Microsoft is being sneaky

I purchased my main desktop for use with linux.  But it came with Windows 8 as a discount deal from Dell.  So I kept the Windows 8, and added a second hard drive for linux.  I did update to Windows 8.1.  I kept Windows for experimenting with dual boot on a UEFI system.

My normal usage on this computer is to boot opensuse.  But twice a week I boot to windows and update the anti-virus (Windows Defender).  Once a month, I also do Windows updates.  Then I boot straight back to linux.

What happened today

This evening, I did one of my reboots to Windows.  I did a quick virus scan, then went to Windows update.  It showed one important update, namely the Windows Defender update.

I told it to install the updates.

Then I saw that it was downloading Windows 10.

I stopped the download, and updated Windows Defender from within that application instead of from Microsoft updates.

I went back to updates.  It showed several optional updates.  One of those was preselected — it has never done that before with optional updates.  And, of course, it was the update to Windows 10 (3G in size).

I unchecked that, then marked it as hidden.  I closed Windows update.  Then I reopened it.  And there it was again.  It had been unhidden and was preselected.

It looks as if this Windows 10 update is going to be repeatedly annoying.  Worse, maybe that will also happen on Windows 7 (on my laptop).

I don’t like this at all.  For my main desktop, I may just erase Windows, and give the disk space to linux.


About Neil Rickert

Retired mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

9 responses to “Microsoft is being sneaky”

  1. jas88 says :

    I just went ahead and installed Windows 10, so the preemptive download didn’t bother me as much. Having a 100 Gb monthly download quota made it more irritating though (I try to schedule big non-urgent downloads like that for the end of a month, when I know how much I have left to ‘waste’, rather than risk running out and coughing up an extra £10 for another 50 Gb).

    I suspect the restoration is a side-effect of them updating the update itself – since it’s now a different update than the one you hid, it reappears. I found exactly the same irritating persistence with Silverlight, which I tend to avoid installing.


    • Neil Rickert says :

      That’s one solution. I did consider that. But because I mainly use linux, I want to be able to schedule updates. And, from all reports, Windows 10 does not allow that scheduling.

      My monthly quota is larger (250G, I think), and not currently enforced. Still, this report is disquieting: [WIN10] Forced Windows updates blowing my data cap.


      • jas88 says :

        It’s one reason I’m planning to install WSUS on my new machine (I get Win Server 2012 free on their academic plan, and I’ve built a new small fileserver to handle “always on” tasks like a home mail server, with enough RAM I can stick a VM or two on there comfortably): as I recall, you can control scheduling and other things quite easily through it still.

        I have a choice of 100, 200 or 300 Gb per month, with £10 difference between each. Most months, 100 is enough, but I’ve hit the limit a couple of times lately: Windows 10 certainly won’t be helping matters, but WSUS should control that (particularly stopping duplicate downloads).


  2. Cătălin says :

    :))) Why openSUSE and their users have a tendency to deal with Microsoft..? Don’t you know it’s an illegitimate relationship lol..? Would have been better to do a donation to Free Software Foundation with the money who went to Microsoft from the Windows purchase included in the computer btw… xD

    Happy Debian GNU/Linux user…:)


    • Neil Rickert says :

      Don’t you know it’s an illegitimate relationship lol..?

      No, I don’t know that. As far as I know, that’s a false rumor that some have been spreading.

      Would have been better to do a donation to Free Software Foundation with the money who went to Microsoft from the Windows purchase included in the computer btw… xD

      The computer with Windows cost less than one without Windows. I priced them at the time. That was because it was a sales price (and probably limited to academic users).


  3. Gerry Makaro says :

    Hi, Neil:

    I no longer recall when it began, XP or Vista, but:

    I never did install Silverlight, I saw no purpose to it and never missed it. I marked it “hidden”. Yet, every few update sessions, it would re-appear and I would have to mark it “hidden” again. In Vista, at least, last time I used it, under “hidden”, there must be 50 or more Silverlight entries, each with a different KB number!

    Toward the end, it was getting pre-marked for install, even though it was in the “Optional Software” category.

    But, in your case, since it is an OS upgrade, you probably need to hunt down the info and set an entry in the Registry to block the upgrade. The info is probably searchable on the MS website.

    However, again, after a certain point of time, the upgrade will override that setting, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Neil Rickert says :

      I’ve started checking very carefully on updates.


    • jas88 says :

      Silverlight was an infuriating one for that – as I recall, the excuse was that each time they updated it, that was seen as a “new” update hence no longer hidden. Very convenient. I wonder how many people ended up installing it either by missing one of the dozens of attempts, or through resignation to the fact otherwise they’d have to disable it manually every week for the rest of time – as opposed to actually wanting that junk in there?!


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