Updated every Monday!   Subscribe to free weekly newsletter.

The Windows 10 Upgrade You Can’t “X-out” of

Since last July, Microsoft has encouraged users of earlier versions of Windows to upgrade for free to Windows 10. The company used various techniques to keep reminding users to pull the trigger and authorize the upgrade.

With many millions of users still sticking with their old Windows’ versions, in May, as reported by various tech media, the company changed tactics.

Windows 10 Upgrade
ComputerWorld graphic


While it is bad enough that you are seemingly only given two choices – to upgrade immediately or accept the proposed upgrade date (and in fine print, cancel it) – something more sinister was actually happening. Microsoft changed the longstanding windows convention allowing users to cancel a proposed action merely by clicking the red X in the corner of the popup window. Unbeknownst to users, for this particular screen, clicking that red X not only closed the window but also accepted the proposed update date. And there was no fine print to explain that.

These are tactics more usually seen by purveyors of malware, or by new applications that tuck within their installation screens authorization of adware or other junkware you don’t want or expect.

Finally responding to widespread criticism, Microsoft last week introduced a much clearer option screen so users could opt-out of the Windows 10 upgrade:

Windows 10 Upgrade fix

Remember, July 29th is the last day you can upgrade a previous version of Windows (7 and 8) to Windows 10 for free, which most experts recommend doing. After that, it will cost $119.

Share this story:
All comments are reviewed before being published, and may be edited. Comments that are off-topic, contain personal attacks, or are otherwise inappropriate will be deleted.

16 thoughts on “The Windows 10 Upgrade You Can’t “X-out” of”

  1. If you don’t want to upgrade to Win 10 and you are tired of Microsoft pestering you to do so, download and install either GWX Control Panel or Never10. Either app will turn off the nags and prevent an undesired installation of Windows 10. If you later change your mind, you can. Either app’s actions are reversible.

    After careful consideration, I have opted not to upgrade any of my household’s PCs to Win 10. MS’s heavy-handed tactics make me cautious, and all of my current PCs are working OK for now. I expect I’ll replace my in-service PCs before their respective OS’s support ends (2020 for Win 7 and 2023 for Win 8.1).

    Also, why do I think that you’ll be able to get a Win 10 upgrade after July 29 for less than list price, if you want it? MS says no. We’ll see.

  2. This is such a shady tactic by Microsoft. I had a Windows 7 computer and Microsoft pestered me to upgrade with increasing frequency. It was very annoying because my old computer could barely handle Windows 10 and I was satisfied with Win 7. After purchasing a new computer that was preinstalled Win 10, I have realized that Win 10 is more like a downgrade in functionality.

    Microsoft recently settled a lawsuit with a person who sued them because the forced Win 10 upgrade incapacitated the plaintiff’s computer. I am confused about why Microsoft settled the lawsuit because it opens them up to many more cases if other consumers feel harmed by the upgrade.

  3. Get a Mac…problem solved!

    I do see in the first screen shot that there IS mention of cancelling the upgrade, so you were not limited to just the two choices stated. Also, the fact that the upgrade is free, but only for a limited time, makes it seem to me that Microsoft is really trying to do you a favor by pushing this offer; the company stands to make less money if you upgrade now.

    But as my opening statement indicates, the point is moot for me.

  4. I have windows 8.1 and am happy with it.
    If FORCED to use windows 10 I will cancel Microsoft.
    I tried 10 and it was VERY CONFUSING so I switched back to 8.1.

  5. I am NOT switching. I will wait and see, till 2020 if need be when Windows 7 is no longer supported. By then, some brilliant geeky nerd will come up with something for me.

  6. Now don’t ‘die’ laughing but I’ve been running Vista for over 8 years with no real problems. Although my computers fans are dying slowly, so I might not have a choice when they do.

  7. I did the free upgrade to windows 10 and it was a hassle free experience.

    Windows Vista!?!?!?!? That was an awful windows release imo.

  8. I upgraded to Windows 10 last week but my “favorites” did not transfer over and I had a ton which I used all the time……Have no clue how to get them and since I am NOT technically inclined, I must pay to have a computer expert find them for me along with answering a dozen questions I have. I’m not too happy with this new program, but maybe in time, I’ll like it…..change is hard!

  9. Smooth upgrade. Windows 10 works great. If there’s a problem it’s your computer not Win 10.

  10. Another Vista user here! Computer fans are cheap and easy to replace, don’t let that be the reason you hop to Windows 10. My 10 year old box running Vista is more responsive than my 5 year old i7 Windows 7 (10) laptop, thanks to Windows 10. I’m going to roll it back to 7 next weekend. I’ll update my 8.1 to 10 for the license key and revert THAT one back as well. If you haven’t taken the plunge, be warned there is a ton of crapware that auto-installs without your permission since it is bundled in the OS. More so than Windows 8 which I didn’t think was possible!

  11. Why not try linux MINT ?It’s free and unless you run specialisied software it will do everything Windows can.

  12. I did upgrade to Windows 10.

    During the upgrade, Microsoft automatically deleted my pdf files provided by the manufacturer of my computer (HP). You know, things like owners manuals, setup guides, etc.
    They said that they were not compatible with windows 10.

    I did like the look of windows 10.

    However, I should be the only one who decides what does and does not get deleted from my computer. Therefore, I switched back to 8 and refused to update my desktop that is running windows 7.

    On a side note, updates are automatic as well. You do not have an option to simply be notified and make a decision if the update is desired or not. I suppose nobody ever had an update from Microsoft make matters worse 🙂

  13. “However, I should be the only one who decides what does and does not get deleted from my computer.”

    I wholeheartedly agree. I would like to know why I can’t delete ‘Internet Explorer’ from my computer. I haven’t used it in years and would like to dump it.

  14. I tried upgrading my notebook to Windows 10. What a mess! I was able to correct most of the problems, but two that I find important (messed up sound) and WIFI (stopped working) made me glad that I had an image backup of my system before installing this piece of junk.

    I was able to fix the sound problem temporarily by installing the Windows 8 driver. That fixed that problem until Windows 10 decided that I needed to update the driver and did so automatically for me. I could not find a way to disable this update.

    WIFI was strange… Windows recognized my WIFI card and said it was working properly, however, it would not show up in the available network connections area. I had it looked at by a “professional” at Staples to no avail. They also tried installing a USB WIFI solution with the same effect.

  15. I’ve been running Win10 on my 3 machines for months now. It runs smoothly, even on my seven-year-old laptop. Even the installation process was perfect. It really is a very solid operating system.

    I just wish Microsoft didn’t sink to Apple-levels of attempting to control the user experience. The appeal of Windows is that you’re supposed to have control of every little detail (Linux is even more so – but I grew up using nothing but Windows so I never got used to Linux).

    Great product but a PR disaster by trying to force it down people’s faces. It’s free and easy to install. They should have just left it at that.

  16. Garbage in, garbage out. I still run XP on my laptop. Still works as great as ever, and runs my legacy programs that later versions of Windows (and post-Rosetta Mac) won’t. My desktop has Win 7 Pro, but even after more than six years of using it I still have a hard time finding stuff that was a piece of cake in XP. That being saidc, I’ll take Win 7 over any of their later crap.

    Microsoft’s concept of “upgrading” is directly tied to upgrading their bottom line. But guess what? Now that the money’s somewhere else, they’ve finally dumped Internet Explorer and now seem to be moving away from software entirely. This just in:


    “In its fiscal fourth quarter, sales of the Redmond, Wash., companys Azure cloud computing service more than doubled, offsetting a decline in the segment that includes its flagship Windows operating system and its struggling mobile-phone business.”

Comments are closed.