While Microsoft encouraged users to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, before the offer expired in July 2016, the update was never mandatory. Users of Windows 7 and 8 will be regularly reminded that Windows 10 is available and that performing an update and buying Windows 10 is easy, but there are ways to stop those reminders and updates, and keep yourself on the operating system of your choice.
The best way to avoid Windows 10 and stop those annoying blue pop-up reminders in your notification center is to use GWX Control Panel, a piece of freeware that is designed to stop the reminders and allow people to stay on their operating system of choice.
What Does GWX Control Panel Do?
GWX Control Panel, available from Ultimate Outsider, is designed to remove the ‘Get Windows 10’ pop-up notifications in Windows 7 and 8. The latest version of the freeware can also disable the ‘Upgrade to Windows 10’ notifications that appear in the Windows Update control center, meaning you’ll be able to update your operating system with the latest security patches and more, without regularly being encouraged to update your software.
The freeware also stops Microsoft from installing 6GB of Windows 10 drivers and language packs that won’t be necessary once you’ve decided to stick with your operating system.
How to Install GWX Control Panel
- Log into an administrator account on your computer, and download GWX Control Panel from UltimateOutsider.com.
- If your computer has multiple profiles, make sure you are logged out of all other profiles when installing from the administrator account.
- Choose between a standalone executable file or an installer. The website recommends the installer, as it provides start menu and desktop short cuts, as well as more information about the software.
- Once you’ve downloaded and installed the software, launch the application and you’ll see the following screen.
- In the top, left-hand corner of the screen, you will see the following three questions:
Is ‘Get Windows 10’ icon app running?
Is ‘Get Windows 10’ icon app enabled?
Are Windows 10 Upgrades allowed?
If the answers to these questions appear as ‘yes’, then it means that your computer will be either currently sending you invites and invitations to upgrade to Windows 10, or that it will do so in the future.
- To stop these upgrades from happening, look for the ‘Click to Disable ‘Get Windows 10’ App’ Button, and click it. You should also click ‘Click to Prevent Windows 10 Upgrades’. These two options will protect you from being forced or pressured into upgrading your operating system, and allow you to use your computer in peace without regular disruption.
- The “Is ‘Get Windows 10’ icon app running?” button will show you whether the software created by Microsoft, called Get Windows 10, is running on your computer. If the app is not installed on your computer and is not running, then instead of yes, you will simply see ‘App not found’. This means that you do not currently have the software, but it doesn’t mean you’re safe from it being installed in an update.
- The “Is ‘Get Windows 10’ icon app enabled?” section asks whether ‘Get Windows 10’ is configured on your computer. If this section says yes, while the first one says no, then it means that it is installed but not running. Microsoft uses scheduled tasks that decides when the program runs. Like the first field, if it isn’t installed on your computer, the field will simply say ‘App not found’.
How to Use the System Menu
GWX Control Panel has a system menu that allows you to control its features and make full use of the software. The following options are available.
- Restart Monitor Mode
The ‘Restart Monitor Mode’ setting allows you to reset the feature’s setting. Monitor Mode instructs GWX Control Panel to look ut for any files or settings that change unexpectedly which could leave you being vulnerable to automatic Windows 10 updates or notifications.
- Enable/Disable Monitor Mode for Current User
This option allows the user to manage their monitor mode options and settings, for a given user on the PC. This means that the options can be changed depending on who is logged in.
- Check for Updates
This setting opens up a new dialog box where you can look at the version of GWX Control Panel you are using, and see if there are any updates available. Updates will improve the performance of the software and tighten up any flaws which might leave you vulnerable to new ways in which Microsoft tries to encourage you to upgrade to Windows 10.
- Save Diagnostic Info
When you save diagnostic info, you’ll create a file entitled ‘GwxControlPanelLog.txt’ that will be saved to your desktop. This file contains all the information you need about your PC’s Windows 10-related settings. You can browse this information to learn more about the settings being introduced by Microsoft.