Never 10: prevent upgrades to Windows 10
Never 10 is a new program by Gibson Research for machines running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to prevent the upgrade to Windows 10 on these systems.
Microsoft makes it quite difficult for computer users to stay on Windows 7 or 8.1.
Not only is the company re-releasing updates designed to upgrade old Windows versions to Windows 10, it has changed the importance of the Windows 10 update recently on those systems, and -- accidentally it claims -- upgraded systems automatically and without user input before.
Several programs have been created in the past to help users block the upgrade to Windows 10 on computer systems running earlier versions of Windows. The most prominent is GWX Stopper but there are others such as the aptly named I don't want Windows 10.
Never 10 has been designed to add a flag to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 systems that prevents the upgrade to Windows 10 at all costs.
This means that it, unlike GWX Stopper for instance, does not need to be run on the system regularly to prevent the upgrade to Windows 10.
It does mean however that users can set the flag on their own on their system. We have published a guide a couple of months ago that explains how.
The program page does not explain in detail what the program though.
When you run the program, one of three things can happen:
- The program detects that updates are missing and suggests to download and install those. This is indicated by the "Latest Windows Update is not installed in this system" message.
- The program detects that the upgrade to Windows 10 is disabled on the system. This is indicated by the "Windows 10 OS Upgrade is disabled on this system" message.
- The program detects that the upgrade to Windows 10 is enabled. This is indicated by the "Windows 10 OS Upgrade is enabled for this system" message.
Each message lists a different button in the interface. The first an "install update" button to install the required updates, the second an "enable Win10 Upgrade" button to re-enable the upgrade capabilities, and the third a "disable Win10 Upgrade" button to block upgrades to Windows 10 on the system.
So, run once, follow the instructions and either hit the disable button right away, or if updates are missing, download those updates first before you do so.
Gibson Research published technical details that reveal what Never does when it is run. Basically, it sets or removes the following two Registry keys:
- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Gwx, creates the Dword 32-bit value DisableGwx and sets it to 1, or deletes the key.
- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate, creates the Dword 32-bit value DisableOSUpgrade and sets it to 1, or deletes the key.
The reason why Never10 checks whether updates are available first is that Microsoft introduced the Registry keys with the July 2015 update. If those updates are not installed, setting the Registry keys won't do a thing in preventing the upgrade to Windows 10.
If you know your way around the Registry, it may be easier to apply the key directly instead as you won't have to download an extra program for that.
Never 10 is useful to Windows users who don't want to edit the Registry manually, and prefer a simple program that does that for them.
I suggest you create a System Restore backup or some other backup before you run the program though.
Check out our extensive guide to prevent the upgrade to Windows 10 on earlier versions of Windows.
- Never10 1.1 has been released. It introduces read-only protection to the Registry keys that it creates.
- Never10 1.2 removes the read-only Registry key protection.
- Never10 1.3 adds enumeration and deletion of Windows 10 files that were downloaded previously.