Updating Windows 7 to Windows 10

At work, in our migration efforts we decided we would retain one laptop with Windows. This provides technicians a reference system to help customers, who are almost all using Windows. Most users these days are on Windows 10. We updated the laptop accordingly.

Last year, as the proverbial handwriting was on the wall with respect to Windows 7 end-of-life (EOL), I browsed the web for information about updating to Windows 10.

Contrary to the commotion a few years ago about entitlement licenses expiring, Windows 7 systems can still be updated to Windows 10 as long as the activation is legitimate. The process is straightforward. Boot into Windows 7, install the ISO image, open the File Explorer, and launch the setup.exe file. Do not try updating to Windows 10 by booting with the ISO image. That will fail.

To me the default Windows 10 desktop is noisy. Not to forget filled with data mining and tracking as a goal.

I refuse to use Live Tiles. Mostly because I don’t like them, but also because they continually consume bandwidth and are little more than a phone home telemetry gimmick.

With nominal research and testing I wrote a basic check list for Windows 10. The list includes the following:


  • Avoiding being forced to create an online account
  • Avoiding useless password security questions
  • Creating a bootable windows 10 USB device


  • Unpin live tiles
  • Disable Show Task View button
  • Single user systems: Disable Show People on the taskbar
  • Show search icon
  • File Explorer: Disable “Hide extensions for known file types"
  • File Explorer: Show hidden files, folders, and drives
  • Desktop background
  • Desktop icons
  • Taskbar: Unpin MS IE
  • Taskbar: Unpin MS Edge
  • Taskbar: Unpin MS Mail
  • Taskbar: Unpin MS Store
  • Taskbar: Pin preferred icons
  • Reg file: Hide OneDrive in File Explorer
  • Reg file: Disable OneDrive
  • Reg file: Disable Cortana
  • Reg file: Disable Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Protocol (WPAD)
  • Reg file: Disable Microsoft Consumer Experience
  • Configure privacy settings
  • Privacy: Set telemetry to Basic
  • Disable file indexing
  • Disable hibernation
  • Disable Fast Startup


  • Disable Start Menu ads
  • Disable Windows Spotlight
  • Disable Lock Screen “Fun Facts” and tips, tricks and suggestions
  • Disable Ad ID
  • Disable Welcome Experience
  • Disable Delivery Optimization
  • Disable File Explorer advertising

Update Schedule

  • Configure delayed updates
  • Delay normal updates for 35 days
  • Change the update channel
  • Delay feature updates for 180 days
  • Delay quality updates for 30 days

Bandwidth Usage

  • Limit background bandwidth
  • Limit background transfer rate
  • Disable Use all available unused bandwidth
  • Limit background transfer rate

The funny note is at work I am the Linux admin. I don’t use Windows at work or at home. I try to avoid Windows as much as possible. Yet I seem to know more about configuring Windows than the Windows users. Oh well.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: Windows

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