Microsoft is changing its controversial Windows 10 upgrade pop-ups

Cadence Bambenek

My beloved Acer laptop has been nagging me to update to Windows 10 for some time now. The notification is persistent, to say the least.

But that's about to change. In the wake of customer complaints that these upgrade notices are confusing and irksome (in one case, a Windows 10 upgrade alert famously interrupted a live TV newscast), Microsoft is rolling out a new, friendlier notification, the company said on Tuesday.

The new upgrade notification has "clearer" options, Microsoft Windows and Devices Group EVP Terry Myerson said in an emailed statement provided by the company.


Windows 10 upgrade
Windows 10 upgrade

(Matt Weinberger)

The most confusing aspect of the Windows 10 pop-up notification was the little red button with an "X" sitting in the upper righthand corner. If your instinct was, like most people, to click that "X" to make the pop-up go away, you were in for surprise: Clicking the X meant you were actually giving Microsoft consent to schedule the upgrade automatically.

This aggressive approach have elicited a chorus of criticism from some users, who find the pop-ups annoying and misleading. One woman has reportedly sued Microsoft for $10,000, claiming that her computer upgraded to Windows 10 without her permission, leading to all sorts of technical problems that stalled her business.


Microsoft's new upgrade prompt will provide three, clear-cut options to choose from: “upgrade now,” “choose a time” and “decline free offer.” This time, clicking the red "X" will dismiss the notification, at least for a few days. Clicking "decline free offer" will permanently disable the notification from ever surfacing again.

Here's what the new pop-up looks like:

Windows 10 Upgrade Notification
Windows 10 Upgrade Notification


Microsoft's push to convert Windows 7 and Windows 8 users to convert to Windows 10 is an attempt to unify their userbase. On July 30, Microsoft will start charging $199 for its Windows 10 upgrade. But, until then, the persistent, albeit softer, notifications will remain.

"We started our journey with Windows 10 with a clear goal to move people from needing Windows to choosing Windows to loving Windows. Towards this goal, this week we’ll launch a new upgrade experience for millions of PCs around the world. The new experience has clearer options to upgrade now, choose a time, or decline the free offer," Microsoft's Myerson said.

He noted that the company continues to recommend that all customers upgrade to Windows 10, which he called the most secure version of Windows.

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