24 May 2016

Watch out for the Automatic Windows 10 Upgrade!

For some time now, users of Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 computers have, in the main, been receiving near constant "nagging" from Microsoft trying to convince you of the merits of Windows 10. It's relatively pushy - and even downloads itself ready on the assumption you'll want to go ahead, completely disregarding that for many people broadband bandwidth costs money and is often scarce.

However, the latest changes make this tactic go from pretty annoying to downright out of order (in our professional opinion, of course).

So what's wrong?

The latest change means that if you disregard the updated version of the "offer" to move to Windows 10, it takes that as acceptance to go ahead and install it. So you leave your computer and come back to find your system is upgrading, or upgraded. That might sound great, but in practice we're finding that a lot of people have considerable issues once they've moved to Windows 10 - and really the choice should be yours.

From printers that no longer work to software you've bought but becomes unstable (or plain doesn't work) under Windows 10, and even software being removed by the automated installation.

Why does it matter?

It might matter a lot if you suddenly find a computer you rely on stops working as you'd expect - or that some specialist software you use has suddenly been removed. For some reason Microsoft has decided that if you have to lose a few programs along the way to getting Windows 10 it is a small price to pay - completely ignoring that having a working version of your software is the thing you actually have a computer for.

Even some of Microsoft's own products - for example older version of Microsoft Office are affected. Complete madness in our view.

What can you do?

If you've not yet upgraded, make sure you click the link underneath the date and take control back as a first step. Next, download the excellent "GWX" blocking tool from Ultimate Outsider (GWX stands for Get Windows 10 (X being the roman numeral of course for 10)). If you do want to upgrade, make sure you've got a recent and full backup of your computer - you might well need it.

What if it is too late?

You can normally roll back from Windows 10 - within 30 days. However we have seen quite a few cases where this also goes wrong making matters even worse. We'd advise you to seek advice and assistance from an IT professional, and whatever you do - make sure you have got backups.

 

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