As of today, my Windows 8 system is displaying a large banner covering about a quarter of the screen, demanding that I upgrade to Windows 8.1 for free. The banner helpfully informs me that that I can continue to use the computer while the upgrade is downloading. There's a button to go to the store for the upgrade, but no other choices, such as No Thanks, Maybe Later, or Absolutely Not.

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I can't find a way to dismiss the banner, and I can start programs but can't give them focus while the banner is present. So I'm dead in the water. How can I fix this? Bringing up Task Manager doesn't give me any options.

My employer doesn't yet support Windows 8.1 (which is also an issue, but beyond my control) so I won't be able to connect to work if install the upgrade. So there is no way on God's green earth that I'm going to install this upgrade now.

UPDATE: The banner went away after the second restart and I was able to run regedit as @magicandre suggested. The banner hasn't reappeared. So far, so good.

  • 2
    Can you take a screenshot of the exact banner? – Jon Nov 6 '13 at 3:56
  • does ur windows update settings is set to ask me everytime? – BlueBerry - Vignesh4303 Nov 6 '13 at 4:28
  • Do you know for a fact that your employer is using some software which support windows 8 but not 8.1? Afaik there are not that large a difference. – Lenne Nov 6 '13 at 6:26
  • @Lenne - There are significant differences in the drive model between the two versions. The number one reason an upgrade will fail is because of a driver conflict – Ramhound Nov 6 '13 at 13:12
  • @chipperyman - I wish I could take a screenshot! I can't do anything when the banner is up. – user81430 Nov 7 '13 at 4:05

To disable the message run regedit, go to


and change the value UpgradeAvailable from 1 to 0 or remove the Update KB2885699.

  • This seems to work. Since I made the registry change the banner hasn't reappeared. – user81430 Nov 7 '13 at 4:06

You can also open the store from the banner, and then close the store without actually downloading the update.


Here is a powershell snip to make things easier on readers.

Step1) Open Powershell as Administator

Step2) Paste this command.

Set-ItemProperty -Path 'registry::HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\UpgradeNotification' -Name UpgradeAvailable -Value 0

As always backup the registry before making changes.

FYI, I am not going to write an uninstaller for the update, but that is plausible solution as well.

protected by Community Dec 23 '13 at 22:01

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