The poor upgrade prompts from Windows 10 are back in Windows 11.

Windows 10 logo

In the early days of Windows 10, Microsoft sent irritating full-screen popups and alerts to PCs running earlier versions, asking them to upgrade to the newest version. Now, Microsoft is (allegedly) bringing back that strategy for Windows 11.

Microsoft has been slowly ramping up the update notifications for Windows 11 over the past few months, especially as the first major update (22H2) reaches a mostly-stable state. A splash screen started appearing on some Windows 10 PCs in December, informing people that “the next version of Windows is here” with a large button to upgrade, and a small text link to avoid the update.

Some people are now seeing a new full-screen popup, saying, “Now unlocked: You’re eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 11.” There are only two visible buttons — “Get it” and “Schedule it.” The button to remain on Windows 11 is hidden away in the corner with a smaller font size, in a classic example of a dark UX pattern.

image: "Now unlocked: You're eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 11

We’ve reached out to Microsoft for confirmation, and when/if we hear back, we’ll update this article. If the popup is real and rolling out to Windows 10 PCs, it wouldn’t be surprising. Microsoft used similar popups to push people to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10, which eventually progressed into people unintentionally allowing the upgrade (usually from seeing the alert and clicking “OK” to make it go away) and being left with broken systems.

The good news is that Microsoft can’t be quite as aggressive with updates this time around, because many PCs running Windows 10 aren’t officially compatible with Windows 11. If you have a PC that is capable of running Windows 11 and is still on an earlier release, you can expect to see more pushy update prompts in the future.

Microsoft plans to continue supporting Windows 10 with bug fixes until October 2025.

Source: Neowin, Jared Newman (Mastodon), Reddit

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