What You Need to Know About the Windows 10 Upgrade
The Windows 10 Upgrade is being offered as a free download until July 29th, 2016. When configured well, Windows 10 offers some improvements over Windows 7 and Windows 8 such as speed, an enhanced user interface and more refined security features. Unfortunately, with every new operating system comes a little less privacy. Windows 10 will report additional information about your computer and your behavior back to Microsoft unless you make careful configuration choices during installation. Said choices require not making use of some of the new, highly touted features of Windows 10 such as the search assistant “Cortana”, which is Windows answer to Apple’s “Siri”.
Who Should Upgrade to Windows 10?
If you have a computer that is less than three years old you will probably meet the hardware requirements of the Windows 10 Upgrade and enjoy some of the speed improvements of the new operating system. For computers between 3-5 years old, you will probably be able to install Windows 10, but your computer may not be able to benefit from the speed improvements. You will get the security benefits of the new operating system and be able to familiarize yourself with the new GUI (graphical user interface – i.e. the visual environment of the computer). Computers that are over 5 years old are considered to be past their expected life, therefore not worth the time and effort to upgrade. You may still be able to install Windows 10 (a built in upgrade checker will run before the installation to advise you if the installation is possible), but you may find that your system will run slower after the installation.
What if I Don’t Want the Windows 10 Upgrade?
Recently, Microsoft began “pushing” the Windows 10 Upgrade to qualified computers as a recommended Windows Update, which most computers are configured to install automatically. Initially, it was believed that all one needed to do to prevent the installation was to say “no” when asked to accept the license agreement. This is true but reports indicate you are re-prompted during subsequent Windows Update installations. In order to permanently remove or prevent the Windows 10 upgrade, two steps must be completed.
If you already installed the upgrade, it can be reversed for up to 30 days from the date of installation. Simply follow the instructions below beginning with Step 1. If you have not installed the upgrade but wish to prevent it go directly to Step 2.
Step 1 – Remove the Windows 10 Upgrade
Click or tap the Start Button at the lower left corner of your display and then select Settings. Choose the Update Security icon and then Recovery. You will see an option to “Go back to” whatever version of Windows was previously installed. Click or tap the Get Started button and follow the remaining instructions.
Step 2 – Prevent the Windows 10 Upgrade
After reversing the update, or if you haven’t gotten the update yet and want to prevent it, visit Steve Gibson’s website. His utility “Never 10” can be downloaded and run to prevent this update until you decide if and when you want it. The green “download now” link is midway down the right side of the page in a shaded box. Steve’s tool also includes a way to remove the Windows 10 installation files, which will free several gigabytes of hard drive space.