How to Prevent Windows 7/8.1 from Automatically Updating to Windows 10

Printer Friendly
Text Size: A A A A

Microsoft, on February 1st, 2016 moved the Windows 10 update on Windows 7 and 8.1 systems from Optional to Recommended. If you have Windows 7 or 8.1 set to automatically install Recommended updates, and you don’t want Windows 10 just yet, you can prevent it.

This isn’t exactly news as Microsoft exec Terry Myerson told us that this change was coming in his blog post: Making it Easier to Upgrade to Windows 10:

Early next year, we expect to be re-categorizing Windows 10 as a “Recommended Update”. Depending upon your Windows Update settings, this may cause the upgrade process to automatically initiate on your device.

That article was written on October 29th, 2015, but the Windows Update change is now happening.

It’s worth noting a few things about his change. First, it’s set as a Recommended update and not Important which is a big distinction. Recommended updates aren’t automatically installed unless you change your Windows Update settings to install them along with Important ones.

Prevent the Windows 10 Recommended Update


It’s easy to prevent Windows 10 from installing automatically as a Recommended update. You just need to change a couple of Windows Update settings.

Windows 7:
Click Start and type: windows update into the Search field and hit Enter.

Then click on Change settings.

Then under Recommended updates uncheck: Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates and click OK.

Windows 8.1:
In Windows 8.1 in the Modern UI head to PC Settings > Update & Recovery > Windows Update and click Choose how updates get installed.

Then uncheck: Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates and click Apply.

If you have Recommended updates set to install with Important ones and end up getting Windows 10, you still have the 30-day period where you can revert to your previous build.

If you’re in a small business environment, or a consumer running a Windows 7 or 8.1 PC with Ultimate, Enterprise, or Pro versions, you can use the Group Policy or Registry edit provided by Microsoft to prevent the Windows 10 update, too.

Keep in mind the Windows 10 upgrade option is still going to appear in Windows Update, but it will not install automatically as long as your make these adjustments.

For more information and to view an archive of previous Tech Tips, please visit us here.

Do you have specific topics you would like to see covered in Tech Tips? Email any suggestions to