Is Microsoft Forcing Windows 10 on You?

Category: Windows

Microsoft is pushing Windows 10 harder than it’s ever pushed any previous version of its flagship product. Every device out there has received the “Get Windows 10” installation utility, which nags users to download and install Win 10. But Microsoft has gone a step further, actually pushing multi-gigabytes of Win 10 files onto the hard drives of people who haven’t asked for it. Here's what to do...

Get Rid of Unwanted Windows 10 Files

It's just to make things easier on you when you decide to do the right thing, and install Windows 10, of course. But if you plan to stick with Windows 7 or 8.1 for a while, these Win 10 files are crapware: stuff you didn’t request and don’t plan to use, and which are just taking up scarce storage space.

Here’s how to get rid of them, and how to get Windows 10 when you are ready.

The “Get Windows 10” downloader and system tray nagware was installed by Windows Update as Update KB3035583. This was a pretty sneaky trick; the update’s description says only, “enables additional capabilities for Windows Update notifications when new updates are available to the user.”

No Thanks, Windows 10!

Uninstalling KB3035583 gets rid of the “Get Windows 10” utility on most systems. To uninstall the update on Windows 7 or Windows 8 systems: Go to Control Panel, then Programs, then Programs and Features. Click on “View Installed Updates" and you will see the list of installed updates in your Windows system. Search for KB3035583, select it with the mouse, and choose “Uninstall“. If a User Account Control (UAC) dialog asks for your confirmation, click on “Yes“.

Next, you need to make sure Windows Update doesn’t install KB3035583 again. Type “windows update” in the Start menu search box and click on that phrase at the top to open Windows Update. Click “change settings” in the left-hand sidebar. Uncheck “Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates.”

How Important Is Windows 10?

Some users reported that KB3035583 was elevated to “important” status on their machines. If that’s the case on your computer, you’ll need to hide KB3035583 to prevent it from being installed with other important updates. Highlight KB3035583 in the list of available updates, right-click, and select “hide update.”

There's no hurry to move up to Windows 10. Microsoft's Windows lifecycle fact sheet shows the support dates for all versions of the operating system. You can safely use Windows 7 until at least January 2020, when it is scheduled to reach "end of extended support." For Windows 8, the date is January 2023.

If the “Get Windows 10” utility has already downloaded part or all of the full set of Windows 10 upgrade files, you may want to recover that 6 GB of disk space. The files will be in a system folder on your boot drive (typically C:) named $Windows.~BT.

System files and folders may be hidden from view. To reveal them, open File Explorer to view your C: drive and click “Organize” on the menu bar. Select “Folder and search options” and then the “View” tab. Check the “Show hidden files…” radio button.

If you find $Windows.~BT don’t simply delete it. Instead, run the Disk Cleanup tool, which will run for a while. (You'll find it via the Start Menu.) When it’s ready, you will see a window full of items that you can select for deletion. Check “Temporary Windows installation files” and “Windows Update Cleanup” as show in the image below.

When you click “OK” the Disk Cleanup tool will ask if you’re sure you want to delete these files permanently; answer “yes.” Reboot your system and you’re good to go.

When you’re good and ready to install Windows 10, just follow the instructions in my article, How To Get Windows 10 Right Now. Keep in mind that the timeframe to upgrade your Windows 7/8 system to Windows 10 for free ends on July 29, 2016. My guess is that date will be extended, but there's no guarantee of that.

Also note that each time you install Windows 10, you get 30 days to change your mind and revert back to your previous version of Windows. I covered this procedure in How To Undo A Windows 10 Upgrade.

Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Is Microsoft Forcing Windows 10 on You?"

(See all 52 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

07 Oct 2015

I followed your instructions for removing the forced Windows 10 files from my computer, but they are still there. I have two folders named $Windows.~BT-old (I renamed it to old) and $Windows.~WS.

I also can no longer find KB3035583 when checking Installed Updates.

Posted by:

08 Oct 2015

Update to my previous post. I renamed $Windows.~BT-old back to its original name and re-ran Disk Cleanup and it removed it all. However, the folder named $Windows.~WS is still there, so I'm not sure what to make of that.

Posted by:

08 Oct 2015

Hi Bob,
Windows Vista to Windows 7 upgrade cost $119, and Windows 7 upgrade to Windows 10 is free. Windows 10 cost $199. Really, for making a double upgrade can I spear $80? (prices are as per your blogs)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Sounds reasonable to me. You can probably find a Win7 upgrade disk on Ebay even cheaper than that.

Posted by:

08 Oct 2015

The two files are on my system but they are not listed when I run Disk Cleanup.
Is it OK to just delete them.

Posted by:

top squirrel
08 Oct 2015

Yesterday the nagging began, in which my firewall asked whether I would allow GWXUX.exe (or thereabouts) to modify a protected key in the registry. There was a windows logo nearby. I said no and the request popped up again. And again. And again. After a half-dozen 'no's it stayed quiescent for a while until it started again. Now I haven't restarted my machine yet after deleting the update KB3035583 (have to save a whole lot of stuff I've created and am working on), but I wonder: (1) Has this started because I acted to delete that update? And (2) after I restart the machine and presumably get rid of it, will the relentless requests go away?
Also, I am beginning to wonder whether it would be less stressful to return to my once-trusty pencil and yellow pad. I might even learn to write with a pencil again.
What we need now, Bob, is a newsletter column on how to deal with these issues, mine and the other people's. Isn't it wonderful how computers gives you so much material to write about? Column subjects one after the other handed right to you.

Posted by:

08 Oct 2015

Most Excellent Bob! I just finished running the drill as per your instructions. You can't imagine the thrill of not seeing that nag ware and not postponing again tonight.
Live Well and be Happy!

Posted by:

09 Oct 2015

I did upgrade one of my computers to Windows 10, and I am not thrilled with it. In particular, I am not happy with it being forced down our throats. It is not bug free, and way too intrusive.

I have advised my customers not to upgrade at this time.

Posted by:

13 Oct 2015

Hi Bob, thank you for this article!
I ran across mention of a free, which is described as 'a very simple tool that automates the removal of "Get Windows 10 app" and that recovers the related disk storage.'
They also note, "we hope you would not mind if we display a some advertisement . . . . " which made me a bit nervous.
I am wondering if you or any of your faithful readers have experience with the win10wiwi tool and what you think about it?

EDITOR'S NOTE: It makes me a bit nervous, too. Especially since there is another way to do it for free.

Posted by:

26 Oct 2015

Beware: "Win10wiwi" is malware! Do NOT install this on your system!

I installed that turkey on two Windows 7 systems yesterday, ran the application as instructed, shut down and restarted each as instructed, and bingo: On one of the systems I now have the monitor fading to black at random every few seconds, and on the other system I now have a half-faded "Out of system memory" error popup in the middle of the screen, which locks up the system.

I set both to system restore before going to work this morning ('didn't have time to get them up and running to test,) but at this point I'm assuming I'm going to have to do a drive wipe and clean OS install.

Thank you very little, "" You're almost as bad as the Orwellian fools at Microsoft who are trying to turn our computers into telescreens.

Posted by:

Grant StClair-Armstrong
22 Jan 2016

Hello Bob,

Well, I bit the bullet and downloaded and installed W10 on one of my desktops. I was very frustrated at first because of the wholly unnecessary changes Microsoft had made and came close to reverting back to 7. However, I persevered and started to find my way round, with a bit of help from the WWW. All I can say is, W10 is OK but nothing special.

My gripes are, the time it takes the system to boot and moving different modules to the most illogical places but my biggest gripe is the amount of trash I see under 'all apps', ie, x-box. There are so many that you cannot remove and they all help to slow down the navigation process.

To sum up, Windows 10 is not an improvement IMHO and not worth the effort.

Posted by:

DBA Steve
04 Feb 2016

THANK YOU, Bob. Win 10 nagging has ceased.

By the way, I *love* the term nag-ware.

Posted by:

06 Feb 2016

If, you want to control the Windows 10 nag-ware - I would suggest using GWX Control Panel. I have been using it, for the past couple of months or so and am mightily pleased!!! :)

You can get the program at:

There are 2 versions - An exe. version and a msi. version. The User Help Guide comes with the program. Normal PC users can do it, it's that easy. All you do is click on some buttons and you are done. No more nagging!!!

Posted by:

Bob Greene
08 Feb 2016

Very useful column, especially as Microsoft shifts its W10 migration push into higher gear. The heavy-handed Microsoft W10 campaign confirms skepticism of any corporate agenda is always a good policy.

The irresistible Microsoft bargain of "free Windows" comes with a fine-print limitation that only grows with importance over time. To run a free Windows 10, hardware must be powerful enough to remain under the (movable) Microsoft definition of suitability.

Compare that with most years previous, when Microsoft seriously understated the hardware required to run a new Windows version, all to promote upgrades. Now, somewhat the opposite-- the Microsoft W10 stipulation opens a future of accelerated Windows hardware sales, merely to keep pace with the moving Microsoft definition of an "eligible" system. Currently, a Windows CPU must offer PAE, SSE2 and NX features to run W10 properly.

Posted by:

John O
08 Feb 2016

Thanks for the KB3035583 heads up . It took 4 tries to actually eliminate it. It kept reappearing but on try four it stayed away and the Windows white flag of surrender disappeared too.

Thanks again


Posted by:

Roger Hass
13 Feb 2016

I have said it before, but it is worth repeating.

Windows 10 is the ultimate Spy Tool.
- and I do NOT believe in Conspiracy Theories, only facts !!!

Microsoft has broken so many Laws across all Western Countries, contravened most of the USA and Australian Constitution and have just about broken every Privacy Act Laws in Australia.

Microsoft has become so arrogant that they believe to be above the Law anywhere and believe they are the ultimate power as far as IT is concerned.

This arrogance of Microsoft and their true Masters needs to be severely curtailed !

This is going to be difficult as I believe Microsoft to be under Zionist control to establish a New World Order, which is their publicly known agenda. The collecting of your personal data and habits is part of creating a Profile Dossier on every person on this planet in order to police any individual. What Hitler and other Dictators Failed to do "Control the World", The Zionist through Microsoft and Windows 10 are now achieving "World Domination", and I don't refer or mean that it is the Game by the same name.

Be aware and don't use or install windows 10 - There are other Operating Systems that I believe are as good and don't Spy on you or breach the Laws.
- Try Ubuntu Desktop or Server for your computing needs and then there are Office products as good as Microsoft Office like Apache OpenOffice. both are free, yes FREE.

You decide, put up with being spied on or not ?

Roger H. / PC-Bug Fixer / Sydney Australia

Posted by:

18 Feb 2016

Bob, thank you so much for telling us how to get rid of the dreaded KB3035583 Windows 10 bad bad update! This girl is very happy with Windows 7 and will probably hang onto it until the world comes to an end, or Microsoft comes up with a really truly good new OS. Over the years you have been #1 on my "Trustworthy List" and I thank you.

Posted by:

Deb E
16 May 2016

I clicked on the option to cancel the update, which they were so nice to provide at least. We'll see tomorrow if the persistent update requests are truly gone or if they reappear next time I log on.

I had to make the selection today since a message popped up when I was inactive for a bit, noting that my PC is "scheduled" for the Windows 10 update, although I never authorized that. It gave me three days notice at least, so very thankful it didn't just do it automatically!! I hadn't decided yet but when they said today they were going to update unless I said no, it made me decide to just say NO!! Like a bad drug, lol.

Posted by:

Earl Jules
18 May 2016

Great article. . .
you're such the wizard around computer-ware...
Thanks for being such an advocate for "the rest of us"...
* * *
How do we avoid Win 10 when buying a new computer...?
Don't buy from that vendor unless Win 7 or Win 8/8.1 is available...? Until that time. . . Earl J.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I just bought a Dell Business PC (Optiplex) with Windows 7 Pro. It came with a Windows 10 install CDROM, just in case I want to upgrade.

Posted by:

18 May 2016

I have apparently been able to get rid of KB3035583 per your instructions and then discovered that Microsoft had placed "Install Windows 10" in the "Important Update" position. I have unchecked it and hid it three times and now it looks as if it has disappeared.

I was unable to do the removal of the $Windows.~BT file as Disk Cleanup did not produce either of the files: "Temporary Windows Installation Files" or " Windows Update Cleanup". Your article also says there will be an image showing what this window will look like but that image is missing in this article. I do use this feature from time to time so I am not unfamiliar with Disk Cleanup but I am wondering why I do not have the described files to delete and what happened to that image you mentioned?

Lastly, thank you, thank you, thank you for tirelessly working to make life easier for those of us who just want an operating system that works for us without us working for Microsoft!!!

Posted by:

06 Aug 2018

I think so windows forcing me always and shows the notification of the windows update If any idea on how to remove and avoid this problem please suggest me. Regarding this problem I already discuss with windows technical support Team.

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