Microsoft Ends Windows 10 Automatic Download Lawsuit

John Lister's picture

Microsoft has promised it won't download new Windows software to users without permission again. The promise staves off legal action in Germany, though is somewhat outdated with the changes to the way Windows is developed.

The legal case followed the discovery in 2015 that Microsoft had automatically downloaded Windows 10 installation files to users regardless of whether they had shown any interest in upgrading to the new system.

The idea was to make it quicker for people get up and running if they did upgrade, as well as spreading out the load of Windows download servers to avoid the prospect of thousands of users trying to download and install Windows 10 at the same time.

Six-Gig Shocker

The problem was that with the download being around six gigabytes, some users were upset because their hard drive space had been eaten up, or because the download had cut into monthly usage limits on their broadband service plan.

Microsoft was sued in Germany by Verbraucherzentrale Baden-Württemberg, a public body that's tasked with consumer protection in a region of the country. That case went back and forth through several rulings but was still active until Microsoft made a "declaration of discontinuance" - in effect, a legally binding promise. (Source:

No 'New' Windows On Books

The precise wording may be important as officially Microsoft isn't planning to release a "new operating system." Instead Windows 10 will be the last completely new version, with new features being added in major updates roughly twice a year. There'll also be more frequent updates that fix bugs and security holes.

This has two effects relevant to the case. One is that the size of update files will be considerably smaller - with a target of around 100MB each month. The other is that all the file downloads should be controllable in the standard Windows Update settings, including the option to only download updates manually - but only for business editions of Windows 10. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Were you affected by an unwanted download of Windows 10? Is Microsoft's promise enough to bring that matter to an end? Are you happy with the update process on Windows 10?

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Average: 4.9 (9 votes)


Sparkydog's picture

I'm surprised that nobody in the US has not sued.
MS installed Windows 10 on a few of my, and my family's computers, then nagged us for weeks. I reverted them back, but those are hours I'll never get back.
I finally used the GWX Control Panel to stop the nagging. I HATE Windows 10 and will use Win 7 for as long as I can.

n7mpj's picture

The only problem I find with the new Windows 10 is that the superprefetch takes a lot of memory just trying to load up the common items you use every day. My computer has 12 gigs of ram and it shouldn't have a problem but prefetch gobbles it.

On another note Windows 10 won't automatically install on our Windows 7 computer. If we want to get it to Windows 10 then we have to BUY the update. All of our laptops and my spare computer updated with no problems. We have unlimited business internet so there shouldn't be any limitations.

Time's picture

So does this mean if I want to use windows update to update my windows 7 that I won't be downloading 10 to my computer. Because I turned off update when they started forcing windows 1o downloads.

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft isn't forcing Windows 10 down anyone's throats anymore, so you can safely turn it on and start receiving updates. If you don't update with security patches you are leaving your system vulnerable to exploits such as the WannaCry ransomware worm that can instantly infect your machine simply by having it connect to the Internet.

Time's picture

Thank you for the info Dennis, just updated my computer.