My Computer Updated Itself to Windows 8.1 Today

The Windows 8.1 experience that I’ve shared below is just that, an experience. Windows 8.1 itself is fine, I’d prefer if it gave me more customization options. Personally, I’d prefer not having a Windows button (I’ve got a windows key on my keyboard). Personally I’d prefer full screen search over the tiny search bar in 8.1. So Microsoft would’ve done better to provide personalization options, not to choose for you.

And I’m a little ticked off.

First off, my computer updated itself without my knowledge nor my permission. It had asked me a few times, to which my answer was always “Not Right Now”. However, it decided, of it’s own accord, that it would update itself. That kind of behavior is not acceptable.

In addition to updating itself to Windows 8.1 it also decided that it would be helpful and download/setup/install a bunch of apps for me. Once again it did so without asking for my permission. It then decided that it wanted me to create a special Microsoft Account to use my personal computer, Luckily, I found a way around that (using my smartphone, because my computer wouldn’t let me use it).

When I finally got into the computer I discovered that it had changed a number of things that I did not tell it to.

  1. It Rearranged my taskbar icons.
  2. It added a Start Button
  3. It threw Internet Explorer onto my taskbar
  4. It changed the way I search for things in the start menu.
  5. It changed the way my start menu looked.

All in all, I wasn’t that happy with the way Windows 8.1 decided to force itself upon my machine.

A few tips for the future.

  1. Do not update my machine without asking me
    1. If I tell you to wait, then you better wait and you better not update without me.
  2. Do not *force* me to make a Microsoft Account to use my own computer.
    1. Make the fact that it’s *optional* more clear.
    1. I have icons on my taskbar for a reason, don’t mess with them
    2. Don’t try to trick me to use IE by placing it in prominent places on my machine
    3. Don’t add things without asking me
    4. Don’t change things without asking me
  4. It disabled my PS3 controller(that I spent a long time trying to get to work on my computer).

This whole process would’ve been a whole lot less frustrating if it allowed for more input from the user. It should’ve told me about all the changes it wanted to do (add IE, add the Windows button, modify the Startmenu), and more importantly, it should’ve given me the option to keep things the way they were.

So… now I proceed to search the internet for ways to make my computer the way I like it again. Which makes me even more frustrated.


It appears there is no built in way to turn off the Windows button in the taskbar. There is also no way to make my Start Screen searches full screen by default anymore. (Ok, so if I actually click the apps view, and then search, the search is the way I want it to work). The only way to get these things back to the way I like them is by re-installing windows 8, which is pretty annoying. All in all I’m really sad with the way this whole update happened.


Kaira mentioned that she’s been postponing the update by doing the following. Maybe that will help some of you.

What I do is, when the prompt asking to restart at a time of my choosing sets, set it to as late as it goes, then rush over to the Windows Store. Click Updates (top right) and you’ll see it downloading 8.1. Click that and something at the bottom comes up, and you can select Cancel.

59 thoughts on “My Computer Updated Itself to Windows 8.1 Today”

  1. I just got up and found my computer is in process right now of updating to 8.1, without permission! Ggrrr!

    1. Same here, Today I woke up to find my computer doing an app up date and i knew this would not be good. Sure enough it had updated to windows 8.1 The worst of all the windows. Now i cant play games and my internet runs at a snails past. Im thinking about switching to Mac if this is how windows is going to be treating us.

  2. My computer did the same thing to me!
    Yesterday, I got a message that Windows 8.1 has been installed and the computer needs to restart.
    I was allowed to postponed to automatic “Update & Restart” for a day or two, but I feel like I’m working on a time bomb.
    I use a few pieces of older software that I was happy to get working with windows 8; I’m just hoping that this forced update does not break them.
    Thank you for the post — It’s good to know it wasn’t just my computer that decided to ignore my request to not update.

    And microsoft — all I have to say is: STOP FORCING UPDATES!

  3. My computer has just informed me that it WILL be installing Windows 8.1, after I’ve repeatedly said that I don’t want to. Several friends of mine had it screw up their computers, so I was going to keep plain old Windows 8 (that failed piece of crap that was forced on us after the company decided to pull Windows 7 from shelves, which worked infinitely better). Now, all of a sudden, the message bar pops up declaring that it WILL be installing 8.1, WITHOUT permission or a by-your-leave, and that my computer will be down for between 30 and 45 minutes while the ‘update’ is installed and the computer restarts multiple times. What the heck!??! Since when does the company have the right to forcibly change someone’s personal computer (which they no longer have any rights to alter after it has been sold), without permission?

    1. happened to me yesterday, for the 2nd time. the first time i did a backup and restore and ended up reinstalling all my programs. I play Star Wars The Old Republic and it is not compatible with Windows 8.1 (even if I try to play by changing compatibility with Windows 7). I don’t dare backup and restore the 2nd time, it’s a pain in the neck reinstalling my programs. I hate microsoft for doing this.

  4. Yep! Happened today to me too. I AM PISSED! I have been telling this upgrade “NO” for at least a year and now it just sneaks in with a Windows Update. Well, I hate it! Messed with so much of my stuff. I would like to uninstall FireFox, but it won’t let me and uninstall a couple of other programs that magically appeared and it won’t let me. This is crap and should be illegal! I know that the next computer I buy will be an Apple. I am done with Microsoft and their tactics.

    1. Yes it happened to me to. I did not want it at all!! The worst part is “they” decided I can’t use my Hotmail anymore!!! Last I checked, I purchased the computer with MY MONEY!!! How do they get away with “hacking” our computers to install something WE DON’T WANT!!!!!

  5. Yes-sirie, Microsoft just forced the Windows 8.1 onto my pc this morning(10/24/14) too. I’m not happy about that aspect either. I also kept choosing to decide later. I use many older “apps” which used to be called “programs” that I didn’t want to have to reconfigure to work properly again, including some of my own stock market programming code(written in the early 90s) which I run through Dosbox because I don’t want to rewrite tens of thousands of line of code. If I have to take the time to get it all working again and, in the case of the stock market, time is money, I will be securing myself a good attorney to contact Microsoft for me. Needless to say, I am LIVID that the operating system on my pc was changed without my initiating it! From now on all “windows updates” will be NOT automatically anything from now on & my next machine will be an Apple!

  6. Hi there,
    Lately I’ve also had it telling me that Windows 8.1 will be installing and that I should set a time to restart.
    For a while, it only gave me a banner telling me that 8.1 was an option. However a few days ago, 8.1 started trying to force itself on me.
    What I do is, when the prompt asking to restart at a time of my choosing sets, set it to as late as it goes, then rush over to the Windows Store. Click Updates (top right) and you’ll see it downloading 8.1. Click that and something at the bottom comes up, and you can select Cancel.
    It’s not a permanent solution, as it will try to continue force updating you, but it’s something. I hope this works for you guys, but it does get annoying having to do it repeatedly.
    -A now grumpy 18 yr old

    1. Yeah, that sounds nice, but I did that for a while and now it’s basically told me “F you. I’m installing Windows 8.1 on your computer whether you like it or not.”

  7. Good thing this automatic update happened when I was trying to QUICKLY complete a work task. This is ridiculous that something like this doesn’t have legislation against it.

  8. Thanks for the cancel download tip.I just stopped their sneaky update. I’ll go change automatic updates right now.

  9. Well, I kept choosing the latest time to update and going to the store and cancelling the download/install, but I’ve just come in and found that it is going to restart in a couple of hours to finish the install, whether I like it or not.

    I installed 8.1 on my laptop about a year ago, when 8.1 was new, and it turned what was my favorite of all the computers I’ve owned over the years into a totally worthless pile of junk. It made the touchscreen almost completely inoperative and completely disabled my Bluetooth (there was no 8.1 compatible driver for it). I was able to restore the computer to the original operating system, and then re-install all of the other security updates, etc to get it all working again, but I lost a lot of stuff doing that, and had to go back to the store to re-install a bunch of apps too. It was a huge pain in the ass, so I was never going to update my laptop to 8.1 again. Not it looks like I don’t have a choice. I hope they’ve made improvements to 8.1 since the last disaster, but if it does the same shit again, I can’t be responsible for whatever I do.

  10. Mine just did this to me a few days ago; like most of you, I’d been telling it for months to not install 8.1. The day after our data plan reset, 2.5 GB just evaporated in the space of a day. Anti-virus and malware scans showed nothing, and after that huge gulp my data’ s been fine. I’m guessing my system was taking on 8.1 on the down-low, since when I turned my system back on after shutting it down, I found myself with a bouncing baby OS I hadn’t asked for.

    While still in the “what the hell happened?” stage, I naively tried to enlist T-Mobile (our carrier)’s help. I tried to not hear the “yeah, good luck with that” tones buried in the Stepford Wife-esque script-readings from both “Rachel”, the call center girl in CO and “Amy”, the techie in TX Rachel rerouted me to.

    Good to know these companies have our backs!

  11. Just got stung with forced update and now waiting to be able to us my own computer. I have urgent work to complete and now completely screwed!!
    Never again. First chance I get tomorrow I’m buying a Mac. Be damned if I every let MS do this to be again.
    Completely unforgivable!!

    1. uh huh! I was in the same boat about an hour ago. Someone else told me to start dealing with MAC. I am seriously thinking about it too! Jeeze I am done with this Windows MSN 8.1 fascism.

  12. Yep. Same thing just happened to me. It was really a sad ordeal because the last time 8.1 installed it crashed my entire computer (which is less than a year old). I did not want 8.1 and I am really upset about it. It just installed without any request to install it. Additionally, I am also very sorry I ever got involved with email. What a mess that is, what with their security silliness and calling you on the phone with codes you have to put in to access your email when ever they have nothing better to do! I am just waiting for the entire mess to launch a cyber missile right in my face and smack my computer into the middle of next week–like last time. I am going to try and uninstall the whole thing and install windows 7 until something else turns up. I’m also looking for a new email system.

  13. My computer upgraded without my consent or knowledge to windows 8.1. I don’t understand some of the changes. Each time it asked me if I wanted to Upgrade to Windows 8.1, I said NO.
    I don’t like this at all. What the hell!

  14. This is the SECOND time this happened. The first time, Windows 8.1 killed my machine… an since I did not have a full version of windows 8.1 with a rescue / install disk … and the Upgrade is $230 … I went back to Windows 8.
    Now here I am again with a computer with 8.1 and no rescue disk or install disk to speak of.
    So if this goes bad again I will either have to downgrade back to 8 (which will inevitably upgrade to 8.1) or go by the OS upgrade.
    Thanks Micro$oft.
    They should make the OS free… like Linux or Mac!

  15. i am LIVID!!!
    Wthout my PERMISSION it updated and I lost 3 hours of work.
    This calls for a class action in a court of law.
    I was trying to keep my lovely new PC fast and it was running like a ream now it’s slow.

  16. I fell asleep last night and I suddenly woke up to a black screen with my laptop brand on it and at the bottom saying 27%. I was like what the hell! control alt delete!!! Didn’t work so I shut down the computer. When I turnt it back on my laptop apologized for not successfully updating and reinstall my previous version….
    I never wanted the upgrade in the first place. Also automatical windows update is shut off but it still updates itself sometime.

  17. Microsoft I am so put off with you for installing windows 8.1 and then disabling my printer drive. now what I’m I supposed to do? very angry!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Happened to me too, laptop decided to update itself! WTF! And now I have to spend hours re-installing 8 because programs I use are not compatible with 8.1. >(

  19. It’s such a freaking piss off, you just want to restart your computer and it automatically updates without asking. It takes over a few hours too!! On top of that it messes with the hd scaling of all the programs making it blurry.

  20. I can’t believe this has just happened to me . I got a message asking me to upgrade which I normally mark ‘tell me later’ . This one gave Four options for 1 hour to 4 hours and no X out . So I chose the 4 to get the banner off my screen as I was turning the PC off shortly afterwards anyway. 15 mins later it told me I had no wifi. I rebooted my router and iPad was ok but still no joy with the PC so I restarted it and bang it got me – it was clear that 8.1,was loading . I have never wanted 8.1 – how can this happen.! Not a happy teddy. The only thing that has made me feel better is that it isn’t just me. If you’re reading this MS then please note that tonight you’ve just lost another customer. We will be a 100% Apple house shortly.

  21. It happened to me without MY permission and screwed up my computer big time. Copied all my important files to a portable hard drive and did a full system Restore. Back to factory settings and good old os 8.
    3 months on and its done it behind my back by being an “update”.
    It does not appear as screwed up as before but if needs be I’ll do the system resore and untick automatic windows updates

  22. This happened to me yesterday and I’m now looking for ways to undo it. I didn’t ask for it to be installed and have repeatedly turned it down. It just installed itself when I turned the PC on and then couldn’t escape. I believe from various site it can’t be removed using system restore. I haven’t checked everything yet but I can no longer access my documents from the task bar icon and a few things have just disappeared. I’m fed up of Microsoft forcing things onto you and every ‘improvement’ just seems to make things worse making the computer less usable for the way I want to do things. I’m definitely not using windows next time I change my PC (probably after it has departed via the window) On the plus side I now use my PC only when I have to and have realised how much time it can waste. Come on Microsoft give us something we can actually use that is totally web based. If you want to keep customers give us a means to uninstall it. We aren’t all gamers and some of us want to use their PC for work etc. As an aside I installed Office 2013 recently, what a pile of crap. It came off pretty quickly.

  23. Forced updated me today, updated my system without my permission, have complained and said if they do not refund my laptop I will take legal action. This is an infringement of my rights. It is no different than if they forced us to Vista from 8.1. I got my laptop before 8.1 was announced, and as such never gave them permission to upgrade to this, very annoyed and very legally qualified. I am not dropping this one. I will not keep on rebooting my laptop from scratch either to get Windows 8 back because I know it will just do this again. They are forcing this update on us and I am disgusted.

  24. thanks for installing windows 8.1 without my permission and really f#$%ing up my computer!!! Now I can’t even type a letter and change the font, size, or ANYTHING!!! What a bunch of assholes!!! Now I have to pay someone BIG BUCKS to fix the damn thing so I can use it again!!!

  25. I to am being promoted to upgrade to 8.1, which i did try about three weeks ago on my own. Prolem was, my print reader went haywire, my Bluetooth stopped working properly etc. Why does Microsoft push an upgrade but not show or seem to have what it takes to get all the original equipment back to working order in upgrade? Makes no sense.

    1. PS., I went ahead and reset computer back to factory settings and had to reload all my devices software etc. I had just got the hang of Windows 8, and figuring it out. My last OS was XP, so learning 8 was a whole new ballgame. Haven’t logged in, in days,so will see if they’ve done the deed when i do, hope not.thanks.

  26. Ok, guys, all of this also happened to me. I was working, I put my computer to sleep, and when I opened it, it didn’t let me work because it was updating itself. And that bothered me a lot. Then it made me go back to windows 8. And that was only the first time, because it happened again. Now it won’t let me download new apps. So if windows stops doing this kind of shit, and lets people do things the way they want, I think it would be way better. AND THIS IS FOR WINDOWS!!!!!!!! STOP DOING THIS SHIT!!!!! AND LET PEOPLE DECIDE.

    1. Tried to force me to update today. The reason I went back to Windows 8 from 8.1 is that their stupid implementation of Wireless Display in 8.1 doesn’t work for me!

      Do a google search for “windows 8.1 forced update” and the first result should be one that tells you how to stop it.

  27. Its been trying to make me now for a good 4 months!! It happened to me too!!!! OMG, I didn’t want 8.1, it did the up-date by its self!! it has messed my settings up.. Can I get my 8 back?? I am not to good at all of this!!!

    1. Debra, the only real way to get your 8 back is to, reset your pc back to the factory settings. You’ll need to back up any photos, music, documents, files that you don’t want to loose first. And then you’ll have to reload all of the software drivers that you were using before 8.1 f-ing took over. It took me a day and half the last time this SOB crapware wouldn’t recognize my WiFi router. You can google the topic on how to reset your pc if you’re not sure how to get 8 back. The factory reset setting will take your PC back to the way your PC was the first day you took it out of the box. That’s why you will have to reload all of the program’s you want back onto your PC. Good luck.

  28. Same Sh#* happened to me. I didn’t want it but guess what? Then I have no sound. Microsoft themselves said I needed the current update to Windows 8.1 … R U sh*tt#ng me! Why didn’t it do that at the time? Whatever…I do all 20 bazillion updates and now my PC shuts down every time I open any program.
    Done with Microsoft 4-ever. MAC will love my business.

  29. I don’t like this. The same thing happened to me. I was in the middle of taking an online exam and the time just kept ticking. There was nothing that I could do to stop it. I’m too busy right now to contact them and go through the waiting game, because I work, go to school, and have a son to take care of. But as soon as I get a break, I’m going to call and hold for as long as it takes to curse somebody out!!!

  30. That just happened to me. Instead i forced shut my computer down 3 times. It is still windows 8 but everything is gone. I love skyrim and i got so far until this happens. All my mods that i found gone. Disapeared into thin air. On top of all of that my ideas for random stuff that i had is gone. Stuff that took me a year to make.

  31. This is happening to me right now. Left my computer alone for 10 minutes and when I came back it informed me it had installed Windows 8.1 and wanted to restart. SO ANGRY!!!!!!!!

  32. I can afford a Mac and I am going to switch over!!! They will not do this to me again. They screwed up my work computer AND my home computer!

  33. Glad to know that my PC downloading and installing Windows 8.1 wasn’t the sign of a hijack or malware. I wonder if a class action law suit against Microsoft’s technique or practices to force this kind of updated crapware could be or should be mounted. I’m a healthcare professional and was in the midst of completing biannual continuing education online. Now, I can’t get back on line because the new crapware (Windows 8.1) doesn’t identify any WiFi coonection points, in particular my wireless router! It took me a day and half to get the pic to work after I updated the pc to Windows 8.1 only to have to reset the pc to the factory settings in order to run Windows 8. I hope Bill Gates’ house security system automatically updates itself the day that he has a case of explosive diarrhea!

  34. I love how Windows’ support network advertises navigating through their complex menu of settings once your machine starts downloading their “upgrade”. You even had to edit the system registry to stop it asking you to update. We should not need to treat this like an error. I am an administrator of my machine, and I should expect to be treated as such. This was intentional on Microsoft’s part, and all they do is give you stuff that would be difficult if not downright dangerous for the average user to do. It’s almost demeaning to most people who use their stuff as they decide to treat you like a child who does not have the responsibility or knowledge to control things. Better let daddy take care of everything, as daddy knows what you need best. Which appears to be driver errors, internet explorer, and a user interface that looks like bricks.

  35. I told the update no several times, and went and deleted the update files well supposedly; I searched in Google for what ones. Obviously not the right ones!)

    So far so good though it hasn’t wiped out my desktop yet or anything.. -crosses fingers- (It did that the first time I tried to force an upgrade. Even system restore wouldn’t bring it back.)

    I went to the windows store and talked in the chat thing. She told me I would be getting a free upgrade to windows 10. So go in there and ask in the chat explaining your dislike for windows 8 and see it you get a free upgrade.
    I think it’s B.S. though after she said that I didn’t get a link nor did she ask for my email. /facepalm.

    Also don’t get an acer computer. I loves to not work such as refusing to load up windows or partially loading windows and the keyboard has recessed keys that increase typos. HATE. I miss my Dell. I want this computer to last a year or two but I also want it to die .. XP Don’t get an acer; if you think windows 8 is bad try it on acer. weee.

  36. Same thing happened to me last weekend. Now – after I reinstalling Win 8 from a recovery thumb and re-adding my non-8.1 compatible programs through the week, I just came back into my office from grabbing a pop and BAM! It did it again.

    I am so GD peeved I could toss this damn machine out the window. How in the hell Microsoft gets away with this crap without being sued is absolutely beyond me. I think it just goes to prove, regardless of the money we spent, we don’t actually own these machines – Microsoft does.

  37. Woke up this morning, turned my laptop on and got a little Setting Up message. When it finally booted it was Windows 8.1. Made me late for f-ing work as I had to sit there with it while it piss arsed around and messed my wi-fi up. I only wanted to pick up an email before I left and if that isn’t bad enough it shouldn’t have been updating ANYTHING in the first place as I turned off Automatic updates weeks ago because it wouldn’t stop bugging me.

    This should be illegal. In fact I think it is! Making unwanted and unauthorised changes to a computer system is a crime if anyone else does it so why the HELL does Microsoft get away with it. SO pissed off that it just went ahead and did it without
    my permission after I said no multiple times.

    I’m going to ring them up and be one of those unreasonable people who rants and shouts and basically accuses them of raping my machine.

  38. My laptop came with 8,1 installed and apart from downloading an external programe that gives me the standard win 7 lookalike start up screen I have got used to it I guess. My worry is now I keep getting the little flag at the bottom RHS telling me to update to Win 10 and I don’t want to. Had a quick word with a lawyer this morning the view in her office is that Microsoft could well be acting illegally changing how your computer works without your consent. If enough of you get together maybe a class action suit could be worth considering but I am not a lawyer so check with yours.

  39. I am in the forced 8.1 update club. I was in the middle of a project. Now, I can’t do it. Regular people don’t even know about automatic updates, let alone how to stop them!! This is so invasive and so wrong!! Class action lawsuit may be neccessary! I just learned how to navigate 8.0. Ugh! Now what?

  40. Windows 8.1 is trying to download on my lap top. I did not want it and I went and changed update to my choice. However it is still sitting in my task bar. I did a little research & the reason they are doing this without our permission is that will be the only way you can get windows 10. I hate windows!

  41. OMGawd u people have no GD right to f with my system I dont want Windows 10 I didn’t ask for Windows 10! I want
    N O T H I N G to do with Windows 10! But Microsoft decides for us that we will just F O R C E the UNWANTED UPG without any permission!!!!! NOW I Can’t download upload surf read email my entire OS i f-up! thanks a lot Microsoft
    you suck

  42. I am soooooo MAD at Microsoft right now!

    Windows 8.1 just decided to installed itself.

    The restart made me lose 2 days work.

    And this was despite me having the “let me choose when to download updates” setting chosen in Windows Update.

    £$%& *$!

  43. same with me i stoped updates from happening but it turns back on so i just it off again for the last year but now its done full update to 8.1 , microsoft stole ideas from apple they should have sued them , gates was a thief , i hope karma comes back to this company cuase there is alot of pissed off people. try call microsoft, they want money for help , they really shit me

  44. Thank you for the discussion and comments all! I’m disabling comments on this post from here on out.

    Your best friend,

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