What to do if you Reserved a Windows 10 Upgrade but Changed Your Mind


Many PC users made a reservation to get Windows 10 when it was first offered but have changed their mind and now want to defer or even skip the upgrade. The problem is that sooner or later Windows 10 will automatically be downloaded and its installation scheduled unless action is taken. Even if you don’t go through the upgrade process, your system may be locked down so that no other updates can be installed.

If you don’t take steps to cancel or defer the upgrade you reserved, one day when you go to shut down your computer, a small icon will show up in the Shutdown button saying that important updates are available and not to turn off the computer until they are installed. The update will be an installation of Windows 10. Or you may suddenly get a message on the screen that says, "Your upgrade is ready to install". Or you may get the window shown in the graphic below. What to do now? The procedure to stop the upgrade process is rather messy but Woody Leonhard describes in this article what he has found by trial and error. There are also instructions for several scenarios at SuperSite for Windows. Unfortunately, there just doesn't seem to be a simple way to turn off the upgrade.

If you can’t stop the upgrade process, you can always use the rollback procedure that is described in this previous tip. A few things may not be restored perfectly but the rollback seemed to work pretty well in the one system I tried it on. Always back up your personal files before doing any of this type of procedure.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.

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Everyone is walled off from receiving email from readers -- especially when there are serious errors -- Gizmo, TechSupportAlert, Vic Laurie, and the author of the above recommended author, Woody Leonhard. Once I found out that Windows 10 was so intrusive and kept users under constant surveillance by sending data back to Microsft, I ruined my laptop by installing Windows 10 when I found that after 30 days, there was NO WAY to go back to my old Windows 7. MS deleted the necessary files to return to Win 7. So if I want Win 7 back, I have to go out and buy a new copy and install it.

But in Leonhard's article, I was hungry to remove the Windows 10 Reservation from my desktop which is my primary machine with a lot of important information on it. I had already activated the Reservation, not knowing how sneaky MS was going to be by forcing me to install Win 10 whether I wanted it or not. So I was very relieved to find Leonhard's detailed article which led me through ridding my machine of the Reservation and ending my worry about MS installing it without my consent. It worked and as he noted, it took about an hour and 3 reboots.

For that I'm appreciative, but for what happened next, I'm angry. Turns out that using Leonhard's method, the Reservation is only removed till the next cycle of Windows update, which happened yesterday and to my dismay, on booting up this morning, to find that the Reservation Icon was back in full force. So much for Leonhard.

I then went to MS and searched for cancelling my reservation for Windows 10. Turns out it was simple. See http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-win_upgrade/windows-10-reservation/0bb03e34-9d23-4484-bf1f-f1f51bdc3e7d?auth=1 for full and simple instructions. I cancelled it and am now going to reboot and see if it's still there. If it is, I'll apply Leonhard's procedure again and see what happens. I hope the simplicity of the Microsoft cancellation technique works. The last thing I want on my machine is Windows 10. It's a piece of garbage that offers nothing new in functionality and steals my information.

About Windows 10 on your laptop, if you had performed an upgrade, then you can always go back to the previous OS, in your case, Windows 7.

In case of an upgrade, Windows 10 creates a backup copy of the previous OS, and keeps it. You can revert back to the previous OS until one month. You can find this option under Settings --> Updates and Security --> Recovery.

You have to be logged in as administrator in order to see that option in the settings.

That was what I said in the last half of my first paragraph.

oh OK, sorry, I missed that part about 30 days. I should concentrate more :D.

But in the last paragraph of my comment, there is a link to Microsoft where you can cancel the Reservation. Too late for my laptop, but at least it seems to work for my desktop machine.

Dr. Leonhard is a GENIUS!!

I'm giddy as a schoolgirl; just completed this. ANYONE that can untie the Gordian knot of MS Win is a certifiable GENIUS.

One thing these type exercises do for me, is to make me pay attention and follow directions, something the wife says I can't do very well at all.

My system may be a little different, Win 8.1, with Shell, and a SSD. I got a little tangled up on #3 and #7, but believe it is complete and done.

THANK YOU, Vic, for bringing this to our attention. AND all the other stuff, too!!

I have already installed Linux Ubuntu on two of my machines because Micro$oft no longer supports XP. My laptop came with 7 on it, so we'll see how far that gets me.

You have to understand one thing and one thing alone - Microsoft has announce a goal of 1 billion devices in 2-3 years. IMHO, that was a very stupid thing to do. Microsoft cannot take it back because it has been widely reported, so you should understand they are pretty desperate. They will force users to upgrade rather than be humiliated.

All the major tech players make market projections for stockholders Joe so this is no big deal. When stock analysts later point out that the target goal is unlikely to be met the company always has an explanation ready for why they will miss along with an adjusted target goal. I remember when Blackberry was in a freefall back in 2008 and they were resetting their projected sales goal almost weekly. It was rather humorous but I guess less so if you actually owned shares in the the company.

This article has me confused. My understanding was that the free upgrade to Windows 10 was optional and that the offer was going to expire next May. This article seems to be saying that we are all going to be force fed Windows 10 at a time of Microsoft's choosing whether we want it or not. If that was their intention all along then you have to wonder why they created the free upgrade offer in the first place. I have accepted that Windows 7 will not be supported for much longer but I believe I have the right to decided when it's time to upgrade. I wonder how many will move to a Linux setup or Apple if Microsoft continues to act in this manner.

@crosseyedlemon Windows 7 EOL is 2020. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle?p1=14481
5 years left. I will use every last drop.
And that is assuming that Windows 10 actually is successful, which may not happen. A lot of people are unhappy with the privacy invasions and forced updates. That might kill it, which might extend Windows 7's life. As XP's life was extended by Vista's failure.

And Vic thanks for the great tip...again!

The upgrade offer runs through JULY 28th, 2016. 1 year from July 29th, 2015, the day Win10 was first made available to the general public.

The upgrade is certainly optional. As the title says, this article applies only to those who reserved a copy of Windows 10 back in earlier days. If you reserved a copy, Microsoft assumes you want it. If you didn't specifically reserve a copy, you may be nagged to upgrade but nothing will be downloaded unless you agree to it.

Well. it seems I was wrong to assume that Microsoft would not download Windows 10 unless you indicated you want it. It has been reported that anyone who gets Windows updates automatically may get Windows 10 downloaded to their system whether they asked for it or not. It doesn't get installed but it takes up a lot of space.

Thank you for clearing that up Vic. Your doing a fantastic job here at Gizmos keeping us informed on important tech developments.