Windows 10 upgrade installs on computers without permission, Microsoft users complain

The Windows 10 update has taken some users by surprise, and they're not happy about it

Some Microsoft users have reported that their computers are unexpectedly upgrading to Windows 10, causing them difficulties in the process.

A number of users on social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Reddit have complained that the major update has been forced on them - one Reddit thread about the issue has attracted almost 3,000 comments since being opened at the weekend.

One user on the site's technology forum, named GeekyGirlHere, wrote: "This happened to me this morning. Working and all of a sudden Windows closed all my programs, logged me out and started the upgrade. I quickly shut down my computer and was able to stop it but my son wasn't so lucky. Same thing happened today."

Another user, Dominion_Prime, said: "This actually happened to my wife. Guess what she was doing? Trying to finish a midterm project that was due and she got up to do something, came back to find her computer in the middle of the update. No warning, no confirmation, nothing."

Others said the unexpected updates had affected small businesses which user older versions of Windows on their IT systems, and some people who had paid for Windows 7 said they were hoping for a refund from Microsoft if the upgrade got rid of their old installation.

The sudden and unwanted updates appear to have hit users because Microsoft recently changed the Windows 10 update from 'optional' to 'recommended'. 

Most people using Windows 7 and 8 have their computers set to automatically install recommended updates by default to ensure their computers are secure and running smoothly, explaining why the Windows 10 upgrade has taken so many people by surprise.

It's also possible that affected users may have accidentally consented to the upgrade in the past - after all, people have been bothered by the desktop pop-up urging them to upgrade to Windows 10 since the new operating system launched in 2015.

Windows insists that the upgrade will not take place without users consenting, and said they have previously made it easier to prevent unexpected restarts by letting users schedule a time for the upgrade to take place.

The company’s blog states: “Customers continue to be fully in control of their devices, and can choose to not install the Windows 10 upgrade or remove the upgrade from Windows Update (WU) by changing the WU settings.”

“Before the upgrade changes the OS of your device, you will be clearly prompted to choose whether or not to continue. And of course, if you choose to upgrade (our recommendation!), then you will have 31 days to roll back to your previous Windows version if you don't love it.”

Regardless of the explanation, the issue isn't likely to improve customer relations as far as the affected users are concerned.

The Independent has contacted Microsoft for a comment on the issue.