Microsoft Wants You To Have Windows 10 (even if you don’t)!

Okay, this is getting out-of-hand. All the Get Windows 10 propaganda (App in Windows 8.1, System Tray Icon and in Windows 10) that Microsoft MSFT 242,04 -0,54 -0,22% is bombarding Windows 7 and 8.1 users is bad enough. However, even if you declined the upgrade to Windows 10 and in some cases even if you removed the Windows 10 upgrade offer KB3035583, Windows 10 may already be on your computer…just waiting for you to (accidentally) install it. Yes, you read that right! Microsoft has taken it upon itself for those users in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 who are running Windows Updates (most everyone) to download Windows 10 onto their computers WITHOUT their consent or knowledge. Microsoft is NOT denying they did this as they have confirmed this is now something they are doing to all computers running Windows 7 and Windows 8:

“For individuals who have chosen to receive automatic updates through Windows Update, we help upgradable devices get ready for Windows 10 by downloading the files they’ll need if they decide to upgrade. When the upgrade is ready, the customer will be prompted to install Windows 10 on the device,” said a Microsoft spokesperson.

If you noticed strange messages about a failed ‘Upgrade to Windows 10’ update, a sudden decrease in your Internet speed or a spike in your metered bandwidth during the month of August or suddenly have about 3-6 GB less of hard drive space, chances are Windows 10 was downloaded onto your system. To check open Windows (File) Explorer (WinKey+E) and make sure you are viewing hidden items. Check to see if the folder $Windows.~BT is showing on your C: drive. The good news is you can get rid of this folder…but you will have to jump through some hoops. If you try to delete the folder Windows will complain that you need ‘Administrator Privileges’ to do so, even if your account is already a member of the Administrators group.  To get around this you need to take ownership of the folder and its contents. The simplest way to do this is to download and install the Take Ownership registry script which will add a ‘Take Ownership’ option with a UAC shield to your Context Menu. Once you have installed the script, select the folder and right-click selecting ‘Take ownership’ a command prompt Window will open in the background and you will see each file being processed. This will take a few minutes and once the command prompt Window closes you can delete the folder.

Beware, that deleting the folder does not mean it won’t come back. Microsoft has not (and likely won’t) commented about this. However, if you remove all the Get Windows 10 (GWX) propaganda chances are it won’t download again as the mechanism to get Windows 10 has been removed. HOWEVER! I should also point out that I had removed (and hid) KB3035583 on both my Windows 7 laptop and Windows 8.1 desktop machines. I discovered last night as I was checking to see if Microsoft’s snooping Telemetry updates were installed on my Windows 7 Laptop, Windows 10 had been downloaded.

via Forbes > Gordon Kelly