Friday, 1 April 2016

Windows 10 Forced Upgrade

If you are still running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and don't want to upgrade to Windows 10 then you will may be surprised to find out that Microsoft are now pushing Windows 10 onto these systems automatically. Microsoft are forcing this through the Windows updates as a "Recommended" update (which most systems will install automatically). Not only is this a big change for people who are used to their current systems, it also requires 2GB of internet data to download this upgrade. If you are restricted to expensive internet access then this can be a costly upgrade. That being said if you have multiple computers on your network you can enable peer sharing of the update for the other computers on your network, which will save you having to download the upgrade multiple times. The setting can be accessed from the Update menu in Windows 10. Just make sure you select the option to share updates on your network only and not to the internet, otherwise you'll be sharing updates to the rest of the world, which can chew into your bandwidth as well (see link below for details).

Fortunately there is a way to prevent automatically upgrading to Windows 10. A utility called Never 10 is available for free from security researcher GRC.com  (https://www.grc.com/never10.htm). You only need to run this utility once to disable the automatic upgrade to Windows 10.  Despite the name you can choose to upgrade to Windows 10 at a later date if you want to move to Windows 10. Microsoft recommend upgrading as they insist that Windows 7 is getting old (10 years now) and newer devices may not be supported in the future. The reality is that it is cheaper for Microsoft to maintain security updates for 1 operating system rather than 3. Microsoft have committed to providing support for Windows 7 until 2020 so you still have time to get the most of the system until then. If you are looking at alternatives and prefer not to move to Windows 10, then take a look at Linux Mint. This is a free, open source operating system based on Linux. I will provide more details in a future article but if you want further information on this distribution take a look at https://www.linuxmint.com/.


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