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Microsoft is Using Social Engineering to Get You to Install Windows 10, and How to Stop it

Windows 10 blackMicrosoft’s push to get users to upgrade from older versions of Windows to the company’s flagship Windows 10, has reached new heights of desperation. We have been covering solutions that give users choice about how to manage their computer. At the end of the day, upgrading to Windows 10 is a personal decision, it is your computer, you bought it, and know what does and doesn’t work on it. The software firm’s July 29th deadline to end free upgrades is fast approaching, but users are complaining about a recently added forced upgrade policy. It’s causing a lot of anger and dissatisfaction among PC users.

Microsoft Modifies Get Windows 10 to Make Unauthorized Installations

Just to give you an idea of how severe the issue has become, here are some quotes from disgruntled users on the Microsoft Community forums:

I hear and witnessed computers at doctors that are not suitable for upgrades to automatically upgrade to 10 version. This is infringement on personal possession . What is your answer to that and how will you fix this outrage. There could be a class act lawsuit waiting. We as costumers have to find workarounds to prevent this from happening.???? Really .Get your act together… soon plz Source

Thanks to Microsoft installing a new operating system without asking my permission.

If I wanted such treatment, I’d buy Apple products.

That being said, my next computer will be an Apple product. I never wanted an Apple product but if Microsoft is going to be making such drastic changes to my computer without my permission, then I really see no choice.

This is a test of trust and Microsoft failed miserably. Source

Yes, Windows is behaving very badly. Twice it has just hijacked my computer while I was in the middle of things and just started to download windows 10, WITHOUT MY PERMISSION! Twice I had to do a hard shut down to shut it the heck up. This is no way to do things. Source

My computer did the same, just started to download and update without my permission! Beside that, now the computer has a black screen and I can not do nothing with it!

I request a fast support from Microsoft to solve my problem, free of charge! I will contact my lawyer to sue Microsoft, for all the costs and time lost with this action!

This is a total disrespect, for my rights. Source

My oldest computer did this when I left the room. I am planning to replace it soon because of its age and was trying to nurse it to the end of the school year. Now it works horrible. My other computer was destroyed by the Microsoft help desk and I cannot turn it off nor access files. Source

There are thousands of other threads like these appearing across the web. The question everyone keeps asking, why is this happening all of a sudden? A few months earlier, Microsoft enabled Windows 10 as a recommended update. This change in made the free upgrade the ability to install like your regular patches and security updates. However, you could change that by unchecking Recommended Update in Settings.

Related Article:  Restore (Rollback) Windows 10 Mobile to Windows Phone 8.1

In early May, the company made further modifications to the Get Windows 10 app. GWX would now have the authority to pick a date when the upgrade would take place without your permission. Once the upgrade wizard takes over, there isn’t much you can do, but let it install.


But things are even more shady. Last year, Microsoft started downloading the Windows 10 installer files in the background to your PC. And now, during Microsoft’s final push, when you get the upgrade screen, if you click the X to close the window, you’re agreeing to install the update. To get out of that window, you need to click the small “here” link. That’s located under the date and says “Click here to change upgrade schedule or cancel the scheduled upgrade.”

notification 1

The early warning signs were there, and not all users were savvy enough to know about solutions such as the Never10 app by Steve Gibson, which effectively blocks the update. Microsoft released its own guide, but the reality is, it is often too late for users. The only option after a system is upgraded, you can go back to Windows 7 or 8.1 by rolling back.

However, the Rollback itself is a Pandora’s box, and many users have reported the process can take anywhere from a six hours to 1 week as the process would be stuck in an endless loop. Further reports describe Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 system that is inoperable or buggy after the rollback is complete. We’ve also heard reports of data missing after the rollback (which is why you must be backing up your data, more on that in the “Final Thoughts” section below).

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So How Do I Actually Stop the Upgrade from Happening?

We have covered various solutions for preventing the auto upgrade; the easiest one so far is Never10 app by Steve Gibson. Even Microsoft’s maze approach to canceling the upgrade can be quite complicated and confusing.

I am disappointed by Microsoft’s decision to start forcing the upgrade without consent. Windows 10 is a great operating system, but it’s the strategy Microsoft is using to get it installed. Even outside of mission critical systems used in a plant or hospital, users depend on their computer for specific needs. My brother uses an older version of AutoCAD that is not compatible with Windows 10. He is not willing to purchase a new license just for the sake of the operating system, neither is he interested in trying rollback just because it is an option.

designed by you

Microsoft needs to realize, distrust amongst users is the last thing the company needs. Creating invasive software is no way to promote an otherwise excellent upgrade. I remember during the Windows 7 product launch, the company described the product as an upgrade designed for you. Windows 10 for all its fancy features is starting come across as a market strategy.

Final Thoughts

There is some good news with all of this, though. If you’re able to hold off the Windows 10 upgrade until July 29th, Microsoft is canceling the automatic upgrade practice. After that time, the Windows 10 upgrade will no longer be free, and you’ll need to purchase it. Of course, you will still get it when you purchase a new PC or tablet. And, it has been a year, so everyone who wants to upgrade should have done it already.

Related Article:  Your Guide to Using BitLocker Encryption in Windows 10

Another thing to point out here (that we are constantly preaching) is everyone needs to make sure to keep your data backed up. It’s simple, too. Whether you use the backup tools in Windows, or a “set it and forget it” approach to an offsite backup service like CrashPlan. Or, simply copy your most valuable photos, docs, etc. to a CD or thumb drive. Just Backup!

Don’t get us wrong. Windows 10 is an incredible OS that’s much more secure and provides a plethora of new features with more on the way. The problem is the way the company is going about this last ditch push.

What’s your take? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts on this.

Or, if you need assistance with issues caused by the upgrade, head to our Windows 10 forums for additional help.

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7 Responses to Microsoft is Using Social Engineering to Get You to Install Windows 10, and How to Stop it

  1. mur_phy May 25, 2016 at 8:10 am #

    No matter what the o/s that MS offers, there are always those that say “I just don’t like it, so I don’t want it!” Seldom is there a legitimate reason but more simply PICNIC (P roblem I n C hair, N ot I n C omputer). Ever since W95 for me and likely prior to that for others, whenever a new o/s is introduced, users whine, moan, and complain. Andre as you say it is a very good o/s and while I understand issues with those using outdated programs such as the CAD program mentioned, when Ford produced the automobile there were many buggy whip users and manufacturers that whined, moaned and complained.

    Does everything work perfectly when moving from one o/s to another always? Not likely but that is life.

    Heck, I am still awaiting my invitation to install W 10 on one laptop even thought the request has been in for a week. However, I certainly hope that my lead time of over 2 months is sufficient.

    For those that want to learn W10 PC Tech in Paltalk has created an .rtf file of many links to provide info about how to customize and learn W10 and is offered freely to anyone. Many of the links have been found simply from using this fine forum and similar ones as all do a terrific job of providing the information that users need to learn many things about the operation of their PC’s and I am sure all of of feel a sense of gratitude for each newsletters fine efforts on our behalfs.

    • Jan May 25, 2016 at 11:23 pm #

      I am simply perfectly contented with Windows 7, which works with my old photo-editing software, allows a slide show as desktop background. I just don’t need or want much beyond what I have already with 7.

      For some people no doubt Windows 10 has new features they like. Fine! I have no use for the new features. Don’t want the ghastly-looking Cortana (yes, I realize that it is her voice that does the helping so her appearance shouldn’t matter!), hate the new desktop and its colors; do not care about live tiles…the list goes on. I realize that MS has to be constantly working on the next great thing to survive as a company. When support stops for Win 7, I know I will have to get a new computer with Windows 10 on it–hopefully I won’t be forced by a hard drive failure or the like to do so earlier than 2020. I don’t consider my attitude to be “whining.”

      If the Windows 10 desktop were suddenly to be given the ability to be personalized like that of Win 7, it would go far to reconcile me to it. However, they can’t accommodate everybody’s whims and I have no expectation that it will change one iota in that direction. They have not even tried to make Word 2013 more user-friendly for people with eye problems: all those faint, faint lines!

      “Against the evil day,” I am, though, saving articles about how to deal with Windows 10. On the other hand, if I should suddenly become rich, I will certainly give serious consideration to buying a Mac next time. Having an iPad has given me some familiarity with the Apple OS, which had previously been a slightly scary unknown.

  2. James Clark May 25, 2016 at 11:14 am #

    I am on metered data. The upgrade will end up costing me $$$ because I need all the data I can get and barely get by each month under my quota. This upgrade will easily put me over and I will have to pay overage charges.

    • Andre Da Costa May 25, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

      James, try utilizing the options to delete and block the upgrade. Also look into unchecking Recommended Updates in Control Panel > Windows Updates > Change Settings.

      You might also want to set your Windows Update settings to ‘Check for updates, but let me choose whether to install them’.

      A huge misunderstanding on the part of these companies is the reality that persons need their computer for simple, specific needs. The operating system really should be taking a back seat and not requiring so much user interaction and management. Windows is not like Chrome OS. Windows is still this large monolithic system that carries more than 25 years of baggage.

      Android and Chrome are built on a fairly modern code base that eliminates a lot of the compatibility and requirements that Windows carries. Also, Chrome OS updates silently because its actually two copies of the system in 1. So when you update one copy of the OS in the back then restart, you are booted into the updated copy with your settings intact.

      Windows can’t do this, it probably can, but I don’t think Microsoft would engineer it.

  3. Jan May 25, 2016 at 11:26 pm #

    “A huge misunderstanding on the part of these companies is the reality that persons need their computer for simple, specific needs.”
    Exactly! That is my personal reason for resisting Win 10.

  4. Rickie Nothstein June 4, 2016 at 7:25 am #

    I feel the same as Jan. I’m content with my old Win 7. I use the Windows Movie Maker (6) which enables me to download and use so many great effects and transitions. My photo software uses so many effects that I paid good money for throughout the years and I simply can’t afford upgraded effects since I’ve been on disability/social security.

    I’m perfectly satisfied with the ‘old’ Windows.

  5. Doug October 15, 2016 at 8:24 am #

    I am totally disgusted with this. Microsoft’s action are not good for its user base relations and I think must indicate higher forces have required the corporation to act in this way. I am (as usual) a long way behind the wave but even to the least business orientated of us – me included – it represents a moronic choice of how to relate to users and that smacks of government intervention. Same the world over! And why? More surveillance. Good luck guys. No wonder there’s a dark web. Clever people will find a way around and that is not always good for the rest of us

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