Prevent upgrade to Windows 11

Windows[English]Since the release of Windows 11 on October 5, 2021, users with hardware suitable for this operating system are faced with the question: upgrade or not. And there is one more question: How can I effectively prevent the upgrade to Windows 11?


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Microsoft is slowly starting to offer Windows 11 on compatible PCs. Those who do not have a PC classified as compatible are fine. Because no upgrade will be provided there. But those who do own a compatible PC run the risk that the upgrade to Windows 11 will get onto the system due to clumsy actions – e.g. by employees or family members. However, because of the many bugs and the changes to Windows 11, this is not always desirable. So it is necessary to block the upgrade.

Block Update KB5005463

In the blog post Windows 11 PC Health Check App will be installed as Windows 10 Update KB5005463, I reported that Microsoft has begun automatically installing its PC Health Check app to Windows 10 systems via Windows Update through update KB5005463.

The app can be used to check whether the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11 are met and to trigger the upgrade if necessary. Without the PC Health Check app, the upgrade should not be offered – that's my conclusion. So it's a matter of blocking its installation.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PCHealthCheck]
"installed"=dword:00000001

In this comment someone already pointed to Bleeping Computer's article showing above reg file. If you save the lines to a .reg file and import it into an administrator account, it will block the installation of the update with the app. Then, at least for now, no upgrade to Windows 11 should be pending. But there are other methods.

Block Windows 11 upgrade via registry

The News Block page describes a registry entry (via) to pin a system to Windows 10. Here are the steps that should always work (the instructions in the two posts linked above are incomplete and some are just wrong):


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  1. Call the registry editor regedit with Run as administrator to gain administrative privileges. Otherwise, the instructions below will fail if you are working under a standard account.
  2. Navigate to the registry key mentioned below and insert the required values.

The path to the registry key is as follows:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate
  • Create a 32-bit DWORD value TargetReleaseVersion and set the entry to 1.
  • Create a second string value TargetReleaseVersionInfo and set the entry to 21H1 or 21H2. The value should be higher than the existing build.

After that, you should close the registry editor and reboot Windows 10. This will keep Windows 10 at the specified version.

By the way, the info about the two registry entries above can already be found in a similar form in older web articles like here at deskmodder.de (with reference to this Techcommunity article).

Block Upgrade via GPO

On Windows 10 Pro and above, Group Policy can also be used to block the upgrade.

  1. Invoke gpedit.msc from Run as administrator
  2. Navigate to the specified policy and make the adjustments to the policy.

The Windows Update for Business policy can be found in the branch Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update. Double-click the policy and select the target version of the feature upgrade.

Note: I cannot verify the naming of the GPO at this time due to a lack of access to Windows 10 Pro


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