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I almost couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that a laptop running Windows 8.1 suddenly rebooted by itself and started "Upgrading Windows" without the user's consent. But enough of the background/rant.

After installation finished, it now shows "The legal stuff", which gives the options Back, Decline and Accept buttons.

Since this upgrade is an unwanted one, I was wondering what would happen if the user chose the Decline option, would it subsequently revert back to Windows 8.1?

  • 1
    Even if it does not revert upon declining, after installing you be able to revert back easily based on the instructions outlined here: answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/… – TheKB May 21 '16 at 10:21
  • Try it and see what happens? – DavidPostill May 21 '16 at 10:30
  • @DavidPostill now I would've loved this laptop to be a VM where I could "try" all the options and be able to revert back to exactly the state the machine is in now. But Microsoft's decision to force upgrades on their users doesn't exactly fill me with confidence that I won't regret this "try" later. – FriendFX May 21 '16 at 10:38
  • @FriendFX As per the other comment you can always revert (within 30 days). – DavidPostill May 21 '16 at 10:39
  • @DavidPostill do you have experience with that? Will all the data and installed programs etc. be still in their original state? – FriendFX May 21 '16 at 11:01
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Couldn't wait any longer, so this is my experience:

  • Clicking the Back button just took me to some sort of login screen, which allows to change user names but on Next takes you once more to "The legal stuff" page.
  • Clicking the Decline button opened a confirmation dialog window with a title similar to "Aborting free upgrade to Windows 10" and its text along the lines of "here are the things you'll miss out on by not installing Windows 10", like the free Windows 10 upgrade itself, free apps and "increased stability and security". And that reverting back to the previous version of Windows "might take a while".

Which it did. I'll edit this once I know whether files, programs and settings are back to what they were before this waste of the owner's as well as my own time.

Update:

All files and programs seem to be where they were before the upgrade, the only curious things that needed to be re-entered were the WiFi password and another password for some cloud software, all other settings appear to be unchanged.

A bit later, while looking whether everything was in order and keeping an eye out for any unusual activity, I found that Windows Update started downloading Windows 10 again!

Trying to disable the relevant entry in the list of Windows updates didn't help, whenever the list was re-opened, the Windows 10 entry was again checked to be installed.

So I resorted to some registry changes mentioned in another very useful answer here which was written for Windows 7 but seems to be working nicely for Windows 8.1 as well.

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    Well actually I don't see much reason to refuse the upgrade simply because it feels a kind of forced. Windows 10 is mostly a better experience compared with Windows 8 and a lot of security improvements might not be delivered to Windows 8 on time. Though of course maybe some software has compatibility issues with Windows 10 – xji May 28 '16 at 5:54
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    @JIXiang There are other reasons too, though. Windows 10 is spyware by any definition. I personally don't care (although I still don't use Windows), but some people might. – Revetahw says Reinstate Monica Aug 4 '16 at 6:30

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