Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

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Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Civil War Man » 2016-02-05 04:22pm

Fair warning to people who have been avoiding Windows 10. If you still do not want it, you are pretty much going to have to disable automatic updates and start vetting the updates individually in order to avoid it. If you leave automatic updates on, your computer will eventually install Windows 10, full stop.

Forbes
The saga continues.

Following news that Windows 10 automatically downloads onto Windows 7 and Windows 8 for users who choose to upgrade, Microsoft MSFT -3.95% has now confirmed it has taken things one serious step further: Windows 10 will now download on computers even when users chose NOT to upgrade.

This somewhat shocking development was discovered by The Inquirer when a reader reported Windows 10 had been downloaded onto their computer despite the fact they expressly declined the opportunity to upgrade:

“The symptoms are repeated failed ‘Upgrade to Windows 10′ in the WU update history and a huge 3.5GB to 6GB hidden folder labelled ‘$Windows.~BT’,” the reader explained. “I thought Microsoft [said] this ‘upgrade’ was optional. If so, why is it being pushed out to so many computers where it wasn’t reserved, and why does it try to install over and over again?

He continued: “I know of two instances where people on metered connections went over their data cap for August because of this unwanted download. My own internet (slow DSL) was crawling for a week or so until I discovered this problem. In fact, that’s what led me to it. Not only does it download, it tries to install every time the computer is booted.”


Microsoft Confirms New Policy

Astonishingly this is not a one-off error. Speaking to The Inquirer, Microsoft 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.

Now let’s be clear here: with regards to Windows 7 and Windows 8 “individuals who have chosen to receive automatic updates through Windows Update” is essentially everyone.

So unless you expressly chose to switch off all Windows updates (not recommended), you will be receiving (and have already received) a 3-6GB silent download. As The Inquirer reader points out, this can be found at: C:\$windows.~BT

Note this is a hidden folder so to view it you need to open File Explorer and go to: Organize > Folder Options > View > Show hidden files, folders, and drives.

The Fall Out

So what to make of this? Quite frankly, while opinions remain divided over Windows 10’s forced updates, for Microsoft to presumptuously take a substantial chunk of every Windows 7 and Windows 8 user’s storage (and data allowance) downloading Windows 10 even if they specifically state they do not want to upgrade is a big step too far.

Personally I cannot see what Microsoft is trying to achieve here. When a user wants Windows 10 they will expect a large download to begin and there to be some waiting time. But Microsoft downloading Windows 10 anyway just to skip this wait for users who don’t want Windows 10 is complete madness.

So what are your options...

What To Do

For those determined not to have their hard drive storage space and/or Internet data allowance wasted by Windows 10, the options are limited.

The most drastic step is to disable Windows Update completely, but I would not recommend it as you are then trapped in a manual cycle of vetting every update to keep your computer update and secure.

Meanwhile the alternative for those who have already had Windows 10 downloaded on their systems is simply to delete the C:\$windows folder. Then again Microsoft has not disclosed whether it will simply start downloading it again!

I have reached out to Microsoft for further clarification here and will update the post when/if the company responds.

In the meantime we are fast seeing Microsoft approach a dangerous crossing. It has already released updates on Windows 7 and Windows 8 which add detailed user tracking akin to Windows 10 and now it is downloading Windows 10 on Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers computers whether users want it or not.

Microsoft needs to be very careful. It took decades to build up user trust, but now it risks tearing everything down in just a few months…

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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Borgholio » 2016-02-05 04:28pm

This thread title is misleading. They're forcing you to DOWNLOAD it, not INSTALL it. Nobody is being forced to go through an OS upgrade. I agree that this is a bit of a bad move on MS part but it's not as bad as forcing people to go through a complete OS upgrade (which I doubt they would EVER do).
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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Purple » 2016-02-05 04:59pm

Civil War Man wrote:Fair warning to people who have been avoiding Windows 10. If you still do not want it, you are pretty much going to have to disable automatic updates and start vetting the updates individually in order to avoid it.
Isn't this what you should be doing anyway? I have been doing it since automatic updates were a thing back on XP.
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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Joun_Lord » 2016-02-05 05:34pm

Purple wrote:
Civil War Man wrote:Fair warning to people who have been avoiding Windows 10. If you still do not want it, you are pretty much going to have to disable automatic updates and start vetting the updates individually in order to avoid it.
Isn't this what you should be doing anyway? I have been doing it since automatic updates were a thing back on XP.
I'm sure most people that can into computers do. But this forced download/update/whatever is probably going to be less of a problem for people who know the difference between a mouse or a modem (but don't make a Youtube video about some kids or old people reacting to old dial-up modem sounds or the Fine Bros might go after you). For general users they probably just let their computer auto update because they can't make heads or tails of what an update means and thats if they can even figure out how to change their update settings, this will be more of a problem.

Which is why this seems a wee bit dirty because its going to mostly effect users who aren't going to know any better.

I'm still debating whether I want to even make the plunge to go to 10.

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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by SpottedKitty » 2016-02-05 05:37pm

Borgholio wrote:This thread title is misleading. They're forcing you to DOWNLOAD it, not INSTALL it. Nobody is being forced to go through an OS upgrade. I agree that this is a bit of a bad move on MS part but it's not as bad as forcing people to go through a complete OS upgrade (which I doubt they would EVER do).
Maybe not "forcing an OS upgrade", but they're certainly trying to sneak it in to anyone who's not paying attention. I nearly had this happen several months ago; if I hadn't noticed the regular monthly batch of updates included one optional set to install (usually they aren't) I would have been stuck staring at an update to Win10 in progress that I hadn't requested. I always check now, every Update Tuesday.

The nag applet is just as bad; I've uninstalled it, I've deleted it, I've hidden it from the Update list, nothing works for long, it keeps coming back. IMHO there's nothing wrong with the thread subject.
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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Grumman » 2016-02-06 02:57am

Purple wrote:
Civil War Man wrote:Fair warning to people who have been avoiding Windows 10. If you still do not want it, you are pretty much going to have to disable automatic updates and start vetting the updates individually in order to avoid it.
Isn't this what you should be doing anyway?
No, and someone at Microsoft needs their kneecaps broken for doing something obnoxious enough to change that.

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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Edi » 2016-02-06 04:47am

SpottedKitty wrote:
Borgholio wrote:This thread title is misleading. They're forcing you to DOWNLOAD it, not INSTALL it. Nobody is being forced to go through an OS upgrade. I agree that this is a bit of a bad move on MS part but it's not as bad as forcing people to go through a complete OS upgrade (which I doubt they would EVER do).
Maybe not "forcing an OS upgrade", but they're certainly trying to sneak it in to anyone who's not paying attention. I nearly had this happen several months ago; if I hadn't noticed the regular monthly batch of updates included one optional set to install (usually they aren't) I would have been stuck staring at an update to Win10 in progress that I hadn't requested. I always check now, every Update Tuesday.

The nag applet is just as bad; I've uninstalled it, I've deleted it, I've hidden it from the Update list, nothing works for long, it keeps coming back. IMHO there's nothing wrong with the thread subject.
The nag applet is regularly reintroduced as a new important update, so even if you have hidden it before, it will be reapplied. They've done this three times by last count. It's also hard to remove, because if you want to remove KB3035583, you can, but if you select anything other than immediate reboot, it will NOT be removed. Same for the other update that is its requirement.

Only way to avoid is selecting the "download updates, but let me decide when and what to install" option from Windows Update.

In other words, you have to know what you are doing in order to stay anywhere near clear of this and most people are just completely all thumbs (in the amputated hand) when it comes to using computers. Frankly, Windows 7 is aging badly and Windows 8 is in all ways inferior to Windows 10, especially the user interface.

The transition to Windows 10 is not really very hard for most people. Especially if they get some help setting up some programs that make it work more like their old Windows used to.
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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Enigma » 2016-02-06 10:10am

I don't have an issue with the nagging and the unwanted ads by using DoNotSpy10. Smooth sailing.
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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by SpottedKitty » 2016-02-06 05:05pm

Edi wrote:Only way to avoid is selecting the "download updates, but let me decide when and what to install" option from Windows Update.
<nod> That's one of the first things I did when Update was first introduced years ago. What was it, in XP?
Edi wrote:The transition to Windows 10 is not really very hard for most people. Especially if they get some help setting up some programs that make it work more like their old Windows used to.
And the fact that we have to do that at all is IMHO one more count against the way MS is approaching this. The "phone UI look" was only one of the things that made me determined not to touch Win8 with a bargepole, and I don't really consider 10 much better in that respect. The improved system security and efficiency would be nice to have, but I keep getting reminded that the Windows programmers seem to have difficulty remembering that a high-end desktop intended for actual creative work isn't a phone or a tablet. I'm still happy with 7, apart from some really weird behaviour my XP-trained reflexes are still tripping over.
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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Lord Revan » 2016-02-06 05:43pm

8.1 has more or less the classic UI (unless you're hunting for a specific program you don't have desktop icon for) and I think 10 uses similar but slightly improved UI, I normally forget that Win8 comes with the phone style UI as default as I practically never use it. (oh and you can set 8 so that it default to the classic shell so that you don't have to see the phone/X-box style UI if you don't have to).
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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Argosh » 2016-02-07 04:05am

Yeah, one more reason not to touch 10.
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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Flagg » 2016-02-07 07:33am

Waaaa wrote:Oh boohoo, the big bad company is dragging my Luddite ass into the future kicking and screaming, forcing me to use a superior product unless I use google and search for "how not to upgrade to Windows 10 ". Are you angry that they don't make rotary cellphones and have banned carbon filament light bulbs?
:lol: :P :wink:

But no, in all seriousness I don't like the shitty way MS is going about doing this, it's sneaky and assholish, almost like every other massive US corporation operates. That said, it's not like they haven't listened to feedback and made it more accessible to people who hated the original interface, and it's so superior to previous Windows iterations that the only people with a valid complaint are those with machines that can't run it and who are so PC illiterate that they can't do a basic Internet search.
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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Broomstick » 2016-02-07 07:34am

I actually do miss my old rotary phone...
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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Korto » 2016-02-07 09:00am

So do I.

The main thing that concerns me is will I be able to run my Office 2000 and Visual Basic 6 ? I don't want to buy modern software, the stuff I have does me fine.

Sometimes I kind of feel upgrading from XP to 7 was a mistake--I lost convenience. I have programs on a thumbdrive, and with XP I could just stick those in the Start Menu, easy, and the computer would run them. Can't do that with 7 (there is a work-around, but it's ugly). And the Recent Documents folder is gone--yes, every application now has its own, but that means I've got to go searching for wherever the hell the pdf viewer or whatever is through the menus.

And I hate feeling pushed.
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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Executor32 » 2016-02-07 06:29pm

I've personally gotten software and even drivers designed for as far back as NT4 working on 32-bit Windows 10, though 64-bit is more of a crap-shoot when it comes to old stuff working because it won't run 16-bit executables. All 64-bit versions of Windows have been like that, though, so if it runs on your current install of Windows 7, it'll still run on 10 after you upgrade.

Also, you'll be happy to know that they brought back the Recent Documents list, though it's not in the Start Menu like it used to be. Instead, when you open up a new File Explorer window, by default you're presented with a list of pinned or frequently used folders, followed by a list of recent documents.
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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Rogue 9 » 2016-02-07 08:00pm

You don't have to turn off automatic updates entirely. They changed it to a "recommended" update, so all you have to do is change your update settings to uncheck the box that says to treat recommended updates the same as important updates. That way you still get security patches and don't have to worry about having Win10 foisted on you.
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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Broomstick » 2016-02-07 08:49pm

...for now...
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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Esquire » 2016-02-08 03:02am

This is a serious question - why is this an issue? I've upgraded mine and my SO's computer, with no problems on either side; is there a serious issue with Windows 10 that I've managed to avoid somehow? And if so, how can I continue doing so? :D
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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Broomstick » 2016-02-08 03:18am

One issue is that when people say "no thanks" to the upgrade Microsoft is essentially trying to take over peoples' computers to do this upgrade even after it's been refused. It's like someone is offering to paint the walls of your house yellow for free and after you say "no thanks" they force their way in anyway and start painting, regardless of whether or not their choice of time is convenient to you, and with possible damage to anything that happens to be in the house.

Some people have legacy software that may or may not work with Windows 10 and they'd rather not be upgraded until the bugs around that issue are worked out. This is particularly critical for anything work or business related, both on the small scale for individuals and for entire companies.

Maybe you have not had a problem, but other people have.

Many are deeply, deeply suspicious that a large corporation is "giving" away something like this for free - what's the catch?

Many people do not want the "extras" being pushed, like Cortana, and don't want it taking up space on their system.

Many people are VERY upset at how it wants to default to keeping things "in the cloud" - they want their data in their computer, not someone else's. This is a particular issue for those are NOT on line all the time (yes, amazing, but true, not everyone is on the internet 24/7) but it also raises significant legal issues for people who make their living publishing writing/music/etc. in regards to things like copyright and first right of publication - there are many outlets that will not purchase anything that have ever been out on the internet. This sort of decision is not something Microsoft can control. Yes, you can change the setting - over and over - and continue to watch to make sure things don't change - but it's a hassle they feel they should have never had to deal with in the first place. Also, people are concerned that if their stuff is in the cloud it can be held hostage unless they start paying monthly fees - basically, they feel it's an attempt to force them to pay storage fees, or be dependent on someone else for access to their data.

Quite a few people with either slow connections or who do not have unlimited flat-fee access to the internet are pissed at the time involved and are also unhappy at a sudden bill for "overage" fees they did not expect, or have the process interrupted when they hit their monthly data limit. Granted, this is not a common problem, but it a problem for some people.

That's just the stuff off the top of my head - there's probably more. So there's no one answer, but a bunch of answers to your question.
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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Esquire » 2016-02-08 03:33am

All fair complaints; I personally said no to all the W-10 extras when I upgraded, and the non-flat-fee download space is honestly something I'd not considered. That's why I post here - the member pool has so many different points of view to offer. Thanks for the input - I don't have any particular distrust of computer companies (specifically), so it's always useful to be reminded that a lot of people do. Just to be perfectly clear, absolutely no sarcasm intended: I really do appreciate an unfamiliar viewpoint now and again. :D
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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Eleas » 2016-02-08 06:31am

Broomstick's example rings true for me: after moving house, I'm forced to rely on a spotty wifi connection, with lots of transmission errors. I don't fancy doing an md5 on files every other hour or so just because Microsoft fell in love with a buzzword, nor do I want the potential congestion those file transfers would bring. Storage is also an issue: on the still-common 120 GB SSD drives of today's desktops, given a few applications and perhaps a game or two, 3.5 GB could easily fill up all the free space you've left. And I'd like to know I'll be able use that space for compiling, thank you very much; it's one reason why I got the machine to start with. Just like I want to be able to use that bandwidth for downloading things I actually want to use, not files Microsoft decided it wants to disseminate off-site.

Of course, it's just 3.5 GB. Surely that's nothing, right? No, the size isn't the issue: the issue is that it's one more level of indirection, one extra abstraction that I have to know about, one extra significant detail that my computer does that doesn't benefit me. That pisses me off: I want to be in charge of what the computer does on a macro level, I want to trust that my machine is in fact working for me. And since Microsoft have already made it perfectly clear that they think you should be leasing the contents of your computer from them, I am not very sanguine about future developments, either.

Now, I know most of these issues can be addressed with a bit of forethought, so this is just my visceral reaction. But gut reactions do count when it comes to customer satisfaction and market penetration.
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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Purple » 2016-02-08 06:37am

Esquire wrote:This is a serious question - why is this an issue? I've upgraded mine and my SO's computer, with no problems on either side; is there a serious issue with Windows 10 that I've managed to avoid somehow? And if so, how can I continue doing so? :D
I agree with everything broom said so I'll just add some more. Even if all your legacy software works and you don't mind the cloud or the extra features and everything is fine and dandy a new OS is still a hell of a lot of work for the end user. You have to reinstall all that old software, learn a new UI, configure everything to your liking etc. And all that is going to take time and effort many of us don't have. Like I am in the final year of my university studies now. I do not have the time to spend a month with my productivity tanking as I do all of the above.
It has become clear to me in the previous days that any attempts at reconciliation and explanation with the community here has failed. I have tried my best. I really have. I pored my heart out trying. But it was all for nothing.

You win. There, I have said it.

Now there is only one thing left to do. Let us see if I can sum up the strength needed to end things once and for all.

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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Broomstick » 2016-02-08 07:06am

I think the timing issue is a significant problem - even people who want to upgrade will want to do it on their schedule, not Microsoft's.
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Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Enigma » 2016-02-08 07:37am

Purple wrote:
Esquire wrote:This is a serious question - why is this an issue? I've upgraded mine and my SO's computer, with no problems on either side; is there a serious issue with Windows 10 that I've managed to avoid somehow? And if so, how can I continue doing so? :D
I agree with everything broom said so I'll just add some more. Even if all your legacy software works and you don't mind the cloud or the extra features and everything is fine and dandy a new OS is still a hell of a lot of work for the end user. You have to reinstall all that old software, learn a new UI, configure everything to your liking etc. And all that is going to take time and effort many of us don't have. Like I am in the final year of my university studies now. I do not have the time to spend a month with my productivity tanking as I do all of the above.
Don't know what you are talking about. I've upgraded my computer from Win 7 to 8 then 8.1 then to 10 and not once did I have to reinstall anything (except for that one time I used the "Refresh PC" option. Not doing that again).

Yes, it takes a bit of getting used to, then again that tends to happen when you upgrade the OS.
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Re: Microsoft is forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10

Post by Zaune » 2016-02-08 07:59am

Rogue 9 wrote:You don't have to turn off automatic updates entirely. They changed it to a "recommended" update, so all you have to do is change your update settings to uncheck the box that says to treat recommended updates the same as important updates. That way you still get security patches and don't have to worry about having Win10 foisted on you.
Or you could switch to an operating system that doesn't require you to manually vet every patch released for it in case it's trying to force you to install software you don't want.
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