Knowledgebase:
Disabling Windows 10 upgrade
Posted by Jared Thomas, Last modified by Jared Thomas on 27 June 2016 11:55 AM

There are a number of different ways to disable the Windows 10 update, some of which are provided and/or documented by Microsoft and other provided by third parties. These methods the ones that we have found to be simplest and most consistent to implement.

Domain Systems

For domian-tied systems, creating group policy that pushes registry changes seems to be the most consistent approach. There are also group policy settings that supposedly directly control GWX but they don't seem to completely work and are (for unexplained reasons) not available on some domains. To remove GWX using Group Policy, follow these steps:

  1. Open GPMC, right-click on the domain name, select Create a GPO and Link it here and name it something obvious like "Remove GWX"
  2. Under the Security Filtering, add Domain Computers (or any other group of computers that you'd like this policy to apply to
  3. Right-click on the GPO and select Edit
  4. Under Computer Configuration, go to Preferences - Windows Settings - Registry
  5. Right-click on Registry, select New - Registry Item and fill out with the following properties:
Action Update
Hive HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Key Path SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\GWX
Value name DisableGwx
Value type REG_DWORD
Value data 1
Base Decimal

    6. Follow the directions in step 5 to create a second registry key with the following properties:

Action Update
Hive HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Key Path SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate
Value name DisableOSUpgrade
Value type REG_DWORD
Value data 1
Base Decimal

 

Workgroup Systems

For non-domain tied systems, we have very good experiences with Never10 which is a small application that performs the above registry changes along with a couple quick checks. Never10 also supports command line arguments so it can hypothetically called from group policy as well but we haven't much luck with this. For more information and download links for Never10, go here: https://www.grc.com/never10.htm.  To use Never10, simply run never10.exe on the target system and click on the Disable Win10 Upgrade button. It doesn't need to remain on the system, nor should it need to be rerun unless something else modifies the changes that it makes.

References

Microsoft KB on "managing Windows 10 notification": https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3080351

Technet article with some alternative approaches: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/charlesa_us/2015/06/25/how-to-remove-block-and-prevent-get-windows-10-application-for-enterprise-environments/

Steve Gibson's detailed page on the GWX registry keys and what Never10 does: https://www.grc.com/never10/details.htm

Making registry edits using group policy: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753092(v=ws.11).aspx

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