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WARNING: Microsoft is trying to screw with your computer

If you are using a Windows computer, you need to read this . . . Mac users are safe.

As you know Microsoft releases fixes, updates, and upgrades to the Windows operating system.  A lot of these are intended to fix security holes in Windows through which hackers can gain access to your computer.

Windows is set up to AUTOMATICALLY download and install these updates and fixes.

A couple of years ago Microsoft (MS) released Windows 8.  It was a train wreck -- unstable, very difficult to use, it quickly became unpopular.  MS then released Windows 8.1 that was supposed to fix the stupid things they did with Win 8, however, 8.1 was not as popular as 8.  So, MS now has released Windows 10.  If you have a computer that is not running Win 10, no doubt you have seen the irritating pop-ups telling you the Win 10 is available FREE . . . just click here to start the download and install.

Windows 7 was a stable, efficient, and very popular operating system and MS has found that people are ordering computers with Win 7 and are not downloading and installing Win 10, in spite of the giveaway.

So, in mid-May, Microsoft released an innocent update fix that was automatically installed on Windows computers, unless you have your settings set to NOT automatically install updates.  This update contained a sneaky bit of code that causes a window to open telling you "Your Windows 10 free upgrade is ready."  The small print says, if you do not respond in 3 days, Win 10 will automatically download and install.

On Sunday morning, May 29, I sat down at my computer to find Windows 10 had been automatically downloaded and installed.  The last step in the installation process is for you to accept or decline the MS software agreement.  My computer was showing a blue screen with the MS software agreement and three choices -- BACK, ACCEPT, DECLINE.  I declined and got a pop-up telling me, if I declined, then Win 10 would be uninstalled and my previous version of Windows would be re-installed.  I continued to decline and, after about 15 minutes, Win 10 was removed and Win 7 was re-installed.  My computer is now acting the way it did before the automatic Win 10 update.

If you want to avoid being forced into the update, you need to do two things.

1.  When you see one of those pop-ups from MS asking you to install Win 10,  READ IT CAREFULLY.  If it tells you Win 10 will be automatically installed, decline and reject the offer.

2.  Set your computer so it WILL NOT automatically install updates.  You do this by:
FIRST:  Click on the multi-colored Windows symbol in the lower left corner of the screen.
NEXT:  When the Control Panel appears, click on SYSTEM AND SECURITY.
NEXT:  On the System and Security page you will see a selection WINDOWS UPDATE, Turn automatic updating on or off.  Go to that selection.
NEXT:  You'll see a long, rectangular box with a small arrowhead.  Click on that arrowhead and you'll see several choices.  The default setting is "Let Windows automatically download and install updates."  Scroll down to the selection that reads "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them."  Select that one.  Below that selection are two check boxes -- something about "recommended updates" and "who can install updates" -- UNCHECK those two boxes.  Click on OKAY and you are now set.  From now on, when MS releases a fix or update, you will receive a pop-up notification.  You can then read the purpose of the update and decide to install it or not.

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