Is Windows 10 Nagging Actually Getting Worse?

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2016 - 03:18 AM |
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10

My production machine has been on Windows 10 since the second Insider Preview build, back in 2014. We have a handful of laptops that are on older versions, however. One of them, which runs Windows 8.1, was upgraded to Windows 10 for a few weeks once 1511 landed, but it did not handle the transition well. There was a few nasty glitches, including 100% screen brightness for some reason being interpreted as 0% screen brightness, making the display turn off when I plugged it in (until I realized what was going on).

No problem, I thought to myself, I will just roll back to Windows 8.1. I gave it a shot.

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That's apparently not good for Microsoft. Windows Update apparently has no record of an upgrade being rolled back, because the first thing it asked me when Windows 8.1 was restore was to upgrade back to Windows 10. Noooooooooooooooo. I will not, Microsoft, at least not until some later service release fixes these issues.

All I could think of is, if these are the problems that I'm having, how are novice users supposed to figure this out. It turns out that Microsoft has added a couple of Windows Registry keys to block the various naggings. Once I set them, the OS didn't complain or try to hide standard Windows Update buttons with Upgrade to Windows 10 ones. Registry keys are definitely not for novice users, but many of our readers should be comfortable with registry editing, and they may know novice users who would like a little help.

ll you need to do is change two keys:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\OSUpgrade
    • Change or add a DWORD named AllowOSUpgrade with a value of 0
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\GWX
    • Change or add a DWORD named DisableGWX with a value of 1
    • The GWX folder (called a key in the registry) wasn't present. I needed to add it.

After editing the registry and rebooting, everything Windows 10 nag-related was disabled and I could install Windows Updates. Applications exist to set these keys for you, but it's probably better to just do it yourself. The ZDNet article, linked below, also has a few files to automatically apply these registry keys to your system. I like doing these things by hand, though.

Thanks to Ed Bott at ZDNet for making a big write-up about this, just yesterday actually.

Source: ZDNet

January 8, 2016 | 03:51 AM - Posted by rkaycom

Better solution = GWX Control Panel

Allyn suggested it months ago on a Podcast, works perfectly.

January 8, 2016 | 01:42 PM - Posted by willmore (not verified)

I second this. GWX is the way to clean this stuff off. It's going on the laptop I'm building for my father.

January 8, 2016 | 05:22 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

More of this and Linux command line interface will stop being so scary. Thanks, Microsoft.

February 23, 2016 | 11:54 PM - Posted by Pop (not verified)

I gave up on win 10 and have been dual booting Ubuntu mate, after using it for several weeks from a boot-able USB.

January 8, 2016 | 08:22 AM - Posted by Bri (not verified)

Pretty clear by now that windows 10 is a complete disaster and a case history on how not to get consumers to adopt your product.

January 8, 2016 | 08:36 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Have all my machines and laptops running Win 10 Ent. x64 fine. People that aren't tech savvy or just like jumping on any bandwagon like the guy above me are going to have issues....

January 8, 2016 | 11:57 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It's that windows 10 EULA that you signed that makes for some turning back ON of all the baked-in/added by M$ spy-ware with the next round of forced updates. What works now may not work later the very next update. The windows 10 EULA is after all the user signing away the farm to the big data slurpers in Redmond. No matter what Ed for M$ Bott has to say about M$'s windows 10 currently it will not be what M$'s windows 10 will do after the next bout of Forcing goes on thanks to that EULA!

And what New applications will M$ select as incompatible with its next round of updates, and promptly uninstall! The bait is being nibbled and the hook is ready to be set, and some users will find that once they are on the line and being reeled it that it's too late, as their old license for their previous OS version may never work again. You will be monetized under M$'s EULA terms and conditions, and some of those applications that once where purchased outright, will now require a subscription. Let the slurping of your data and wallet begin!

January 8, 2016 | 12:00 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Edit: reeled it
to: reeled in

January 8, 2016 | 03:34 PM - Posted by Patrick3D (not verified)

Another schmuck that fell for the click-bait, fear-mongering, FUD.

January 9, 2016 | 07:48 PM - Posted by Tseng_Slabs (not verified)

Win 10 has determined you are tech savvy so you will not be farmed.

January 8, 2016 | 12:35 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Most of these very smart gamers are not yet understanding the Microsoft EULA and the internals of Windows 10 OS.

Windows 8.1 = Windows 10 - spyware & malware

If your Windows 7/8.1 is working, then there is no need to upgrade to Windows 10.

Get in your head, if Windows 10 was a good OS, then Why would Microsoft give it away free?

Good products sell by themselves.

Microsoft is now afraid of Linux. Microsoft also wants to retain Windows 7/8.1 users as their new base of revenue.

Windows 10 has lots of issues and is not a good product.

January 8, 2016 | 02:31 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

"Why would Microsoft give it away free?"

There are many potential reasons. Microsoft would have been smart to do it with Windows 7, to push Windows XP and Windows Vista users to the best Microsoft had to offer. Many people upgraded from a malware-infest Windows XP machine to a new Apple and thought that Windows 7 would be similar to their last Windows experience.

You probably wouldn't believe that applies to Windows 10 from Windows 7, but that doesn't actually matter. From a logical standpoint, it only depends on Microsoft ('s management team) believing that. If they do, then that might be (part of) their reason.

Another, potential reason is that Microsoft wants to downsize QA. Best way to do that is cut down userbases in existing products, pushing them onto a treadmill of forced updates. They would still need to support Windows Vista, 7, and 8.x until their extended EOL date, but the amount of people using late-life XP makes it much more difficult than those using late-life Vista. Heck, come Tuesday, Microsoft isn't even going to have a supported version of Internet Explorer for Vista, which is stuck back in IE9.

Also, they could want big numbers to flaunt. It gathers press attention and gives more leeway with investors.

Regardless, I'm not trying to apologize for Microsoft. I've been quite critical of them since Windows 8 was previewed. There has been many negative things that they've done. The problem that I've been trying to illustrate with this comment is the assumption of intent. When people intend to do bad things, the chances of it leaking significantly rise as the number of people involved increases. There are many ways that this exact situation could happen through good intentions, but it's human to think otherwise. That's usually where things turn irrational. Sometimes it's correct, but it often misses.

January 8, 2016 | 05:01 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

All computers are not created equal, so each user will have a different experience with Windows 10. I tried several different builds of Windows 10 and wasted more than 100 hours and produced all kinds of BSODs and error messages. Finally, I came to the conclusion that Windows 10 is not a good OS for my computer and for myself.

Now I have Manjaro Linux Cinnamon 15.12, Manjaro Linux Deepin 15.12 and Windows 8.1. These three OSes work much better than Windows 10 and provide incredible user experience. My primary OS is Manjaro Linux Deepin 15.12, secondary OS is Manjaro Linux Cinnamon 15.12. I keep windows 8.1 as a back-up OS.

I would like to see the number of users who have switched from Windows 10 to Windows 7/8.1 or the number of users who have deleted Windows 10 partitions from their hard disks.

Microsoft must understand that Wintel duoploy is at its last leg. It is about time that users decide what apps and OSes they will run.

Now I am free from Microsoft's EULA and Microsoft apps.

January 8, 2016 | 09:29 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Nice. I frequently consider doing a Linux jump. Effective Windows virtualization would be a good trigger, but there's just always something in the way.

January 9, 2016 | 02:58 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You can try Manjaro Deepin 15.12. Here is the link:

Or Manjaro Cinnamon 15.12. Here is the link:

First do a quick format of the USB flash disk. Second use Rufus to create a bootable USB flash disk. Next boot from the flash disk.

You use the OS the way you want it or give it away. There is no EULA.

Suppose your Windows 7/8.1/10 dies. You can use the Linux live flash disk to save all your windows directories to another disk.

You can find out yourself how far Linux has come. Today Linux is about as good or better than Windows 7/8.1/10.

Now Microsoft is scared of Linux. Linux is more stable than Windows.

January 8, 2016 | 03:38 PM - Posted by Patrick3D (not verified)

With Windows 8/8.1 you can do a clean install with an ISO downloaded from Microsoft (just make sure to have your key handy). Since the machine was already upgraded to Windows 10 previously, just do a clean install of Windows 10 instead, no key necessary if your previous upgrade had activated and registered the key with Microsoft. The clean install goes MUCH faster than an upgrade install since it doesn't need to create the Windows.old backup. 15 minutes vs 45, or thereabouts.

January 11, 2016 | 02:14 PM - Posted by akelm88 (not verified)

the new version of kb3035583 is going to start changing the keys back. its like a piece of malware. This is going to get ugly, folks.

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