How To Stop Windows 10 Update Download On Windows 7 & 8

Microsoft seems to be really intent on making sure that all Windows users get access to the Windows 10 update without breaking a sweat. While this is good news for most people, some might frown at the excess of Windows 10-related activity going on in Windows 7 and 8. A few days back we covered a post about how Windows 10 uses your bandwidth to distribute the update to other MS users. Turns out the data being downloaded is not used for voluntary downloaders of Windows 10 only. It is a built-in feature of Windows 7 and Windows 8 to download the OS update automatically, and keep the files saved on your computer. If you want to stop Windows 10 update from taking up space on your system, there is a workaround for this.

By now you might have seen the ‘Windows 10 is coming’ notification on your computer or tablet. If that is the case, it is likely that your computer has started downloading the update’s installation files. There is a surer way to check if this is the case, and stop Windows 10 update from eating up your storage space and bandwidth.

Stop Windows 10 Update

Stop Windows 10 Update From Control Panel

The method we are outlining below works both on Windows 7 and Windows 8 (with a few minor differences). Since I’m testing it on Windows 8, the following steps might refer to some Windows 8-specific locations and features.

  1. Go to the system drive of your device. This is the partition where Windows is installed.
  2. Open folder properties by hitting the ‘View’ option in the top bar.
  3. Check ‘Hidden items’ to make sure all files and folders are visible.
  4. See if you can locate a folder named ‘$Windows.~BT’. If it is there, delete it from the system, since it means the update has been downloaded already. Whether the folder is found or not, proceed to the next step to stop Windows 10 update from getting downloaded in future.
  5. Launch ‘Control Panel’.
  6. Open ‘Programs and features’.
  7. Click / tap the option named ‘Installed updates’.
  8. If you are on Windows 8, search for the following updates in the installed list;
    3035583 and 2976978
    You will need to perform the search for each of the three updates one-by-one. If the update is found, right-click and uninstall it.
  9. For Windows 7 users, uninstalling the following files will stop Windows 10 update from downloading;
    3035583, 2952664, and 3021917
  10. Like all such fixes, the system will need a reboot to apply the changes.

Of course, this post does not imply that you should shy away from Windows 10. The update is decent overall, but if you are a serious gamer, or if your office is using Windows 7 for a serious project, it makes sense to know how to avoid the update for now.