In 2016, people who are running Windows 7 and 8/8.1 on their PCs will be upgraded to 10 if Windows Update is set to “automatic”.

This is because Microsoft will soon add the Windows 10 Upgrade option to the system update feature of those earlier operating systems, and then at some point next year change its status from “Optional” to “Recommended” (via Engadget).

As you may know, all “recommended” Windows updates are installed automatically at 3am (or whenever your system is set to do so), so we fully expect a lot of people to wake up one morning in 2016 to find they’ve gone from Windows 7/8/8.1 to Windows 10 overnight.

Particularly people who aren’t all that computer-savvy, which we think will cause much phoning of relatives for tech support.

Windows Update is one of those features that a lot of computer users set to automatic and then never touch again, because it’s the most convenient way to ensure your system is always up to date with the latest security patches.

Should you be resisting upgrading to Windows 10 for whatever reason, the way to make sure your system doesn’t automatically perform the update is to set Windows Update to either download all updates but ask you which you’d like to install, not download any updates at all (not recommended), or to merely notify you that updates are available and then let you choose which you want.

You could also un-tick the option that says “Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates”.

Win8 Windows Update Screen
Windows 8.1’s Windows Update settings screen.

That adds quite a bit to your general PC admin, but it’s the only way to avoid the automatic Windows 10 upgrade.

This is how things stand right now, but should Microsoft get feedback from enough people that this isn’t what they want, there’s still time to make adjustments to their update plans.

On the positive side, Windows 10’s actually a pretty good operating system going on personal experience and plenty of anecdotal evidence, so upgrading isn’t actually all that bad an idea.

[Source – Engadget]
Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.