Microsoft now automatically marks Windows 10 as a ‘recommended update’ on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 systems. This means installation of Windows 10 automatically starts on systems with ‘automatic updating’ enabled. Previously the update to Microsoft’s latest operating system was marked as an ‘optional update’ which required manual approval of users.
Nevertheless, in both cases the required files are already downloaded. This takes up several GBs even if the user doesn’t want to upgrade. Microsoft argues that the pro-active download makes it as easy and fast as possible to upgrade.
The distribution of Windows 10 as a ‘recommended update’ will be gradually, so not everyone at once will get the upgrade through Windows Update. On computers of users who have enabled ‘automatic updates’ the upgrade to Windows 10 will automatically start. To give users some control, there is still a screen asking if the user really wants to upgrade to Microsoft’s latest OS.
Users that are upgraded but want to revert their decision have 30 days to go back to their previous Windows version, after that period there is no easy way back.
Those that want to be sure that Windows 10 isn’t automatically installed can disable automatic installation of ‘recommend updates’ .
In October last year Microsoft already announced it would make Windows 10 a ‘recommended update’ at the beginning of 2016. Shortly before that announcement the free upgrade was accidently pushed to some users as an update that was automatically installed.
Optional updates are not checked by default, unlike recommended and important updates, which get automatically installed on most systems.