Are you a Windows user? Ready to upgrade to Windows 10? No? That’s too bad, because Microsoft really wants you to upgrade to Windows 10 — so much so they’ve deployed some pretty sneaky tactics to coerce and trick their user base into upgrading to the latest Microsoft operating system.
I wrote an article a few months back about unwanted updates and the focus was on Apple’s operating system, OS X 10.11, El Capitan. I mentioned the Windows 10 nag in that article, because it wasn’t too forceful back then. It was a suggestion; a nagging reminder at the bottom right of your screen that was eager to show you the way to a better Windows. But you had a choice, and many chose no. I certainly did.
Imagine my surprise one morning when I discovered that the PC at my home had suddenly upgraded to Windows 10 — without my consent, or so I thought. Fortunately, I was able to reverse this process without much of a problem.
I’m running a fairly decent PC that’s a couple of years old. It has a lot of RAM and a great processor. It can handle Windows 10; I just don’t want it to yet.
There are a fair number of people who aren’t having the same degree of success in reverting to their previous Windows. And if they have an older machine or one lacking the horsepower to run Windows 10, they can find themselves without a functioning computer after they get the “gift” of Windows 10.
What’s worse is that many people don’t have the technical skills to be able to repair this problem. While that might be great for my business, I hardly think it’s fair on Microsoft’s part to be delivering the kiss of death on the computers of some of their users.
What’s downright deceitful about this Windows 10 upgrade debacle is how Microsoft is pulling it off: the Windows 10 update is automatically scheduled. Not only that, but Microsoft also changed the interface for the little nagging window. When you click the “Close” window box, that doesn’t just close the window; that also indicates that you’ve given your “consent” to proceed with the upgrade.
Crazy, right? They changed the rules on how the “Close” button works in Windows.
That’s the kind of trickery you find on pop-up ads on the web. Stooping to this level is despicable as a business practice — especially for such a tech leader like Microsoft. But it’s how the company got me and a number of others who’ve had the same surprise when they opened their Windows PC for work one morning.
Did your computer wake up with Windows 10? How can you undo it?
For some, there’s a relatively easy way, provided you do it within 30 days. Open the Start menu; select Settings; click on “Update & Security;” and then select “Recovery.” You’ll see an option to go back to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 Cross your fingers. Some unfortunate souls don’t have this option, because after 30 days, Windows 10 purges those old files that help you rollback.
How do we keep it from happening again? For this, I recommend GWX Control Panel (http://goo.gl/7NaFHQ). It’s free and works wonders with wiping out Windows 10. There’s a version you can install, but I prefer the standalone version because I can just run it from a USB thumbdrive.
Keeping your computer safe from bad stuff is hard enough these days. So when Microsoft starts using tactics like these, it’s enough to make you want to not use Windows.