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Is It Time To Remove GWX Control Panel?

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84 comments on “Is It Time To Remove GWX Control Panel?”

  1. I was not resistant to Win 10, though I did not want to install it on my older machines – a laptop and a desktop. When both computers gave up the ghost within a few days of each other, I bought a new desktop that was loaded with Win 10. I had ordered it with Win 10 Pro, but it came with the lesser version. I considering a change because the pro version has always had a better file manager and could be configured to manage a small office network.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. Thanks, Leo. Just noticed again that my computer (1 1/ yrs old) is starting to run slower and then saw your article. The topic made me wonder if the GWX program might be a contributor, but you mentioned that it doesn’t use a lot of resources, so question answered.

    Mine is installed but think I’ll leave it there for now at least and see what happens. I also have lost a lot of trust in MS.

  3. I was actually just wondering about this the other day. The conclusion that I came to is that it’s not really a big deal installed or not, and I’m just not sure about Microsoft these days. So this article is timely and comes to pretty much the same conclusion.

  4. Thanks for your clear explanations. I am in my 50s, have so much more to learn with computers and the internet, and you have been a great help. I downloaded and have been using GWX Control Panel after hearing you explain it. Windows did change my settings from download important updates and let me choose to install, to Recommended Updates being treated the same way. GWX Control Panel informed me of the change. I am using Windows 8.1. When I went from 8 to 8.1 it is because after many times asking me to change , they just took over the computer and forced it on me. I am so glad to have this GWX Control Panel. Before I was doing my best to avoid the Windows 10 pre-change over stuff by, online, looking into the meaning of some of the downloads that were coming in, and not really knowing what I was doing, and with little confidence about it. I don’t know if I am missing much by skipping the Recommended updates these days and only installing Important Updates that seem to all be Security Updates. I am glad to be getting emails from you and learning more. I just happened to see this latest from you on YouTube! Thanks Again!!

    • Everyone had to upgrade/update Windows 8 to 8.1 for various reasons, it was mandatory and 8.1 is supposed to be better or something…I use 7 so I forget at the moment.

      You weren’t treated any differently that others though.

  5. I deleted the GWX on August 5th but have NOT changed Windows updates to automatically install – just notify me when they are available.

  6. I did try Widows 10 briefly but ran into a number of issues despite my machine being of a fairly high specification (i7 processor/12Gb RAM)
    So I stuck with 8.1, which I like and will probably keep until it is time for a change of machine.
    I have the portable version of GWX controle panel and see no real need to delete it.

  7. Hi Leo, Last week I downloaded and installed the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition upgrade. After hitting some problems with my PC and a customer’s (that I had also upgraded) I rolled both back to the previous, more stable build. Given that I have no control over Windows updates in Windows 10 I was wondering whether GWX Control Panel could be used on a Windows 10 PC to stop it automatically updating to the Anniversary Edition. I would welcome your thoughts!

    • I don’t believe so, that was never its purpose. And, honestly, I expect the Anniversary update to be mandatory at some point. You might wait a while, but you’ll need to take it sometime. (There have been reports of freezes that Microsoft is addressing.)

      • I manage a 60 PC network. Two of the workstations were spontaneously rebooting. Anniversary fixed that for both machines, so far. The best thing in the Anniversary edition is the ability to set a black-out time, where Microsoft won’t force update installations. The earlier editions caused a lot of work interruptions.

  8. As always, I appreciate your even-handed explanations. I’m a Win7 user. I’ve been using GWX Control Panel almost since Win10 was announced. In the beginning I had decided to wait on Win10 until the bugs were worked out, but that year has convinced me that MS can not be trusted so I’m not going to upgrade.

    To answer your question, I’ll keep GWX Control Panel on my computer in “Monitor” mode for another year or so. It doesn’t seem to affect my computer’s performance at all, and I fully expect MS to keep trying to get Win10 onto more machines however they can. They’ve already proved that they have that mindset, and their business model going forward seems to depend on it.

    I’ve had updates set to notify me but wait for me to install for years. I have the time and inclination to vet them before installing, so that works for me.

    • It doesn’t seem likely that Microsoft will start pushing Windows 10 like they did all last year, because it’s no longer free. But on the other hand I completely understand how you feel. Microsoft has done a good job of madking people feel that at any moment, they might do something objectionable.

      • Mark — As you said, MS won’t push Win10 like they did last year, but they have a *lot* invested in getting as many computers as possible running it, so we can assume they will promote it as aggressively as possible. It probably won’t be through GWX, and I probably don’t need to keep GWX Control Panel, but for now it just seems prudent, and does no harm.

  9. As the clock ticked down in late July I ran image backups, removed GWX (after restoring defaults) and installed 10 on three machines. First I did my wife’s and then, once that was successful, did mine. All three upgrades, each needing to run overnight, went without issue and everything works as expected even solving a printer issue I had under 7Pro. I don’t like the graphics in 10 but not enough to do anything about it. I haven’t really found any functional differences between 7Pro and 10 so I’ll probably keep it.

    • In that case, if you want to continue to use that same computer with a supported operating system, you’ll have to purchase a Windows 10 license. I don’t expect many Windows 7 computers will be running 8 years from now.

    • Keep GWX Control Panel and stay on W7.

      Here’s how I’m doing it after W7 end-of
      -life:

      1)I maintain a minimum of 2 refurbished
      W7 machines from Walmart or whoever. These
      can be had for under $200.00, with the usual
      return privileges;
      2)I keep GWX Control Panel and Never10
      on both machines;
      3)I maintain images of both W7 C: drives on an
      external hard drive, but first I…
      4)scan both C: drives every which way but
      loose before creating their images with
      Macrium Reflect;
      5)I keep all security programs up to date
      and supplement them with anti-ransomware
      (Malwarebytes has a free beta version);
      6)I supplement the safe computing and surfing
      practices suggested by Leo and others with
      a working knowledge of sandboxing and virtual
      machines, and use those tools to stay safe.

      Now, if I’m hit by, let’s say, ransomware on one
      of these refurbished computers, I use the Macrium
      Reflect rescue disk to boot up the infected
      machine, then connect the external drive, and restore
      the W7 image.

      That will take 1 or 2 hours. Meanwhile, I’ll be
      conducting business online as usual. No ransom
      paid, no major inconvenience suffered.

      And if anyone wants to have a W10 machine to
      accommodate 3rd party software end of W7 support,
      I’ve seen them for $50.00 refurbished already!

      You can use the W10 licence off that one to create
      a W10 virtual machine on the other W7 machine and
      then install a W7 OS or W7 image on the W10 unit
      you bought.

      In the meantime, W7 refurbished units may become
      scarce after 2020 (or 2024?), so try and pick up
      some $20.00 to $30.00 “boxes” on Craigslist, that
      is, computers with no hard drives, and maybe no
      ram sticks. You can put SSD’s and ram in them,
      install W7 from a cheap installation disk off of
      eBay, and your W7 “stockpile”, and the procedures
      above should keep you in stride until Linux or
      somebody gives Microsoft some serious competition.

      Be sure the eBay W7 disk is an installation disk
      and not a restoration disk. The former runs about
      $45.00, the latter $6.00-$9.00.

      If we redefine “bulletproof” to mean NO RANSOM
      PAID and NO MAJOR INCONVENIENCE SUFFERED, we can
      all stay on W7 safely long after W7 support ends.

  10. I work for a non profit agency, and we installed GWX because I didn’t want to deal with non-computer savvy users in my lab panicking over Windows 10. Upgrading is complicated becaue we teach computer classes and it means redesigning our manuals and handouts to reflect the new OS which we just didn’t have time or resources to do at this time due to a lot of other internal things.

    I did find that I had some issues with Windows Update sometimes refusing to download updates when I tried to do them manually (mostly due to Software Protection never starting), so now that I’m not going to have to worry about it being force updated (we will buy licenses when we need them and are ready to make the move), I’ve uninstalled it and done my 48 updates that got backlogged.

    On my personal laptop, I have Windows 10 Pro. It’s okay. My desktop at home has Windows 7 Ultimate and I downloaded the ISO. I might update it eventually (assuming it will work), but there was no pressing reason to upgrade 20 computers at work and deal with frustrated users (I am the in house IT girl).

    • I too work as a volunteer for a NFP and teach computers to seniors as well as providing all their IT support . We made our classroom Pcs multi-boot Windows 7, 8.1 and 10. It baffels me why you would only teach one version as our people buy new PCs with Windows 10 and want to now how to use it. We encourage them to bring their latops and use them during classes. We have students with different Windows – 7 or 10 mainly. It takes a little more effort by us tutors but ensuring that our student can use their apps/programs and PC is the most important goal. I have several PCs at home and have regular Coffee/PC get tgethers on a couple of mornings a month. I these PCs set to multie-boot with various Windows versions as well as various Linux versions and Android. I am also a memebr of another PC Club where we have laptops where one runs Windows 7 and the other Windows 10. Members bring along their Laptops and 95% now use Windows 10.
      I also as a volunteer provide IT support for several other groups in my area especially for the bridge club I play at. Keeps life interesting and busy in my retirement.

  11. Hey Leo,thanks for what you do.
    Keeping w7 on my desk top and new laptop. It does what I want,when I want without trying to find drivers that may or not work. Keeping gwx c. Panel because of a lack of trust.
    Maybe in 4 years when 7 backing is finished, maybe.
    Reports on another site has Microsoft going to a W10 like update for 7 and 8.1. So Microsoft shows another reason not to trust them. I keep my update to advise and do nothing.

  12. You have not commented about the internal changes Microsoft made with the Anniversary version in which they turned anyone running System 7 Pro before installing Windows 10 to Windows 7 Home. They removed access to functions that are in version 1511. This gives Microsoft complete control of all downloads and changes the information they can gleam from each PC running Windows 10 Anniversary. Surely you did not miss this so what did happen?

  13. I totally agree with You Leo, I think Microsoft has burned the Bridge of Trust forever, I downloaded GWX
    after your recommendation but Windows 10 was already sitting on my W-7 machine . The fact that we had to go
    to the extent to download a software just to protect our self from Microsoft tells volumes about their attitude.
    And yes GWX will stay on my computer as long as I have it and I will never go back to automatic updates either.

  14. About the issue raised above by JR Fitzgerald, Thom R and Dan O: MS may no longer overtly force Windows 10 on users, but they will be try to alter Windows 7, 8/8.1 features and configurations with their “regular” updates. This is based on the history of Windows Updates. Not all MS updates are “security updates”. Many of the updates, including some classified as “security” actually change the OS features and change configurations. I’ll bet that via updates MS will try to gradually force previous Windows versions to look and feel like Windows 10. I have my updates turned off. I don’t want to wake up one morning and discover something that used to work now doesn’t, or works differently. If I feel I need an update, I manually review and research each one and only install those that I fully understand. And by the way, I’m still using Windows XP on two computers with no problems.

  15. Windows 7 Pro is as far as I plan to go with Microsoft. I already have set up a few dual boot machines with Linux Mint added. I also have GWX installed on those machines. When you read the EULA for Win 10 that is enough proof for me not to use Windows 10. If Microsoft makes major changes in the way they treat customers I may consider a change but I consider that unlikely. So I will keep GWX installed until these computers fail to work anymore.

  16. I will keep the GWX control panel on my present Win 7 machine… Windows 10 will be pre-installed on a new unit when I choose, not when Microsoft chooses… my Win 7 machine works just fine to produce sell-able designs with my various programs & equipment & I don’t, just now, have to be concerned with locating & installing new drivers for the Win 10 OS. MS has soured my trust in their integrity, so I’ll stick with what works for me until such time as I have to change.
    Microsoft seems to think they know more about my needs than I know & reminds me of dictatorial governments that impose restrictive legislation upon folks whether wanted or not. I refuse to be that pawn in the hands of a dictator!

  17. I had installed the GWX control panel on my Dell Win7 laptop, and set it to avoid the forced update. Then, last week’s Win7 updates crashed the machine with an infinite “preparing updates, do not turn off your computer.” Finally I gave up on it and tried to re-boot, and got a permanent sky-blue screen with tiny white writing in the lower right corner saying this was not an authorized copy of Windows, even though it was the same installation that came with the computer when new. Every attempt to go back to the last successful restore point gave that same screen. So I used the win10 iso download I had done after Leo’s recommendation about saving the free update, and wiped everything out and installed 10 (the Win7 serial no. worked fine to authorize the installation of 10!) I can’t help but wonder, is this Microsoft’s last-gasp attempt to force 10 onto reluctant machines? Has anybody else had a crashed machine or a loss of authorization from last week’s (Aug. 10, 2016) Win7 updates? I actually like 10 just fine, with one exception, there doesn’t seem to be a way to disable the touchpad, so I’m back to keeping hands unnaturally raised above the keyboard to keep from shooting the cursor off to parts unknown. It was easy to fix that in 7, why on earth would even Microsoft neglect such a basic nuisance?

    • Download the touchpad driver from the manufacturer’s website (If no Windows 10 driver is there, get the WIndows 8.1 or 7 driver). That is where you are permitted to disable the touchpad. When you loaded Windows 10 as a new installation, the previous driver was erased and the touchpad had only a generic one from the new OS to run it.

  18. As this thread seems to be about touting one’s favorite OS level –
    I upgraded a Win7Pro and Win8Pro system in July to Win10Pro. These were totally smooth upgrades. It reminded me of updates to MS-DOS where you just copied a diskette onto your system. Afterward I did do a fair amount of reconfiguring of the graphics to better fit my aging eyes. I use software written up to 25 years ago. One printer is >10 years old. It all worked – no issues. My experience mirrors what most users I support have found – no real problems.
    After upgrade, the GSX Control Panel is no longer on either system, so nothing to delete.

  19. I installed W10 with 2 days to go and had no problems, so I uninstalled GWX. Since had 2 driver problems (WiFi and Bluetooth) but thanks to the internet community all fixed, so no regrets. Happy to have had GWX to protect me meanwhile.

  20. Thank you or answering my question regarding GWX before I even asked. I have 2 machines that I use and I have uninstalled the GWX panel and upgraded that machine (a laptop) to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1 Pro. I’m still not 100% enthused about the way Windows 10 Pro operates in that it has taken away many of the user choices that I have had with other Windows versions, but I still have roughly 20 days to go back. The other machine (a desktop) I use has been left with Winodws 7Pro and I am still running the GWX panel on it just in case. The Windows 7 program still does what I need it to do and I still have a lot of flexibility with it as far as the other programs I have installed and running on this desktop. I don’t believe that many of them would be compatible with Windows 10 and I do not wish to go looking for new software.

  21. I will keep GWX running on Windows 7, because I believe it is likely that Microsoft will offer a Windows 10 free upgrade again at some point. I will stay on Windows 7 because Windows 10 installs the latest ASUS Matrix HD7970 video drivers which do not work with Windows 7 or 10.

    Windows 7 support? I ran with unsupported Windows 2000 until 2013. I never noticed the difference. We have a laptop on XP, works fine without support.

  22. After MS tech support tried three times to stop Win 10 from installing, my computer was wiped out. I had to reinstall an image from before that happened. I installed Win 10 just to see how it would work with my older laptop–it is o.k. Initially, I could still schedule updates manually (I use a satellite link for web access as dsl is not available in my area of the mountains of Western N.C. Then the anniversary edition downloaded–cannot schedule updates! That stinks as I only have 10 GB/mo for 2 computers. I guess MS could care less. Why hasn’t someone started a class action against MS because of the GWX malware issue etc.? Many people have lost a lot of time and money over the way MS has behaved.

  23. I will keep GWX on my win 7 pro, as I will never trust Microsoft again, I have a 8 GB mobile monthly plan, and twice near the end of the month Microsoft tried to download win 10. ran out of data did not complete the download, and left my machine unable to go on line till the next lot of data was due. I now have Linux on my machine as well as win 7 pro, I think when updates for win 7 ceases I may well use Linux . Thank you Leo and I wish you well with the video venture .

  24. I´m glad that about everybody feels like me. I have GWX and Win7. Three reasons I did not want to upgrade: 1) Microsoft´s weird policy. 2) My wife´s new PC came with preinstalled W10: It ran into problems repeatedly after some updates were loaded, so it had to be returned to the original version from a backup and automatic updates turned off (hopefully working updates will be available). 3) I have some expensive software, not the newest versions, and I did not want to start checking whether they work with Win10. Buying new versions of them would be costly.

  25. I had done a Win10 clean install on an old laptop over six months ago to be able to play with Win10 in a spare environment. However, I had installed GWX on two desktops and one laptop to stop the annoying nags. Just before the deadline, I removed GWX and allowed the upgrade install to run. I encountered no problems with any of the operations, except that the upgrade on one laptop via Wi-Fi took multiple hours.
    One quizzical thing now is that when I look at my Control Panel list of installed programs, Win10 reports the date of installation of those programs to be the date I installed them in Win7; I would have thought the new Win10 OS would have installed those programs into itself and reported the installation date as the moment Win10 was also being installed. This gives me strange misgivings about Win10 being a shell of Win7, or maybe vice versa. Having lived with Windows since it was supplied on floppies, I have a built-in suspicion of vestigial crap that doesn’t get removed from old installations, like dormant land mines. Any thoughts about all this?

    • Sounds like a typical upgrade (as opposed to a clean install) to me. Honestly, that older original install date is actually more useful information.

    • Those programs were installed on Windows 7. When you upgraded to 10, the programs weren’t reinstalled. All of the files are there from the original installation under Windows 7, so there is no reason for the upgrade to go into all of those programs and change the installation date.

  26. I stopped trusting MS years ago, during the XP days. I had stopped XP updates after I noticed that the updates was installing Vista data early. I use to sit and watch the bottom of my computer screen to see the content of what was being updated. Soon after that, I started having problems with my perfect Windows XP! I eventually switched to Vista, what a nightmare! I am keeping everything in place until “Neverary”. GWX and Never10 has a permanent space on my computers. Today I was a little curious, and decided to see what was going on with Windows Updates.

    I clicked on Windows updates and clicked the notify me button and clicked updates. I was taken to a website, that wanted me to agree to terms that I did not like and to top that off, I was instructed to download a new update software to my computer. Scary were my thoughts, I wondered what trick bags are in this “New” Update software, I’m sure there’s something, otherwise why does Windows, after all of these years need new updating software? Did not seem broken to me… What is in the Windows 10 update that makes MS so determined to get it on as many computers as possible? (A Trick Bag) Probably back doors to access your computer without your permission. I’ll keep all of the precautions in place, since they really does not take up the much Real estate on my computer!

    • “What is in the Windows 10 update that makes MS so determined to get it on as many computers as possible? (A Trick Bag) Probably back doors to access your computer without your permission.” – Nothing so sinister. It’s all about bucks. The more people that use Windows 10, the more money Microsoft stands to make. In Windows 10, Cortana pushes her search queries to Bing, which means Microsoft collects the ad revenue from those searches (in the same way that Google collects ad revenue from searches). Purchase apps, music or movies from the Store, and Microsoft gets a cut (in the same way that Apple gets a cut of iTune sales). Make in-app purchases, and Microsoft gets a cut (which is likely why Microsoft decided to bundle Candy Crush). Keep your music or other data in OneDrive – which is very easy to do in Windows 10 – and Microsoft stands to make money by charging for the space you use.

      Basically, Microsoft is attempting to emulate the business model used by Apple and Google and generate revenue from the ecosystem rather than simply from the direct sale of the Windows and Office platforms.

  27. I had read over the past year that some people were installing GWX to prevent or delay the update to Windows 10 but I personally could not understand the reasons why people refused to install it, and still do, particularly now that it is no longer free. My experience with Microsoft has always been positive and I go back to 1981 when I purchased an IBM PC running MS-DOS. I have updated the OS every time a new update and purchased new versions when they came out (except for the silly ME and SE). In all those years I have never had a problem with updates or new installs and most of all, have never had any reason to mistrust Microsoft for any reason.

    I helped (actually, just hand holding) 8 of my friends to install Windows 10 over the past year and recently to alert them to the Anniversity update. Not one had any problem at all with either the install or the update. In one case, I scheduled a day with one of the least computer literate friends to help him install the new Windows 10 and he thought that he would help out by at least downloading the update the night before we met. He went to bed and the next morning there was Windows 10 waiting for him to use, fully installed. Not bad if you ask me. All of my friends agree that their systems start up faster, run faster and that there is not much difference (at least for their needs) between 7 and 10. I installed Classic Shell on about half of them just simply for cosmetic reasons and the fact that they like the Win 7 interface better.

    • “My experience with Microsoft has always been positive and I go back to 1981.” – My experience has been mostly positive too and, like you, I’ve been using Microsoft products since way back. My experience with Windows 10, however, has not been quite so positive, as explained in my other comments. To be clear, I do like Windows 10 and think it has the potential to be a really great OS but, as it is, it’s causing too many problems for too many people (me included).

      I’m an iPhone user and the seamless compatibility/continuity that exists between iOS and OS X makes a Mac an attractive proposition. Consequently, Microsoft needs to provide me with a compelling reason to stick with Windows rather than jumping ship – and Windows 10 certainly isn’t doing that.

    • I don’t have a problem with Windows 10; however, I refused to allow it on my Windows 7 laptop for the simple reason that my laptop runs just fine and dandy. I have no intention of upgrading the software on the laptop, so I won’t need Windows 10. By the time Windows 7 becomes unsupported, it will be time for a new laptop. Why risk the frustration of a failed upgrade when there is no compelling reason to upgrade the computer? I have much better things to do with my time.

      I have also heard of people in the past who have upgraded older hardware to the newest Windows version being initially happy, but over time became unhappy because the hardware was never designed for the OS and the software that runs on the newer Windows version. One year was just too early to know if this would be a repeat of the past.

      When the time comes to get a new laptop, I will happily embrace whatever the OS is that is current at that time. This is my machine, and I decide what OS I run on it and what software I run on it. Not Microsoft or anyone else.

    • Thank you, Paulbasel. You have expressed my sentiments exactly. I don’t understand the problem so many people have with Microsoft. I’m sort of the go-to computer person within my circle of family and friends and your experiences with updating reflect mine exactly. I’m sure that sometimes the problem is not with Windows but with the computer itself. I have not had a single person tell me that they’re anything but delighted with the upgrade to Windows 10 (along with the anniversary update). I hopped right on Windows 8 the first day it was available back in the fall of 2012 and did not like it at all. Classic Shell helped. But with Windows 10—I’m happy, happy, happy. Love it.

    • Paul, you have to be one of the luckiest people on the face of the planet with your past Windows experience. If you have any advice on the stock market, I will be the first to buy anything you suggest!

    • Paul either works for microsoft, or is so old school and out of touch that he uses paper maps instead of GPS. No one cares if you haven’t had a problem and are blindly loyal, the people and computers that Microsoft have destroyed are the ones who KNOW that they need this. Oh, and you will be next, don’t worry.

  28. Geez! I just don’t see the problem unless one is using a really old computer with Windows 7 or 8 that will not accommodate Windows 10. I have a 7 year old laptop that had Windows 7 until I installed the free Windows 10 on it. On three other computers of various parentage and age I also upgraded to the free Windows 10. They are all working fine.

    I respect a person’s decision to keep what they have that works and not necessarily trust a new thing hawked by a vendor. I tend to be that way. I used XP even after Windows 8 was offered on new computers. After my last old computer croaked a year ago, I regretted to give up XP. Alas, newer computers came with W8 or later.

    I have no problem with Microsoft. Some of the features of W10 may be intrusive, but the configuration that you perform should take care of that. If one is worried about a conspiracy to eavesdrop on us, well, I would start at the government, rather than at Microsoft. Windows 10 has some features that I would like to scrap, but I have learned to work around them. In other respects it works as expected.

    I think that many folks are in the mode of “I’m agin’ it, and by golly, I’ll stick to it” just to prove themselves right, as if anybody cared. If they realize that they made a mistake, the free offer is no longer there, so they are proving to themselves that they were right by sticking with to original OS. Eventually they might buy a new computer that will come with Windows 10, and all will be well after the initial bitching about how bad it is. We adjust, just as we did when transitioning from DOS to Windows, the early versions, then XP, etc.

    • “I just don’t see the problem.” – I do. I’ve been pretty happy with Windows since its earliest iterations but, unfortunately, Windows 10 has proved to be somewhat gnarly (and not in the good sense of the word). A driver problem – which was far from easy to resolve – resulted in BSODs after the initial upgrade and a problem with the AU now causes BSODs whenever I connect my Kindle via USB (Microsoft have acknowledged it’s a problem and they’re working on a solution). And I’m certainly not alone in encountering such problems – as you can see from the many comments in this and other threads. And then there is the issue of sneaky update practices as well as the fact that Windows 10 provides users with little control over when and how updates are installed.

      I really like Windows 10 and think it’s by far the best OS ever to come out of Redmond. But the fact is that it’s causing too many problems for too many people.

        • Yeah, indeed – which is certainly a shame as, were it not for the problems, Windows 10 would be a really great OS. And I’m actually shocked at how common problems seem to be, both with the initial upgrade to Windows 10 and with the AU. In fact, based on the comments I see, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Windows 10 were to be the most problematic and buggy version of Windows ever released. It seems to have caused issues for a huge number of people. And they’re problems which simply should not be happening. I mean, Kindles – one of the most commonly used consumer devices on the planet – causing BSODs? Really? Why the heck wasn’t the bug identified and fixed prior to the AU being released?

  29. I have been dealing with windows since 1.0 and up until windows 10, I controlled what updates to install, or not. Remember the never ending .net framework up-dates and the problems that came with them? I will leave GWX for now as it’s light and causes no problems. I pass on the Widows 10 Anniversary, Microsoft is trying to force Cortana down our touch screen finger with less control. I don’t need her/it to run my life, search, organize, remind, or tell me when to eat. I’m sure it will be forced upon us before its over with. However I’m confident there will be a hack to remove her/it. I really have no issues with W10 as its a glorified W7, IMHO…Just let me decide what, when and how, I want/don’t want an app, feature or someone/something talking to me!

  30. I want to repeat that my wife´s brand new computer came with preinstalled Win10, and the updates caused freezes, tabletop quick links disappearing, etc.. So it was not an old PC causing the problems. Secondly, there is at least one expensive software in my PC (costs as much as Win10), three years old version, which is not compatible with Win10. So, in a few years I´ll have a new PC with Win10 in it, plus a new version of the software.

    • It does seem unusual that a new computer would have problems with Windows update like that. Of course, the computer could have been configured wrong in the factory (remember that Microsoft only supplies the software to the computer manufacturers. They, then, do all the installation and configuration with their hardware.) It’s also likely that it was something else on the computer that caused the problem, or even something like a bad section of the hard drive. So jumping to a conclusion that it was Win 10 causing the problem may not be helpful in figuring out what to do next.

      Check out this article for more information: https://askleo.com/fix-windows-update/

      • “It does seem unusual that a new computer would have problems with Windows update like that.” – Not so much. Windows 10 updates are causing a considerable number of issues on both older and brand spanking new computers on which Windows 10 was preinstalled. In my case, an update broke Cortana (a bug Microsoft is working to fix) while the AU caused my computer to BSOD whenever my Kindle is connected (another bug Microsoft is working to fix).

      • Caution with the Windows 10 AU: AU problems seem to go well beyond connecting Kindle and cameras. There are many reports of OS freezes and partitions being deleted. Here is a link from Microsoft’s forum pages: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-performance/windows-10-may-freeze-after-installing-the/5a60d75d-120a-4502-873c-8bfec65c82d0?page=1&auth=1 .
        But all these problems are the least of your (Windows 10 adopters) worries. MS has started changing Windows 10 to a subscription service with a monthly fee for Enterprise users. It’s only a matter of time that the subscription ransom is forced on private users. The bottom line is that Windows is committing suicide and taking you with it. Even if you now have Windows 7 and 8/8.1, you will be assimilated (see my other comment above). Resistance is futile.

        • ” It’s only a matter of time that the subscription ransom is forced on private users.” – I don’t think that’s the plan (at this point in time, anyway). In previous years, retail and upgrade licensing has accounted for less than 1% of Microsoft’s revenue, so keeping Windows 10 free for consumers is not going to have a significant impact on the company’s bottom line.

          I suspect that Microsoft hopes to emulate Apple and Google’s model and monetize the ecosystem rather than selling the platform. As I said in another post……

          “The more people that use Windows 10, the more money Microsoft stands to make. In Windows 10, Cortana pushes her search queries to Bing, which means Microsoft collects the ad revenue from those searches (in the same way that Google collects ad revenue from searches). Purchase apps, music or movies from the Store, and Microsoft gets a cut (in the same way that Apple gets a cut of iTunes sales). Make in-app purchases, and Microsoft gets a cut (which is likely why Microsoft decided to bundle Candy Crush). Keep your music or other data in OneDrive – which is very easy to do in Windows 10 – and Microsoft stands to make money by charging for the space you use.”

          I think that Microsoft is in a somewhat tricky position in the consumer space. iOS and Android have a 97% share of the mobile market while Microsoft’s market share has steady declined (Windows Phone now accounts for only about 1% of global smartphone sales). And for iOS or Android users, Macs and Chromebooks are compelling choices due to greater cross-device compatibility and continuity. What this means is that it wouldn’t take too much of a push to make iOS and Android users get off the Windows desktop train and climb aboard with Apple or Google – especially as neither company charges a subscription for its OS. And then there’s good ol’ Linux.

          Switching to a subscription model at the consumer level would be a very bad business move, which I’m sure Microsoft realizes.

        • There’s not one shred of evidence that consumer editions of Windows will be subscription based. This distinction for enterprise editions of Microsoft products is nothing new.

          • Not only Is there not one shred of evidence, there’s also very good reason to think it wouldn’t be a viable business model.

          • Well, to be fair, it whether or not it’s a good business model isn’t always what drives Microsoft decisions – intentionally or otherwise. That was true when I was there, and remains true today.

          • All this is really off topic from GWX, but …. Guys, obviously there will be no “shred of evidence” until there is a policy announcement from MS. What we’re looking at here is corporate behavioral trends. The shreds of evidence are there in what MS has already done to date and the changes in behavior over time. The subscription business did not exist previously and now it does (Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 365, OneDrive, Xbox Live, Groove Music Pass, Azure, Visual Studio, etc). If these subscription models pay off for MS, there will be more to come. Besides, MS is no longer a high-tech company and, as Ray indicated, it’s not able to compete successfully in the mobile and consumer online businesses. The bulk of MS’s current income comes from licensing its legacy products (mostly on the commercial side). MS is not devoting much resources into inventing new products to be in direct competition with Apple or Google, but instead is spending it’s money on buying other companies (most of which have questionable merit). MS is redirecting its business into making money the easy way: internet pay per click, internet advertising, peddling in personal data, and subscriptions. And just in case these approaches don’t work, MS is showing the clear signs of CEO panic and desperation as evidenced by buying other companies at an increasing rate. All this may be great if you own MS stock, but it’s not too great if you’re a traditional user of the OS and other staple products. The shreds of evidence are all over the place in the very fact that we’re having these types of discussions here and on many others web sites. Even ten years ago I would have never thought of questioning or discussing Microsoft’s motivations or business strategy.

          • “The subscription business did not exist previously and now it does (Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 365, OneDrive, Xbox Live, Groove Music Pass, Azure, Visual Studio, etc).” – Indeed. And in order to maximize revenue from those services, Microsoft needs to encourage people to keep on using Windows – not to deter them from doing so by imposing a subscription, which neither Apple or Google do with their OSes. At the consumer end of things, the income from retail platform sales is very small spuds; the big bucks come from monetizing the ecosystem.

  31. Sir/Madam
    If i say I HAVE OWN SOLUTION that
    1. win10 GWN icon no longer show and
    2. without permission to download

    3. Delete These Folder & Icons Than U No Longer To Show [Windows10 Icon] on Taskbar

    1. amd64_microsoft-windows-gwx_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601 [folder]
    2. amd64_microsoft-windows-gwx-task_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601 [folder]
    3. amd64_microsoft-windows-gwx-uninstall_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601 [folder]
    4. Gwx [folder]
    5. GWX [icon]
    6. GWXConfigManager [icon]
    7. GWXDetector [icon]
    8. GWXGC [icon]
    9. GWXMig [System Information]
    10. GWXUI.DLL [System Information]
    11. GWXUX [Icon]
    12. GWXUXWorker [Icon]

    • It’s usually best the let a program perform it’s own un-install. A well-written program will also have a well-written uninstall program that takes care of removing the program itself, files folders and registry entries. It just makes sense that this would be the best way to go. The software engineers who wrote the program also know every change it made to your computer when it was installed. Usually that’s the best way to go.

      • “It’s usually best the let a program perform it’s own un-install.” – I think Muhammad is talking about deleting Windows GWX files – which cannot simply be uninstalled – rather than the files associated with the third-party GWX Control Panel.

  32. Disabled Windows updates in the program and then in services.msc. Do that immediately after reinstalling Windows 7 after some rogue software, I try, tries to take over my system, Speaking of rogue software, let Microsoft do the same stuff (to put it politely) on my computer, that it is on 10, I think NOT! The last updates on this laptop were installed in early 2011 and it’s running well, thanks.

  33. Microsoft cannot be trusted.

    I have Windows 10 on one laptop. I use it to host a virtual machine. Nothing else. No email. No personal files. No surfing. Nothing.

    I have two Windows 7 laptops. Even on these MS started “calling home” in 2015, claiming the “right” to send pretty much anything on your computer back to its servers.

    In an attempt to reduce spying I installed Spybot Anti-Beacon on these two Windows 7 machines. In addition I (1) stopped all MS updates and (2) uninstalled all non-security updates. I am also considering uninstalling all previous security updates. MS reportedly started slipping non-security-related “Install-Windows-10” pop-ups (force-ups?) into its Windows 7 security updates. And to “give you a better experience” MS is changing its 7/8a update process starting Oct-2016. You will no longer be able to selectively pick and choose the updates you want to install. Apparently it’s all or nothing.

    The very fact that I have to take EXTRAORDINARY measures to protect myself against MS tells me everything I need to know about the company.

    I still have two XP machines. They are great for basic tasks: surfing the web, email, and Office 2003 (with compatibility pack). For simplicity, ease of use, clarity, conciseness, and user friendliness — i.e., not getting between me and what I’m trying to do — XP SP3 and pre-ribbon Office are still the best. (Yeah, yeah, I do my backups, keep my sensitive stuff on an external device, and have restore media …)

    • This doesn’t make a lot of sense. Why would you use a product in a way that is not recommended by the manufacturer, and then blame the manufacturer for problems you have with that product? Or more crazy than that, blame the manufacturer for the fact that they even HAVE a recommended way to use the product? The very nature of software (operating systems particularly) is that they need constant updates, and they also need to constantly be rewritten into new versions to match new technology. Every software needs constant updates: Macs update all the time; Linux updates all the time; Microsoft needs to update all the time.

      I have a friend who is a good carpenter. I was with him once when he bought a bag of screws and complained about how expensive they were. Then he sighed, picked one up, eyed it, and said, “Well, try making it yourself!”

      The same applies to software. Try writing an operating system yourself.

      • I am a software engineer. Have been for 50 years. Am still employed as such full time at age 74.

        I’m use MS products to the extent they serve my needs. But Microsoft does not respect your privacy nor, as evidenced by the Windows 10 fiasco over the last year, is MS to be trusted to do the right thing.

      • Connie, I don’t see where NotAMicrosoftShill complained about the OS as a consequence of not using it “in a way that is not recommended by the manufacturer”. In fact, all he is trying to do is to use the OS that he originally bought. The point it that the “recommended way” is intrusive, can be damaging, and is deceiving. As has been said by myself and others on these pages, MS is calling just about every update a “security update”, but in fact they reconfigure and alter the behavior of the originally purchased OS. Soon your Windows 7 and 8/8.1 will look and behave like Windows 10 if you keep updates going. All we’re saying is that we want to keep our originally purchased OS intact. How would you feel if GM came by in the middle of the night and changed your car’s color and moved the radio controls? Also, the analogy of making screws and making an OS doesn’t hold. Once you buy a screw and it works as intended, you keep it and use it the way you bought it. It has nothing to do with making the screw. In fact, the screw analogy demonstrates how absurd it is to believe that a perfectly functioning product needs to be updated all the time – just because.

      • Another perspective: When NotAMicrosoftShill said he was a software engineer it reminded me of a real world situation where an OS update was near disastrous. Sometime back when Unix OS systems (predecessor of Linux) were prevalent for large projects, we were creating the software system for traffic control of a major U.S. city – i.e. involved millions of dollars. Halfway through the project the OS vendor (a prominent and large company) said they have a new and improved version of the OS that they recommended we transition to. Typically, this type of fundamental change is a big no-no in high stakes projects, but after researching the OS updates we decided that for longer term OS maintainability (sound familiar?) we should update. Well the updated OS turned out to have some significant problems which directly affected how our software worked. For those of you who know software development, the problem had to do with the OS no longer handling threads and inter-process communications properly. The result was a 6 month delay, money lost, angry client, embarrassed OS vendor and our company, and the diversion of several full time software engineers to find and fix the problems, including engineers from the OS vendor. Now, I can appreciate that from the perspective of Leo’s team, which is involved in the business of fixing computer problems, an OS update is an essential element and central to your job. But for most business users a computer and its OS are just tools to do another job. In most cases this other job is far more significant than the OS and the OS vendor’s marketing priorities or imagined criticality of OS updates. In order to update a system that works there needs to be a damn good and justifiable reason that serves YOUR needs and objectives.

  34. I say why bother removing it since it only consumes 3 MB of RAM. Even before I installed GWXCP thankfully I had already my Windows Update settings set to “Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them” and boy, am I glad I did that. At one point Windows 10 Upgrade had downloaded by itself on my machine and probably would have forcefully upgraded had I not set my Update settings the way I did.

  35. It is June 2018 and I still have GWX Control Panel installed. I also have kept my updates not automatic but rather with me viewing and installing important updates. I am notified when I sign in after “sleeping, and turning my laptop on. I also check every so often during the day. They are mostly antivirus updates, and I do install some recommended ones too. I am still naive about computers and learn as I go. Any problem with me continuing this way?
    Thanks for Keeping Ask Leo going! You have helped me many times!

  36. Thanks for helping keep my computer Win10-free for these past few years! At this point I am uninstalling GWX Control Panel because Win7 end of life is coming up in a year and I think it’s time to accept a free “upgrade” if they offer it or else I will probably wind up paying for it in Jan. 2020.

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