Get Windows 10 has the characteristics of malware

Martin Brinkmann
May 25, 2016
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

Computer users who run an older version of Windows -- one that is still supported by Microsoft -- are spending time and effort these days fighting off the Get Windows 10 program that Microsoft pushes on these systems regularly using system updates.

Most computer users who liked the idea of getting a free copy of Windows 10 have upgraded their systems already, and the remaining users who wanted to wait first to see how it evolves will likely do so before the July 29, 2016 deadline to take advantage of the free upgrade offer.

Everyone else however has been fighting hard to prevent the upgrade from happening.

A sane person would probably assume that declining the upgrade once would be enough to keep it off the PC, but that is not the case in regards to Get Windows 10.

Microsoft implemented several tactics since the release of Windows 10 to push the new operating system on systems running Windows 7 or Windows 8, regardless of whether the upgrade was declined once or even multiple times on those systems.

Apart from pushing the upgrade to systems multiple times by changing it so that it reappears even on systems where it has been hidden, Microsoft has tweaked the Get Windows 10 interface itself multiple times since its first release.

While there is nothing wrong with changing a program interface, one would not necessarily expect Microsoft to implement adware or even malware tactics to get users to upgrade to Windows 10.

Get Windows 10

It may sound harsh, but Get Windows 10 has several malware characteristics.

Malware, according to Wikipedia, is "any software used to disrupt computer operations, gather sensitive information, gain access to private computer systems, or display unwanted advertising".

How would you call a program that is pushed on your system, that you cannot get rid of completely, that does not display a clear "no I don't want to upgrade" option, and changes how users can opt-out of the upgrade?

We have already seen Get Windows 10 prompts without no thanks option in the past. At that time, many thought that things could not get worse than that, but if you look at the most Great! your Windows 10 upgrade is scheduled for prompts, you will quickly realize that things have gotten even worse.

Take a look at the following screenshot and tell me how you would cancel the upgrade process.

get windows 10 schedule

The main change over previous iterations of the Get Windows 10 upgrade prompt is that the close button does not prevent the upgrade anymore. In fact, it simply closes the prompt but the upgrade is still on schedule and will be delivered to the PC unless software like Never 10 or GWX Control Panel are installed, or manual countermeasures prevent the upgrade from happening.

Some said that this is exactly how it should work. Since the upgrade is scheduled, closing the window does not change that fact.

The problem with this explanation is that Microsoft deliberately modified the process to get users to upgrade, even if they don't want Windows 10.

Since using the x-icon to close the prompt worked in previous iterations of the Get Windows 10 upgrade prompt, it is very likely that users are caught off guard by the change.

In several previous iterations of the Get Windows 10 upgrade prompt, closing the window using the x-icon was the only option to prevent the upgrade from being installed on the device.

Even worse now, since the upgrade to Windows 10 has been designed by Microsoft to be opt-out instead of opt-in, you could end up with Windows 10 on the PC without ever seeing that prompt and without any chance to block the upgrade from happening.

In case you have not found the "no" option on the screenshot above, it is the "here" link underneath the date and time of the scheduled update.

Get Windows 10 has the characteristics of malware
Article Name
Get Windows 10 has the characteristics of malware
Find out why Microsoft's Get Windows 10 upgrade prompt for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices has the characteristics of malware.
Ghacks Technology News

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.