Windows 10 installer removal

According to Microsoft's Windows lifecycle fact sheet Windows 7 is still supported up to 14th January 2020 and Windows 8 is still supported up to 10th January 2023. That's probably longer than we will keep our PCs, so we should be ok to stay with the version of Windows we have right? Well that doesn't work for Microsoft. They'd really like to reduce support for older versions of Windows so it would be great if you moved to Windows 10 now please.

To persuade us to move to Windows 10 we were first offered a free upgrade if we have Windows 7 or 8. To encourage you to upgrade asap a timer was added in that it is only free if you upgraded before 29th July 2016. I was one of the early adopters and upgraded one of my machines from Windows 7 to Windows 10. The upgrade corrupted the MBR of the hard drive bricking the machine.

One flaw in the upgrade process is that you do not have Windows 10 upgrade/installation discs so if your upgrade fails you don't have any recovery discs and Microsoft's web site says that recovery discs from previous versions of Windows won't work with Windows 10. This I found to be false as my Windows 8.1 recovery discs managed to fix the MBR and I could finally boot into Windows 10.

All went well for about a week until the next set of Windows 10 updates were automatically downloaded and installed. It bricked my machine again. It took me the best part of a day to recover the system. From then on I decided I was fed up with Windows 10 but as I work in IT I needed at least one machine that was running Windows 10 so that I can support others that had issues with it.

To avoid further pain I disabled the downloading and installation of new Windows updates opting instead to be notified of any new updates. When I get a notification I take an image backup of the PC before I allow any updates to install. So far over the past year two further updates have forced me to rollback to the last image backup.

Staying on Windows 7 or 8

If you really don't want to upgrade to Windows 10 then you need to act quickly as Microsoft have resorted to malware tactics to force the upgrade on you.

To patch your machine against the Windows 10 installer:

  1. Go to and download GwxControlPanelSetup
  2. Run GwxControlPanelSetup. This app will tell you if Windows 10 has already installed its installer on your PC and how much space its taking up (6.1GB for me)
  3. Click to Disable 'Get Windows 10' App
  4. Click to Prevent Windows 10 Upgrades
  5. Click to Delete Windows 10 Downloaded Folders
  6. Click to Delete Windows 10 Programs
  7. Click to Change Windows Update Settings and choose Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them

Recovering from a failed Windows 10 upgrade

When the Windows 10 upgrade fails most people are left with a PC that boots to a black screen or that offers the login screen but after typing in your password you still end up at a black screen.

Microsoft offers a help page for anyone suffering from a black screen following a failed Windows 10 upgrade. My recommendation is to plug a different monitor into your PC first and see if that works. Laptop owners especially should try this method as you may find that you can see the login screen and Windows desktop via an external monitor. Once you can see the Windows desktop you can attempt to fix your Windows 10 installation should you wish to keep it.

Should you wish to go back to your previous version of Windows then follow these instructions:

  1. Select the start button and Settings
  2. Select Update and Security
  3. Select Recovery
  4. Select Go back to Windows 7/8
  5. Select My apps or devices don't work on Windows 7/8
  6. Select Next
  7. Select No thanks
  8. Select Next
  9. Select Next
  10. Select Go back to Windows 7/8

If step 2 above fails and the window keep closing then you probably have the IDT Audio tool installed, which is known to cause problems on Windows 10. To remove it:

  1. Right-click on the start button
  2. Select Programs and Features
  3. Quickly locate IDT Audio
  4. Select Uninstall (the background window may disappear but don't worry, just keep repeating steps 1-4 until the uninstaller starts)
  5. Follow instructions to complete uninstall of IDT Audio tool
  6. Restart PC

You should now be back where you started before upgrading to Windows 10. I advise taking a backup as well as following the steps at the start of this article to remove the Windows 10 installation software.

If you have any feedback regarding this article, or you have a suggestion for a new article, or just want to say thanks for the info then feel free to drop me an email at

Article last updated: 27th May 2016

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