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Your Users Might Be Prompted to Automatically Upgrade to Windows 10

Matthew Evans

< 1 min read

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How to prevent users from installing and downloading Windows 10 on their own

Microsoft is continuing to encourage deployment of Windows 10 to existing Windows operating systems. The most recent change is that the Windows 10 upgrade is being offered to domain joined computers. Keep reading if the following questions are true for your environment:

  • Your organization’s workstations are running Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate or Windows 8.1 (Pro Workstations running Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 8.1 Enterprise are not included).
  • Your organization’s workstations get updates directly from Windows Updates (workstations that get updates from WSUS and SCCM are not included).

If both of the above statements are true for your environment, your users will be prompted to download and install Windows 10.  To prevent this from happening, you’ll need to follow the steps in the Microsoft KB article: KB3080351 to set a Group Policy object for the following location: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update Policy and enable the following setting: “Turn off the upgrade to the latest version of Windows through Windows Update”.

This will set the following registry key on the workstation:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate with DWORD value 
of DisableOSUpgrade = 1.

There is also the GWX (Get Windows 10) icon that can only be removed by deploying the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Gwx and set DWORD value 
of DisableGwx = 1.

While there are a number of advantages of installing Windows 10 to your workstations, doing it in a controlled and planned manner is usually preferable.

Please contact Kraft & Kennedy if you’d like assistance with planning and deploying Windows 10 to your environment.