Microsoft May Download Windows 10 Without Your Knowledge

It can happen even if you haven't reserved a copy.


Windows 10 is an outstanding operating system, one that builds on Windows 7's strengths while minimizing Windows 8's weaknesses. It's also free for a year, so you have until next July 29 to upgrade. But not everyone wants Windows 10 yet, and Microsoft is quietly downloading Windows 10 for millions of users -- even if they didn't ask for it.

As reported by the Inquirer, Microsoft is automatically downloading Windows 10 to users' computers, whether they want it or not.

Downloading the OS isn't the same as installing it; it only means that it's placed on your hard drive. But then, adding to the annoyance of having a huge amount of data placed on your hard drive, every time you reboot Microsoft asks you if you want to install Windows 10.

Stealth Mode

This stealth download can cause a number of problems. First, it may fill up your hard drive completely, as the size is between 9GB - 11GB, depending on which version you would use (32-bit vs. 64-bit). If it doesn't fill the drive up, it could at least slow it down; if you don't have a lot of space left, the hard drive has to work harder to find data and put data back, which all takes more time.

Another problem is that it could slow down your Internet connection. It takes a long time to download 9GB to 11GB of data, especially if you don't have a fast computer (my kids have a slower one, and it took close to an entire day to do it.) In addition, if you have a data cap on your Internet plan, you could use it all up with just this one download, and start paying for more data.

Can You Say Annoying?

And as mentioned earlier, it will ask you if you want to install Windows 10 every single time you reboot. Needless to say, that could get old real fast.

Now, I'm on the record as stating that the Windows 10 Automatic Updates are a good thing. In Windows 10, updates are pushed out to your computer, and it's updated automatically, whether you want it or not.

That may have you asking: Isn't this the same thing?

No, it's not. Those updates are meant to keep you secure from the Internet's bad guys, and there are many of them out there. Unpatched copies of Windows affect us all eventually, by spreading viruses and other harmful software. But this situation is different; this isn't any kind of security upgrade, something meant to keep you and your Web neighbors safer. This is simply Microsoft trying to get more people onto Windows 10, and doing so in a way that I'd call very sneaky. More than that, though, it could negatively affect your experience, as I've pointed out already.

It's also worth mentioning that this was discovered by a user who noticed that his Internet connection was as slow as a cricket match, as Windows 10 was downloading in the background, without his permission. (He was on an older type of connection, called DSL, that shares the pipe with a regular phone line. And there are many people globally on connections that slow, or even slower.) Microsoft didn't warn us that it was doing this without our knowledge or approval, which is another reason for concern.

You're Better Than This, Microsoft

If your Internet connection is slower than normal, or you keep getting error messages that Windows 10 failed to install, or is trying to install, or anything like that, this is likely the cause.

Microsoft, this is not the way to treat your customers. Yes, Windows 10 is good. But don't assume everyone wants to, or is able to, upgrade at this time. Give the control back to your users.