and ask me, etc.”

    Here’s what I’m doing now, daily:

    -Power off every night. Run user data backup before powering off.
    -Confirm Windows Updates is still set to “Check and ask me before downloading and installing”
    -Run Never10 to confirm that the two registry settings are set to disable the update
    Some days, I’ll open regedit and peek to confirm, but Never10 seems to do the trick.
    -Check C:\ to confirm that c:\$Windows.~BT has not been created and downloaded into
    -Search installed updates for KB3035583 to insure it hasn’t been stealthily reinstalled.

    Here are my questions:
    1-Can you recommend any additional one-time or daily steps?
    2-Do you have any concerns about what I’ve already done?
    3-Should I also uninstall KB2952664, KB3150513, and KB3021917?
    4-Will it be safe to turn automatic updates back on after July 29?
    5-Meanwhile, would I be safer just to turn updates completely off?

    Thanks so much for all you’ve written on this.

    You’re working too hard!

    If you want to keep Win10 off your machine, run GWX Control Panel. (Never10 is good, too, but I know GWX Control Panel better.) GWX Control Panel will flip the registry bits, delete the hidden folders, get rid of the icon… everything, all at once.

    You should turn Auto Update to “check but don’t install” per the Automatic Updates tab at the top of this page. Then, every time you manually run updates, run GWX Control Panel again, just to make sure.

    While I’ve been recommending that folks turn off automatic updating for more than a decade, I also recommend that you check and update from time to time. It’s important that you keep updating, for the security patches!

    Some people are rightfully concerned about Win7’s increased propensity to snoop. I haven’t had time to run down all the details – and there are many, many allegations – but for now, I’m not overly concerned about the quantity of data flowing to Microsoft. If you use the Chrome browser, or an iPhone or Android phone or tablet, you’re already sending out a lot of data. I’ve seen no indication that Microsoft is any worse than the Scrooglers or Applers. Conversely, I’ve seen no convincing evidence that Microsoft is any better.

    But if you really, really want to keep Microsoft away from logging your activities, there’s a long list of KB articles you can uninstall, a bad patch list, that you can use, if you’re so inclined.

    No idea what’ll happen after July 29. Lots of speculation, no real answers.

  • More Win10 coerced update reports

    I’m not sure if The Reg got all of the details right, but if their report is true, Win7 customers are getting marched to Win10 with no reprieve.

    Mary Jo Foley has a scathing riposte.

    I read this piece of drivel from Jason Perlow – also on ZDNet – and just about croaked.

    Remember, if you’re ever stuck with scheduling a upgrade and no alternatives appear, quit what you’re doing and install GWX Control Panel. It’ll get rid of all of it.

    And if you know somebody who got sucker-punched, refer them to my article Hit by an unexpected Windows 10 upgrade? Here’s how to recover.

  • 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

  • Must read: The connection between GWX’s 3035583 and 2952664

    Excellent detective work by Andrew Orlowski at The Register.

  • How ‘Get Windows 10’ sets its hooks in Windows 7 and 8.1

    Still no sign of the promised Off switch.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • Microsoft’s coerced Win10 upgrade options only include “Upgrade now” and “Upgrade tonight”

    The seedy Win10 upgrade campaign has hit a confusing new low

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows