/ Technology

Being offered a Windows 10 upgrade? Don’t take it up yet!

Windows 10 logo

Windows 10 is now available as a free upgrade for many Windows 7 and 8 owners. But, by upgrading, are we just helping Microsoft cut research costs on a product that isn’t ready?

For many years I’ve used Microsoft Windows and have stuck with it from as early on as Windows 98. Last year I moved or ‘upgraded’ from Windows XP to Windows 7. And that move went without a hitch – mainly because I didn’t move to Windows 7 as soon as it was released.

Don’t upgrade to Windows 10 yet

Now that Windows 10 has been released, our advice is the same as it has always been. If you’re new to computing or you’re an intermediate user, don’t move to a new system like this straight away. Wait at least six months. I say this because the real and final test for Microsoft is when Windows 10 hits the market – and that market is us users!

Unless you’re an enthusiast or a computer geek who enjoys the challenge of fixing computer problems, don’t take up the Windows 10 download offer straight away. Microsoft has indicated it will be free for a whole year, so there’s no real hurry.

Remember future updates from Microsoft will include patches for problems that users have pointed out for them, and not all manufacturers will have prepared software drivers in time. Software drivers are the bits of software that allow your computer to talk to devices you connect to; for example many printer manufacturers may not have completed their driver testing in time for the release of Windows 10.

Windows 10 problems

We’ve had a huge influx of Windows 10 problems reported to us in the Which? Computing Helpdesk. These technical gremlins include loss of internet access, no printing options, loss of access to email and web browser issues.

Of course, not everyone has had these poor experiences, but with millions of computers out there running different applications and programs they won’t all react the same way.

Personally, I’ll be keeping my powder dry for the time being and will likely download Windows 10 in early spring when most of the bugs and glitches have been resolved.

I urge you to do the same. Remember that we’re providing Microsoft with huge amounts of feedback they would otherwise have needed to pay for. Do you really want to be an unpaid member of Microsoft’s Research & Development department? The decision is yours.

If you’ve already upgraded to Windows 10, is it working OK for you or are you regretting the move?


Down the last few years, I have “upgraded” many ex-Windows PCs to Linux.

I’ve upgraded from Windows 7 to 10. No problem until I wanted to use the printer – a Dell 968 Inkjet – it doesn’t work ! I subsequently discovered that Dell doesn’t yet have the printer driver for Windows 10 – indeed if you go onto the Dell website it is difficult to find Windows 10 drivers for any of their printers. Dell doesn’t even offer a temporary fix. Surely Dell and Microsoft can get their act together – I just hope that Microsoft has liaised more closely with other hardware suppliers before pushing their Windows 10 OS on the unsuspecting public !

Thats the whole problem Patrick many software developers are being forced into dev3eloping their software specially for Win 10 and arent too happy about it. As far as Dell and MS is concerned the latest news is that they are getting together on projects whether that entails new drivers or more likely Dell hardware specially for Win 10 I will check up on it. You are not alone many tech sites have this type of complaint very many cant use their hardware on win 10 so its a case of upgrade your hardware or hope drivers are developed — Just checked up on Dell website — same fault -cure ? = download drivers for VISTA SP 2 and install using vista compatibility mode in permissions that cured it for 2 guys . Win 7 drivers dont work in this case.

I upgrade to windows 10 when it 1st came out. not had any problems with it. when from windows 7 to 10 never had windows 8 so was not sure what to expect but i am happy with windows 10. my start up much faster and chrome and edge browsers work fast as well if i am a guinea pig i am a happy one and it given my three year old computer a new lease of life.

It’s 17th December
I now have my PC, tablet (Linx8) and Lumia 635 all running Windows 10.
It works well on each platform and across platforms.
Will Which? now review it’s advice?

Max -I am glad you are happy along with millions of other users worldwide but because of the resistance to take up from win 7 users which keeps Win 10 well below expectations for worldwide sales MS is trying to force it on Win 7 users . I wont go into the long list of complaints both from home users and industry but if Which does another survey I would have plenty to say and all down to earth facts . I now use LInux although win 7 is still on my PC (dual boot ) and will never return to permanent use of it again and I am certainly not alone.

In operating systems -overall – windows accounts for 14 % -worldwide ,in web clients windows accounts for 49 % -LInux -30.58 % -Desktop /laptop Windows 7 has 56.1 % of the world market , with Win 10 at 10 % Win XP actually UP to 10.59 % -figures as of November 2015, no wonder MS is getting worried and strictly on mobile ? Windows operating system is well down in comparison to other operating systems.

I think Windows is still the dominant OS for “desktop” (n.b, as used here, includes laptops too) PCs, as opposed to either servers, where Unix and Linux are dominant, or tablets and phones, where Android is most numerous.

Also, I think W7 is now the most numerous version of Windows.

Yes in that aspect Windows is but MS is rattled after a big conference on the future they came to the conclusion that 14 % of the world market total for all systems and all platforms wasnt looking good and that the future was mobile . One of the reasons they made Win 10 the last major system upgrade which will in the future be “upgraded ” by paid for downloads -ie – Win 10 MK 2 etc -the future doesnt look good for them instead of 100,000,000 or 200,000,000 Win 10 users worldwide the figure stands approx 20 million .A failure in MS,s books so ergo- forced downloads of Win 10 and self (automatic installs ) , Everybody in the world + his dog know that Win 10 is a spy network you dont need me to tell you. In win 7/8/8,1 they spied on you but now its fully built in ,blatant and acknowledged in their new edge browser , in their audio speech app , in adverts on your computer your EVERY move on Windows stored and sent to MS headquarters the list is so long if I posted it it would take a webpage ,its that bad and if you tick all the boxes including the on-line ones – guess what ??? MS can and DOES ( I have many peoples experiences if you want ) OVERRULE your ticked boxes and resets them . Derek do you really know the power of MS ??? they can do anything to your Windows system just like GCHQ and the NSA (backdoors ) Adminstrator is just a laugh ,have you gone into the registry and got up permissions there is a whole long list of users with a higher priority as well as SYSTEM . Administrator is just a sop to kid you on . Thats why I use LInux – I own it, I run it , I can make changes without being barred . Just for a laugh I tried to install Tor on the Windows section of my PC -know what it told me – your PC is controlled and CENSORED in its ability to have full access to websites thats after making sure in many ways I had as much freedom as possible ,it wouldn’t install normally I had to use their special method to install it. That says it all.

That being so, I can’t see mobiles replacing PCs on physical office desks (where actual work happens) any time soon. Similarly, at home, proper computing (as opposed to glorified TV) will still need some sort of a PC.

So that probably leaves about 50% of Which? readers wondering whether or not to take the “free” (as in zero price) upgrade (so-called) from W7 to W10 or not…

PS – MS can’t do anything to any of my Windows systems – I won’t let them go on the internet. I only use Linux for that 🙂

Derek – I know and MS know that desktops in business will take a long time to replace but,believe it or not , MS has already been trying to convince BB to do just that. They have seen a big drop in users buying desktops ,one of the reasons is Win 10 and people are not upgrading as they are happy with what they have . Its a 10 year forward planning with MS . The good thing about PC,s is that I can upgrade very easily and they are more powerful than other public means , if you want near the same in a laptop ,like a gaming one be prepared to pay big money and they are bigger and heavier than your normal one because of high spec video cards ,rams , etc . MY PC is a gaming one 3 years old ,its still fast in boot up etc especially in LInux . You mention the “free ” offer of Win 10 I personally do not advise it for all the reasons I have outlined but the problem is most users want plenty of apps (although Linux does have many ) easy to buy ,simple to use and accept being spied upon ,manipulated and controlled just so they can access Facebook -etc . Download videos , music etc . they dont realise LInux can do all of that because MS have an monopoly in advertising ,deals with BB and deals with PC builders / OEM suppliers etc so I see more taking up Win 10 but they should go into it wuith their eyes open and dont complain when MS via its massive list of third parties targets them by what they do on their computers . Do you know their new voice app will suggest websites you visit and that GCHQ and the NSA will take your voice print to use in case they think you are a “terrorist ” ,they already have full control over your web camera -switch it on ./off listen in to room conversations the same with your mobile there is a “secret ” app they install that does the same and uses your phone to dial out and send data. its been on the go for a while. Good man ! on using Linux on the net ,very wise move.

As far as the work place goes, most business have invested loads in Windows and so are likely to cling to versions that they like – I guess that’s mostly XP and W7 in practice. Most folk will then want to use the same at home – at least for similar tasks.

PS – webcam? Wot’s one of those? Not got one… 😉

A webcam is just Internet jargon for a camera installed on your computer that you use to talk and other users see you on the web, the same with a mike . The NHS has just upgraded from Win xp to Win 7 I talked to staff the last time I was in hospital and saw their computers . IF you install a webcam be prepared for loss of privacy.

I have an Acer Aspire laptop with i7 core processor. I loaded windows 10 as soon as it came out. I can assure you that it was a bad move. My laptop just seized up It would not even allow me to log on.
Cost me £60 to get a computer technician to sort it out and get it running again back on windows 8.1

I am cautious. I had to buy 8.1 with my new Lenovo and paniced for 3 days until I managed to get a working 7 again in the 8.1 format I do not want apps – just a business computer. Will 10 really give me an advantage over a fully working 8.1?

DR Atkins -as a business man ( working as a doctor ) if you bought a computer with Win 8.1 on it and you say = I managed to get a working Win 7 on it but dont want apps then I have to ask -did you completely remove Win 8.1 and Install Win 7 from a disc/usb drive ? I ask as I have Win 7 Prof. which I hardly use as I use LInux but their are no “apps ” or Windows store in the Win /8/10 sense . Its possible that MS is now “forcing ” Win 7/8 users with downloads of Win 10 and even trying to install it on computers if you are not careful umder “updates ” . You should have zero kiddies squares on your screen only basic win 7 layout -better with the Professional edition for business . There is ,of course , a Windows 10 Enterprise for businesses but you being a doctor will know its only recently that the NHS has upgraded from Win XP to Win 7 ,as a hospital attendee recently I have seen the upgrade -no stupid kiddy squares just basic working although their edition will be Enterprise . The Squares can be removed with apps but you never get away from the basic Win 10 app working system. I hope it isnt the Home edition of Win 7 you installed as MS can force Updates on you including Win 10 installation pack taking up about 6 Gb on your main drive. I have a lot more info if required ?

This was a private e.mail I sent to Which, but it seems relevant to this debate. As a non-technical user, I may be overplaying the dangers a little, but they certainly make me think twice about Window’s 10. Maybe others are more sanguine. ..?

” I simply could not believe what I was reading in the latest Which Computer Magazine. Not only could I not believe, I was astounded at the casual way these threats were dismissed as: “In real-world terms the dangers are fairly small” and “This feature is entirely optional and is easy to turn off” and “If you don’t want Windows listening in at all click…” The inference being that Windows was being helpful and we could opt in or out if we felt like it.
By now you will have gathered that I am getting worried about the article telling me what Windows 10 can do to me and my computer in its philanthropic drive to be my best friend. This is the most comprehensive set of personal intrusions that I have ever come across. Windows can hijack my microphone and listen to it; it can use my camera if it chooses; it can record my key strokes on the keyboard; it can gather more information than ever about me and store it; it knows where I am and what I’m doing on my Windows account; it can read my e.mails, hijack my diary and target information in my direction and, worst of all, it can use my computer to piggy back its programmes elsewhere. It even has control of my desktop to turn on apps as it thinks fit.
This amazing set of intrusions far outweighs anything Orwell wrote in “1984”. Most of them are set “on” by default and need to be turned “off”. There is no guarantee that they will remain off even when I disable them.
All you can say about this personal invasion is that “If you’re worried about privacy, it’s easy to fix this by changing a few settings.” Nothing about Windows’ ability to turn them back on again or, indeed, the sweeping powers that Windows has granted itself without permission. You should be as angry as I am, and this should be reflected in your comments.
I am grateful to you for highlighting these intrusions and showing how they might be avoided, but they shouldn’t be there in the first place. Windows may be trying to be as personal and helpful as it can be, but this invasion of privacy is a licence for anyone to come in and browse at will and once the licence is taken the individual has no power to enjoy private computing ever again.
Having read this, it is doubtful whether I shall upgrade this computer to Windows 10. I am managing quite well with 8.1 and the next upgrade will be towards Apple, which annoys me in other ways, but, hopefully doesn’t seek to come to bed with me and poke me when I snore. “

Yes VynorHill I have been highlighting this gross spying on the public not just on Which but elsewhere . You are being VERY polite in saying MS is being “helpful ” . NO its not !! no matter how any website/person/poster/ Windows fan boy /windows MVP dresses it up it is being forced on you for purely financial reasons they want all users of Win 7/8/8.1 to “upgrade to ” to Win 10 and by golly they will make sure you do (or suffer ) by loss of use of parts of your system eventually . As I said several posts ago Win 10 isnt attracting the number of users worldwide it wants for its Win 10 10 million or 20 million is peanuts they need 100,s of millions many users (largest of Windows users ) use Win 7 and are happy with it ,but not if MS can help it ! IT has been well documented on how to remove most of the spying ,including having to visit MS ,s website but even then ,guess what they change the settings BACK done subversively. I have spent a long ytime investigating this and if anybody needs help on this I have a FULL list of what to remove , but if you have Win 10 Home then you have a problem stopping Updates as they now call Win 10 installation on your system ,its compulsory, why ? because they say -its security . I am sure somebody will chip in with this comment but I have an answer waiting. If I were you nothing in this world would make me “upgrade ” to Win 10 and never will, I keep Win 7 Prof. on dual boot to use as a media PC after the security updates stop , but its now 1 year and a half since I stopped all updates -and DONT inundate me with -OMG ! I know ALL the risks but I am NOT recommending it for normal Windows users.

David Watson
i downloaded windows 10 since then most of the game i use to play have diapered i cant fire up internet explore UN yet google crone works well, my son said he has changed back to windows 8.1 and it had cured all his problems so i think i will do the same

David -As you have noticed IE has been given the boot by MS and replaced with MS EDGE in Win 10 -many users not happy with it . IE will not work correctly in Win 10 ,also problems with emails in relation to it. Take your sons wise advice ,if you only installed it very recently you can revert back with no major problems BUT if you have been using it for many months ,you have a problem . You will have to remove Win 10 from your computer and RE-install your old system using an installation disc (not OEM ) as once Win 10 is installed it recognises your motherboard and stops you re-installing a previous system by making you pay for re-installation (not the case in a retail version disc ) . It can be done in another way but if you have problems post again. This is MS,s idea of forcing Win 10 on you. And dont allow automatic “updates ” on Windows ,it downloads the whole Win 10 again taking up a large number of gigs on your hard drive and keeps prompting you to “upgrade ” if you have Win 7 anywhere on disc install that .

I forgot to add MS is now overriding -no automatic downloads ,even if you change it yourself . If you dont already know MS can override anything on your Windows system computer ,dont ever think you own or run your computer MS does and doesnt bother who knows and apart from GCHQ and the NSA Win 10 is the biggest spy network going ,oh forgot to add Google they are next biggest. And yes Win 10 isnt “free ” in the long run all apps installed in the future will have to be paid for as will “updates ” to the system just watch in the coming years. Any non-MS app will have to be approved of by MS or it wont allow installation ,they say its “safety ” I say its Money.

I love conspiracy theories and take most of them with a pinch of salt but when Microsoft say they will force Win10 on you……….

And when our 3 computers running XP and Win7 all start going into overdrive it does make you think. XP running slowly and sounding like it is taking off is understandable but the other 2?

And when did MS remove windows update files from my XP machine? I didn’t do their final update, just never got around to it and as all updates were always set to manual and that pc is off most of the time, so when did they do it?

Hmmm. 🙁

alfa – I have 4 different ways your computer can be switched on without your consent – >3 of those relate to MS and 1 relates to your ISP . I take it you have not unpugged your computer from -either the mains electricity or in the case of a laptop disconnected the battery . And I am talking here of the admitted ones by MS as nowhere does it say in MS,s conditions of service they cant remote access your computer to make changes to it . That being the case hackers can do the same . MS,s excuse when posters complain —oh ! we have a bug number ***** in our software and its sorted now in download xxxxxx thereby ADMITTING they can do it . I always pull the plug on my PC.

I will start with “conspiracy theories ” ,introduced by the US/UK governments to counteract the truth being told . This was shot down in flames by the ,well you would call them numero uno “conspiracy theorists ” -ie- Snowdon and Assange (remember him holed up in the ecuadorian Embassy at enormous cost to HMG) ,so much so, that the amount has now been restricted and not available to the UK public. If you think ANY part of what I said is a “conspiracy theory ” then I can in deep detail to prove you wrong . But will Which allow me to print HMG secrets(well secrets from the UK public NOT the rest of the World ).

I expect so Duncan. Give it a go – the weekend might be the best time.

The latest info on Win 10 updates as of today is that every computer running win 7/8/8.1 is downloading “recommended” updates will get a NAG message even if you are on a domain to upgrade to Win 10 .In addition it will DOWNLOAD 3GB file -Quote-to get you “ready ” if you have a windows tablet that will take up space . At the moment to stop it requires going into the Windows registry and creating a key and then making it a 1 . As most people who just use a computer normally wont have the knowledge to do it I wont print the lines required but if anybody can please let me know. This is MS getting desperate as it has only 10 % of users of Windows worldwide on Win 10 – dont want it ?? -you dont own your computer WE do -so there !

Ever noticed a program running called officeclicktorun.exe?

I always assumed it was a sort of prefetch for Microsoft Office.

When really it is automatic updates for Microsoft software. If you disable it, you cannot run MS Office.

I know darned well I set the updates for a time of my choosing when I installed Office.

This is unacceptable behaviour from Microsoft and time someone somewhere stopped them from taking complete control of your PC.

alfa -If you have read my posts you will see I have been commenting on this type of thing for a long time . What I have found in life is the British people seem to have an inordinate trust in Authority which is certainly not deserved . The plain fact is — iF you install the WINDOWS Operating System on your PC/Laptop/Tablet /Smartphone etc YOU no longer own your expensive communications product – MIcrosoft does ,this is no exaggeration, years of fighting MS with MS fighting back has reduced the amount of control that MS has in MY Win 7 Prof. installed system . It has meant many things do not work because I was forced to stop/remove them from the Registry but it has meant I have some control over it . It got to a point when I said who owns this PC me or MS -I paid £2000 for a high tech gaming PC built by the biggest PC builder in England so I said -enough is enough —- and dual booted to LINUX -BEST move I have ever made -frustration -gone – who controls it –ME — who owns it –ME – who decides if I will accept a download of ANY sort -ME – and you cant overcome it as you have to input your password every time to allow it to download —and you are told EXACTLY what is being downloaded in great technical detail and you can still refuse it. MS -own your computer -they own the system a closed one – they control YOU the operator who is no more than an intelligent robot obeying the rules of MS . Administrator –dont make me laugh ! only one step up from user its only a sop to kid you on you have some control -dont believe me ?? well its hidden in WIn 10 but just go into the registry and get up Permissions and see a Loooong list of those who are superior to it. As I have been saying Win 10 will be downloaded Against your will many gigs of it and it will SELF install now , I am posting this on LInux -every time I have a look at Win 7 on dual boot something always is wrong as it tries to send out data to MS ,apps dont work till I reboot or my paid protection doesnt update and no its not a virus its just MS exercising control and getting angry I have blocked various things in the Registry. MS realise their closed system isnt going to win in the future they give it 10 years till they make changes of a drastic nature – oh yes- and it has open doors to the NSA/GCHQ – and what does the NSA /FBI/CIA use —- why LInux.

I’ve had my share of problems with Windows 10 and have had to uninstall it 4 times and then laboriously reinstall it again each time. Most problems have now ironed out but I still have WiFi problems. My internet connection is stated as being 50Mbps and while I know the maximum is never achievable my W10 problems leave me way off that mark.

We use a Chromebook and Android phones/pads and don’t have any problems, nor did we with the lap-top while running Windows 8.1. Now, with W10 installed, the lap-top frequently drops WiFi connection and the speed varies dramatically. I ran 5 speed checks yesterday within one hour and the speed varied between 39Mbps and 1.9Mbps (yes, just 1.9!!). That was on 3 occasions – the other 2 simply said ‘No Connection Available’. At more or less the same time I ran a checker on my Chromebook and the readings were fairly consistent, around the 40Mbps mark, and didn’t drop the connection once!

I’ve had my supplier run checks on my broadband connection and they even supplied a new hub as a good will gesture but the same W10 problems carry on. The first thing I notice on W10 start-up is ‘Airplane Mode’ always comes on automatically, even though it’s set to stay off. I have to switch it off again at each and every start-up, but the problems continue. All other equipment in the home runs fine on the same WiFi connection.

If you don’t run heavy programmes and just enjoy surfing, emailing, watching the odd video clip, listening to music and printing off the odd photo/document then it’s time for change. Seek out info on Chromebooks and get one. They’re cheaper, far quicker to start up and shut down, the batteries last much longer and are not the proverbial Windows 10 pain in the neck. Check them out and get one! (my personal opinion)

RALFE- you are not alone very many irate users .I know you said you turn it off but it comes back on when you reboot but try this = =open action centre-click /tap on the Airplane mode quick action button to toggle-on/off –then click/tap on the network icon in the taskbar notification area –click/tap on the airplane mode button to toggle -on/off — then open settings and click/tap on the network+Internet icon -then click/tap on airplane mode on the left-side and turn on/off airplane mode on the right side . Close Settings. This might still not cure your slow win 10 speed so get back and let me know how you get on as I have info on that.

Cammy says:
28 March 2017

windows 10 is nothing but a pain. There is no options for reverting back to windows 7. My space bar and tab have not worked since the upgrade, so i have to use fn button on keyboard ALL the time.

You are not alone Cammy a large number of people in the same boat as you with the latest update . Try-step#1- update keyboards+mouse drivers –if that fails -step #2- go to Device Manager -uninstall device driver for keyboard -by right click then Uninstall and reboot -then completely shut down (power shut down ) and restart . That fixed it for 71 people, if not get back.