Microsoft says a glitch stealthily installed Windows 10 on Windows 7 and 8 PCs

Windows 10
This debacle will hardly have helped to persuade any folks who are on the fence regarding Windows 10

Microsoft has finally admitted that Windows 10 has been trying to install itself on some Windows 7 and Windows 8 PCs without the knowledge of the owners of said machines.

This has been widely reported for some time now, so it's about time Redmond came forward with some clarification on the issue.

As Forbes reports, Microsoft explained that the problem was due to an apparent bug with an automatic update that was rolled out to Windows 7 and 8 users starting back in August – triggering multiple unauthorised attempted installations in some cases.

Indeed, one reader sent Forbes a screenshot of his system's update history showing no less than 31 failed attempts to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro – basically the OS was trying to upgrade itself every single day.

Some users were afflicted by these failed attempts happening in the background and likely completely unnoticed – until they checked their update history – whereas others who were unluckier actually had the Windows 10 installation process fire up when they rebooted their machine following a round of updates.

All fixed

So, this was a very messy bug, and frankly we'd have been extremely displeased (to say the least) if the latter scenario had happened to us. The good news, though, is that Microsoft says the glitch has now been fixed, a fact confirmed by some users who were previously plagued by multiple failed attempts to upgrade.

Microsoft, of course, wants to push Windows 10 hard and see adoption figures soar to extinguish the sour memory of Windows 8 – but this incident, and the fact that the bug continued to persist for so long, is hardly likely to help persuade fence sitters to upgrade.

Redmond has just rolled out Windows 10's first big upgrade, which includes performance boosts – apparently the OS now boots 30% faster than Windows 7 – along with stability tweaks, new features for the Edge browser, and business features to make it easier for IT admins to deploy the operating system across an organisation's machines.

Let's hope that no new glitches are introduced on the scale of this update faux pas…

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).