The definitive guide to stopping forced Windows 10 upgrades (GWX) permanently

Screenshot: Forced upgrade to Windows 10 in progress

Screenshot of the Get Windows 10 (GWX) app, which forces users to upgrade to Windows 10

So… are you annoyed by the Get Windows 10 (GWX) app which hogs your bandwidth and tries to persuade you to upgrade to Windows 10? And you want to put a stop to it? You are in the right place.

I have not posted in this blog for two years now. (Well, one year and 11 month, to be exact.) When I started this blog, it appeared to me the world was going in the direction that was reducing computing problems by the day, making the act of documenting them all (with a solution) something close to achievable. But now, we are in the era of chaos and confusion. Everyday, everyone has a unique baffling problem and the source is the new generation of Windows and Office. (More accurately, Windows 8.x, Windows 10 and Office 2016.) But today, I am writing about a problem that has annoyed many, even though I am admittedly very late. I am just doing so many people are wrestling with this problem in vain.

The solution is:

Get a proper personal firewall!

A proper personal firewall is one that can control outbound traffic on a per app basis interactively. That means, when an app attempts to connect to the Internet for the first time, the firewall interacts with you to ask whether you want to allow it. Sure, you allow Firefox, Chrome, Opera and such legit apps to connect. But you stop botnet agents, trojan horses, spyware … and GWX! When this app attempts to contact Microsoft and fetch a copy of Windows 10, your personal firewall can stop it. With  a proper personal firewall, you are the master of your own computer.

I have used a personal firewall ever since I started using the Internet. I have used Norton Internet Security, ZoneAlarm, BitDefender, Kaspersky Internet Security, and Comodo Internet Security in chronological order. Norton Internet Security is not sold anymore. ZoneAlarm is aged. BitDefender and Kaspersky Internet Security have moved towards non-interactive firewall. Comodo Internet Security still offers a firewall that has full interactive security and is freeware.

Be the master of your computer; or else, others are out there that jump at sight of vacancy on the master’s seat.

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Posted on 18 May 2016, in Windows Administration and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. If blocking GWX using firewall works then it would be better. Let’s hope svchost.exe (hosting BITS, WU) doesn’t do the background work for GWX. “Never10” (from grc,com) is another option. Or if Windows 10 is already downloaded (3+ GB), decline the licence terms and stay back with the current OS. Other options listed here may work: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/windows-10-download-windows-7-8/

    • Yes. I always thought if Microsoft wanted to integrate the thing so tightly with Windows Update that a firewall cannot stop it without impeding regular updates, it could. But it hasn’t. Still, a good personal firewall provides ample services not just in the way of program control but for seeing network traffic, finding the culprit responsible and a kill switch to kill it.

      • John, If you ask me.. you should better upgrade to Windows 10.. not saying it’s rock solid as Windows 7, but to get the taste of new technology. I wouldn’t say that to average users though.

      • Perhaps the next time I buy a new computer. This one has some exotic hardware that are incompatible. But I expect I will have Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

        Still, Windows 10 is hideous.

  2. Ditto. When anniversary update releases, I’ll be phasing out my lovely 7-yo Vostro 1520 workhorse and moving to OptiPlex 9020 which I already bought. Got to give her some rest.

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