Microsoft has really gone all-in when it comes to alerting (some would say “annoying”) their Windows 7 and 8.1 users about upgrading to Windows 10. As a sys admin, you’re probably wanting to disable Windows 10 upgrade notice for all of your computers. (Note: These notifications do not occur in the Enterprise and Embedded editions of 7 and 8.1)
There are several methods for preventing either an OS upgrade or the notifications but, as usual, let’s focus on how to disable these silently across many computers in your organization.
Disable Windows 10 Upgrade Notice
Option I – Import the pre-built package from the Package Library
After importing you can simply deploy this package to your existing Windows 7 and 8.1 computers. If you use PDQ Inventory you can select a the appropriate collections for these OSes as your targets. This will help you avoid deploying this unnecessarily to Non 7/8.1 targets.
The package in the Package Library already has the OS conditions set to only use Windows 7 and 8.1.
Option II – Build your own PDQ Deploy package
I am going to use a batch file so that this can accommodate the users of the Free version of PDQ Deploy. In the Pro and Enterprise versions you could simply use Command steps.
Create a batch file using an appropriate editor such as Notepad or Notepad++. Enter the following four lines into your new batch file.
ECHO OFF %SYSTEMROOT%\System32\taskkill.exe /f /im GWX.exe /im GWXUX.exe REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Gwx" /v DisableGwx /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate" /v DisableOSUpgrade /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
- Save your new batch file. In this example I am calling the file DisableGWX.bat and placing it in a new folder on my C:\ drive called Deploy.
- In PDQ Deploy create a new package and name it appropriately (or inappropriately, I don’t care).
- Add your batch file to the Install File field. In this example you don’t really need to modify the Success Codes field. Just a note, if you are using Command Steps and you are separating the Taskkill line into a separate command then make sure to use the following Success Codes: 0,128
- If you are using the Pro or Enterprise version of PDQ Deploy go to the Conditions tab and deselect all the O/S Versions except Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
- Save and close your new PDQ package.
- Click the Deploy button and deploy this to a few test computers. If you have a computer near-to-hand that has the Get Windows 10 (GWX) icon in the systray then you will be able to get pretty fast feedback as to whether or not this deployment works. The batch file will simply kill the gwx.exe and gwxux.exe processes (if they are running) and then add some registry values which will prevent further notifications and/or upgrades.
Optionally, you could uninstall the offending patch (KB3035583) that placed GWX on the system but, depending on how your Windows updates get delivered, it could get reinstalled. By making the registry changes listed above you should be covered.
I won’t go into deleting the Task Schedules created by the KB3035583 patch because the registry settings above effectively neuter these tasks.
Option III – Group Policy
You can also use Group Policy to disable Windows 10 upgrade notice as well as upgrades. You can see how to do this (as well get some other useful information) by visiting this Microsoft KB article.