Microsoft makes another sneaky move in pushing Windows 10 upgrades

Windows 10

By now, we are surely all familiar with how hard Microsoft has been pushing those on Windows 7/8.1 to upgrade to Windows 10, but there's a new twist in this tale to watch out for with Redmond apparently now scheduling upgrades via GWX (Get Windows 10) without asking the user.

Normally, the persistent GWX pop-up reminder merely keeps continually reminding you of the fact that a free Windows 10 upgrade is available until the end of July, and offers you the chance to make that move.

However, as Tom's Hardware reports, depending on your Windows Update settings, GWX is now scheduling the OS upgrade to happen with no permission, offering the user the chance to cancel the upgrade on the pop-up box (in other words you have to opt-out, rather than opt-in).

So it would seem that it's worth keeping an eye on what GWX is up to on a regular basis, and making sure there are no messages about anything having been scheduled for your PC if you don't want to upgrade.

You may find there is a message to the effect that: 'Based on your Windows Update settings, this PC is scheduled to upgrade on', followed by a date and time when the upgrade will take place.

You can then click to cancel the process, or to reschedule it to a different time, but of course Microsoft certainly shouldn't be trying to sneak things like this through still.

Unwanted and unnecessary

Users shouldn't have to be watching their PCs like hawks to ensure nothing is amiss in terms of updates. Having your machine fire up an OS upgrade without your knowledge really is – let's find a way of putting this politely, how about: beyond the pale.

Bear in mind, though, that if you do want to take the free upgrade from Windows 7/8.1, you will have to do so soon – you've got just over two months left before the deadline kicks in and the freebie expires. At least in theory, anyway, although from what we've read it certainly sounds like Redmond will be sticking to its guns and there will be no extension of the offer.

As you're likely aware, Microsoft has a long history of somewhat dubious tactics in terms of getting folks to upgrade to its newest OS, from making the move a 'recommended' update, to previous measures like tweaking the GWX prompt to make it more likely that folks will click to upgrade, and interfering with third-party software that blocks the GWX pop-up.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).