It’s already in 2016. We are basically almost halfway through the one-year, free, no-strings-attached upgrade offer that Microsoft has made available for all customers running a legitimate copy of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Personally, I recommend upgrading to Windows 10 but I also understand some of you may have some legitimate reasons to avoid the latest Windows.
For those who can’t take advantage of this free offer, the continual upgrade prompts are annoying and should be blocked. Here is a 30-second process that can make those prompts go away. And it only involves 2 simple registry edits. Thanks to Ed Bott’s tips on ZDnet.
First step – disable automatic upgrades through Windows Update
To accomplish this, you need to navigate to the following key:
Find the AllowOSUpgrade value and change it from 1 to 0. If the value doesn’t exist, you’ll need to create it as a DWORD value.
You can also disable it through Group Policy for network admins in a large corporate network. The setting is called “Turn off the upgrade to the latest version of Windows through Windows Update” and is located at
Computer Configurateion → Administrative Templates → Windows Components → Windows Update
Second step – disable the GWX icon with the persistent notifications from the taskbar
To do this, you need to create the following key:
Then create a DWORD value called DisableGWX and set it to 1.
Restart your computer and the GWX icon should be gone. The change has been tested in both Windows 7 and 8.1 computers with no problems.