Preventing Windows 10 Update Prompts

Stop Windows 10 update prompts

Illustration of a person using a Windows 10 laptop with various peripherals in speech bubbles around the screen

Lifewire / Emilie Dunphy

Microsoft is getting aggressive with its campaign to upgrade people to Windows 10. If you want to banish these system prompts for all time, try a little program called GWX Control Panel.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows 10.

How to Get Rid of Windows 10 Update Prompts

Upgrading to Windows 10 is a great idea for most people. The operating system is fantastic and far more natural to navigate on a PC than Windows 8. It's also more advanced than Windows 7 in many respects.

  1. Download the GWX Control Panel installer from UltimateOutsider.com.

    The program should start automatically after installation. If not, find it in your default Downloads folder.

    Screenshot of GWX Control Panel installer download page
  2. Once it's up and running, you'll see a set of questions with yes/no answers.

    Pay attention to these questions as they will help you understand if the Windows 10 upgrade app is running if upgrades are allowed, and whether any Windows 10 download files are present.

    Screenshot of GWX Control Panel setup
  3. After surveying your status, select the button labeled Click to Disable 'Get Windows 10' App. Once that's done, you should no longer see the pops-up constantly nagging you to install Windows 10.

    Screenshot of Click to Disable 'Get Windows 10' App
  4. Next, select Click to Prevent Windows 10 Upgrades. Ultimate Outsider also says this feature "restores your Windows Update control panel to its normal behavior" if Windows 10 ads or installers try to hijack it.

    Screenshot of Click to Prevent Windows 10 Upgrades
  5. Finally, get rid of any Windows 10 folders on your PC. Microsoft often downloads Windows installation files automatically to your PC. That way when it comes time to install the upgrade, the process can go much faster. In this case, however, we don't care about how well an installation would go because we don't want an installation at all. To get rid of these files choose Click to Delete Windows 10 Download Folders.

For most people that should be enough to keep Windows 10 at bay. If you really want to be extra careful you can also choose Click to Enable Monitor Mode. When this feature is active GWX Control Panel runs in the background on your PC and looks for any system changes related to the new operating system. If it finds something it will alert you to the fact that new Windows 10 settings or files are present.

Another setting that Ultimate Outsider recommends is the option Click to Disable Non-critical Windows 10 Settings. This may prevent some annoying behavior related to Windows 10 updates, but like monitor mode, it's not a necessity.

If you're worried about GWX Control Panel interfering with your security updates that shouldn't be a problem. The program is designed so that it will not prohibit regular updates and fixes.

Although it is very effective, GWX Control Panel won't update automatically like most Windows desktop programs you use. Instead, you need to update by downloading the installer from the Ultimate Outsider site. It's probably not necessary that often, but if the Windows 10 update prompts ever return GWX may need an update to deal with Microsoft's latest tactics.