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You may remember our blog post about waiting to upgrade to Windows 10 back in September 2015. However, oh HAPPY day! Microsoft has changed the Windows 10 update from “Optional” to “Recommended”. And by “Recommended” it means “We know what is best for you, and what is best for you is Windows 10!”

If your Windows 7 or 8.1 PC is set to install recommended updates automatically, (which by default they are, for security concerns!) Then Microsoft will forcefully download the Windows 10 and start the installation for you. Now here is how to stop it.

First of all, Windows 10 won’t install on your PC unless you’re at the computer to OK the install (though it will download Windows 10 taking up a LOT of room around 3.5-6GB). And if the installation process starts you’ll be able to cancel it. Also you will be able to roll back to your previous OS for 31 days after installing it. That is the good news.

However maybe you KNOW you use some software that won’t work on Windows 10. To avoid Microsoft downloading and installing Windows 10 on your computer, you need to turn off the Recommended Updates setting in Windows Update and hide Windows 10 from the list of available recommended updates. Only windows 7, and windows 8.1 get the free version of Windows 10, so if you are on an older OS, this doesn’t apply.

In Windows 7, go to Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update. Click the Change settings link on the left.

Look for the Recommended updates entry and make sure it’s unchecked. Click OK.

In Windows 8.1 you can either follow the same steps listed above, or you can go through the PC Settings app. Go to Settings > Update and recovery > Windows update and select Choose how updates get installed. Uncheck the Recommended Updates box and click Apply.

Windows 10 will still appear as an available update, but it won’t be automatically installed now.

Finally, right-click on the Windows 10 update, and select Hide Update to make sure you don’t install it by mistake.