Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Windows 10 - You Will Be Assimilated

Ran across this potentially alarming bit of news last week.

Microsoft starts pushing Windows 10 as a 'recommended' update: Microsoft is stepping up its Windows 10 push by making the OS a 'recommended' -- though not required -- update for Windows 7 and 8.1 users, beginning February 1. Mary Jo Foley

This could be good news if you've been planning to upgrade to Windows 10 and just haven't gotten around to it. But, for many of us, this is not in our plans and an upgrade that's snuck in could have disastrous consequences. For example, if you have older computers running older software. Some of this software may not be compatible with Windows 10. And if you have older peripherals like scanners or printers, they may not have Windows 10 drivers.

So, you may want to choose not to upgrade older computers at all. This makes a lot of sense particularly if you're planning on getting new computers in the next year or so and would like to keep the older ones working in the meantime. Or you may just want to upgrade on your own time schedule instead of Microsoft's. At any rate, it would probably be useful to circumvent their automatic upgrade until you're ready.

So here are some directions and screen shots for how to change your update settings in Windows 7.

From the Start Menu, choose Windows Update.

start menu windows update

Click on Change Settings from the left hand navigation barwindows update change settings

You have a couple of choices from this screen. If you have Windows Update set to Install Updates Automatically but you don't want the Windows 10 recommended update automatically installed, you can just uncheck the box that sayse Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates.

Or you can change how you receive all updates to download but choose whether to install or even to check for updates but decide whether to download and install.

But if you change your automatic updating procedures, do make sure you download and install Windows updates on a regular basis as there are often important security updates included.

Finally, if you DO decide to go ahead and upgrade your Windows 7 and/or Windows 8 or 8.1 computers to Windows 10, be sure to backup your hard drives first. Windows does offer a rollback. If within a month, you decided that Windows 10 is not for you, you can go back to your previous operating system. Microsoft is reportedly keeping a backup of your system for that month. Go to Settings > Update & security  > Recovery. But, it's always good to have your own backup, just in case.

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