Skip to main content

Microsoft Tricking Users Into Windows 10 Upgrades

There are many reasons to upgrade to Windows 10, but Microsoft appears to have decided it doesn't want to convince users anymore. A recent change to the upgrade prompt is fooling Windows 7 and 8 users into installing the new OS when they try to reject it.

Image: Shutterstock / omihay

Before last week, users could defer the upgrade by clicking the X in the top right corner of the Get Windows 10 prompt window. Now if users click that X, they unknowingly provide consent to -- you guessed it -- upgrade to Windows 10.

MORE: Best Chromebooks Available Now

If you want to postpone the update, you need to click the "click here to change upgrade schedule or cancel scheduled upgrade" option. Unfortunately, users trained to click the X to close annoying pop-up windows may overlook this small line of text. 

In a statement, Microsoft admitted that the change in upgrade process was intentional, explaining that "If the customer wishes to continue with their upgrade at the designated time, they can click 'OK' or close the notification with no further action needed."

Dismissing the window without clicking on the cancel link could be construed as accepting an update, but that is not good enough. Active consent should be the only way to confirm a Windows 10 update.

Image: Tom's Hardware

Long-time Microsoft blogger Paul Thurott is calling B.S. on this tactic, declaring "The violation of trust here is almost indescribable." And he's right, this trickery is the kind of nonsense that obliterates consumer faith in Microsoft, and will push customers away to Macs or Chromebooks.

PCWorld's Brad Chacos reports that his wife is one of the users deceived into upgrading, and that she isn't just accepting this change. She's actually shopping for a new computer: an Apple Mac Mini.

If you were one of the users tricked into upgrading your PC to Windows 10, and you don't like it, switching platforms isn't your only option. We've got instructions for how restore Windows 7 or 8.

We've made plenty of arguments for why you should upgrade to Windows 10 -- for instance, it's no longer free after July 29 -- but your PC should be under your control. It's your computer, not Microsoft's.

After graduating from Bard College a B.A. in Literature, Henry T. Casey worked in publishing and product development at Rizzoli and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, respectively. Henry joined Tom's Guide and LAPTOP having written for The Content Strategist, Tech Radar and Patek Philippe International Magazine. He divides his free time between going to live concerts, listening to too many podcasts, and mastering his cold brew coffee process. Content rules everything around him.