Updated: July 2, 2016
With roughly four weeks left to go before Microsoft (hopefully) stops the free Windows 10 upgrade offer, it is time to explore one last tool in our arsenal that neuters the GWX stuff on our boxen. Nothing new, you've seen it all before, as I've outlined in my thorough and highly popular guide on how to disable GWX and then again in my comprehensive tutorial on how to block upgrades. Still, for the sake of completeness, explore some more we must. Yoda style.
GWX Stopper is a freeware offered by Greatis, touted with some extra software dev backstabbing on why and how this program is better than its alternatives out there. I find this approach quite unnecessary in this whole scheme, and so I will mostly focus on the pros and cons of this utility in getting rid of Windows upgrade prompts, rather than on any sort of qualitative comparison to the likes of its rivals, GWX Control Panel or Never10. The simple fact is, as an end user, whatever you choose is good, as long as it delivers the right result. Now, follow me.
Setup & use
The tool is very simple. Download the archive, extract it, and then install the program. The application has a single view, with a button to toggle protection against GWX on and off. As easy as that, except there are no details explaining how the protection is enforced. Reading around, I figured it has to do with scheduled tasks and blocking gwx.exe from running.
What I did not like is the addition of the other three options in the interface. They will take you to the Greatis site for some extra downloads. I tried, just to see what would happen, and the program launched Internet Explorer, even though it's not my default browser. This is not what I'd expect from a simple utility designed to block Windows 10 upgrades. The promotional functionality is not desired or needed in any way, and it does not inspire confidence. Free scans and computer speedups can easily be misconstrued as snake oil, especially among techies, who often are the voice of the community.
In the end, GWX Stopper does what it's supposed to do - I'm disclaiming my findings based on limited testing, as I've already heaped so much anti-GWX stuff on my machines, and the usage model is suitable for anyone who does not feel comfortable with playing with the registry and whatnot. All in all, worth considering, especially if you find other programs of this nature not quite to your liking, for whatever reason.
The same way start menu programs mushroomed back in the day when Windows 8 was released, the explosion of anti-GWX software reflects the deep need and desire by the Windows users to be spared the constant choice-less nag of upgrading to a new operating system. GWX Stopper is one of the many tools and options available on the market, for free, with promised results and some unneeded promo extras. It works, it's simple, and it gently sins by failing the 'less is more' approach. But it gets the job done.
Sample and choose based on your emotional preference, because all of the utilities that I've tested do exactly the same, with a different GUI to entertain you. In the end, learning how to do it yourself is probably the longest but most effective method. Knowledge and control, the highway to happiness. And I've provided you with the right articles to achieve that.
In an odd way, I will miss this whole GWX drama. It's brought me so much traffic from around the Web. All of a sudden, Dedoimedo will be that much quieter. Unless Microsoft extends the offer. We shall see. See ya.