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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Windows 7 user getting annoyed by GWX? (UPDATED 2019-OCT)

UPDATE 2016-09-27:
Microsoft has issued KB3184143, which should remove Get Windows 10 (GWX) entirely.
Try installing this update instead of the manual procedure outlined below.
Here's a direct download link of KB3184143 for Win7 x64 (9.83MB).

Manual method:
Not ready to move to Windows 10 just yet?
Wanna do it only when YOU decide, and not be forced by Microsoft?

Here's a complete guide on how to remove GWX (Get Windows 10) and prevent it from re-appearing on your precious Windows 7 OS:

Open Add or Remove Programs > View Installed updates > Search for and Uninstall KB3035583. Uninstall all the updates listed below, if they're in that list.

Open "Windows Update" and click Check for Updates. Hide the following updates (right click and select hide). Note that some are listed as Important/Recommended and some are listed as Optional Updates:
KB2952664 (Compatibility Diagnostics)
KB3021917 (Performance Diagnostics)
KB3035583 (Installs GWX)
KB3068708 (Updates Diagnostic and Telemetry Service)
KB3075249 (Adds Telemetry points to consent.exe)
KB3080149 (Diagnostics and Telemetry Tracking)
KB3123862 ("helps" users upgrade to Win10)
KB3146449 ("helps" users upgrade to Win10 via IE11)
KB3150513 (Compatibility Diagnostics)
KB4524752 (Win7 EOL Nag screen)

Open regedit, and take complete ownership of the following key and its sub keys: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Schedule\TaskCache.

Do a search in the following registry key:
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Schedule\TaskCache\Tasks\{...}
Inside each task folder, there is a value named "path". Delete all tasks that contain GWX in the "data" of the "path" key.

2nd removal option - Open CMD with admin rights and type:
wusa /uninstall /KB:3035583 /quiet /promptrestart
Restart if necessary.

3rd removal option: Open CMD with admin rights and type the following two commands:
reg delete "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Schedule\TaskCache\Tree\Microsoft\Windows\Setup\GWX" /f

reg delete "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Schedule\TaskCache\Tree\Microsoft\Windows\Setup\GWXTriggers" /f

Delete all relevant references to GWX from the file system as well (use Everything by VoidTools).

The following steps are to prevent GWX from appearing ever again:
1. Open CMD with admin rights and type the following command:
reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\GWX" /v "DisableGWX" /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

2. Win7 Pro/Ultimate/Enterprise only: Open GPEDIT.MSC > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Turn off the upgrade to the latest version of Windows through Windows Update: Set to Enabled.

Win7 Home Premium users could try running this command. Open CMD with admin rights and type:
reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate" /v "DisableOSUpgrade" /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

3. Remove the file(s) generaltel.dll. Search for it and for its backups in the WinSxS folder (using Everything), and delete them all. You will have to take ownership of those files in order to be able to delete them.

The following steps are to remove the Windows 10 installation folder:
In Windows Explorer, open Folder options > View Tab, and do the following:
- CHECK Show hidden files, folder and drives
- UNCHECK hide protected operating system files (if prompted, click Yes)
- UNCHECK hide extensions for known file types
- Click OK to save these changes and close the window.

If you have the C:\$Windows.~BT folder,
Click Start > type "Clean" > open Disk Cleanup > select the drive Windows is installed onto (typically C:) > click OK.

Wait till the scan is finished (usually a few seconds). If you see "Temporary Windows installation files", put a check next to it > click OK. When it's finished, check your C: drive to see if its gone.

Another option to remove the $Windows.~BT folder:
take ownership of the entire folder, and delete it.
This folder is actually the Windows 10 installer, and weighs around 4.5GB - 5.5GB.

Yes, Microsoft downloaded the entire Windows 10 installation without your consent and without letting you be aware of that.
Done and dusted!