Microsoft is downloading Windows 10 to PCs, even if you don’t “reserve” a copy

Some users reporting Windows 10 being pre-loaded as part of an automatic update.

You might be in the process of acquiring Windows 10—whether you want the free upgrade or not. Microsoft has confirmed that it is “helping upgradable devices get ready for Windows 10 by downloading the files they need” in the event that owners decide to migrate to the new OS, even if they have heretofore passed up on “reserving” their free upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.

The issue seems to revolve around the Microsoft update KB3035583, and as such it appears to only afflict individuals who have chosen to receive automatic updates. As far as we can tell, if you have automatic updates turned off, Windows 10 won’t be pre-loaded onto your PC.

According to The Inquirer, the situation was first reported by an anonymous reader who claimed to have discovered a hidden directory called $Windows.~BT on his computer, despite not opting in for a free upgrade to Windows 10. The directory weighed in at “3.5GB to 6GB,” according to the reader.

“I thought Microsoft [said] this ‘upgrade’ was optional. If so, why is it being pushed out to so many computers where it wasn’t reserved, and why does it try to install over and over again?” he told the outlet.

His concerns are mirrored by numerous people across the Internet, who have been reporting similar revelations since as early as July. Getting rid of the unwanted files isn’t as quite as simple as clicking the delete button, unfortunately. But it doesn’t require any significant computer knowledge, either. Addictive Tips has a concise solution for the dilemma, which involves uninstalling the KB3035583 update prior to removing the actual folder.

While potentially disconcerting at first blush, the news isn’t exactly a shocker. Microsoft has been aggressive about promoting Windows 10, bombarding Windows 7 & 8 users with pop-ups suggesting the change. More crucially, by opting for automatic upgrades, a user is essentially agreeing to allow software developers to do as they will—in this case, proactively downloading Windows 10 in preparation for any changes of heart.

Here’s Microsoft’s statement to The Inquirer, in full:

For individuals who have chosen to receive automatic updates through Windows Update, we help upgradable devices get ready for Windows 10 by downloading the files they’ll need if they decide to upgrade.

When the upgrade is ready, the customer will be prompted to install Windows 10 on the device.




4 Responses to “Microsoft is downloading Windows 10 to PCs, even if you don’t “reserve” a copy”

  1. Lynn says:

    They failed by giving it free. Soon woke people up to the agenda, as we say in Yorkshire you don’t get owt for nowt.

  2. Aldous says:

    Another interesting development it would seem, is that those who have not enabled automatic updates are now getting a ‘learn more’ pop-up which when clicked on, advises the user that the ‘free download’ (making the computer Windows 10 ready) is a time limited offer and the usual price is $200 or something, I forget the amount.

    This is clearly meant to be intimidatory, even though the user would still get a further warning later on (I assume) such as, ‘Do you want the following programme to make changes to this computer’?

    However, by previously enabling the Windows 10 download, the user is now just one click away from installing Windows 10 – and there will be no going back, as a new and complex Operating System is well outside the intended purpose or capability of any Restore Point application – or so I’m told.

    I also wouldn’t mind betting that Vista and Windows 7 and 8.1 updates will be ended much earlier than previous operating systems such as XP.

    There’s definitely something very dodgy and sinister about Windows 10 as in ‘Beware of Greeks bearing gifts’.

    “Do not trust the Windows 10 Trojan horse. Whatever it is, I fear the Microsoft Geeks even when they bring gifts.”
    ~ Virgil’s Aeneid, Book 2, 19 BC (parody)

    The Classics are no longer widely taught or read, so this phrase is now little used, although it was resurrected in a sideways reference during a 1990s copyright dispute. There was considerable discussion then, in Internet chat rooms etc., regarding the company Compuserve, which owned the copyright to the GIF image format, and their possible intentions to restrict its use. Some people feared that they might be taken to law by Compuserve if they received and viewed GIF images without permission. The phrase “beware of geeks bearing gifs” was coined to sum that up.

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