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How to remove "Get Windows 10" icon from the notification area (system tray) - Part 2

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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
50+ years in computer industry. Everything from development to sales. CIO. Document imaging. EE MVE 2015, EE MVE 2016, EE FELLOW 2017.
With the advent of Windows 10, Microsoft is pushing a Get Windows 10 icon into the notification area (system tray) of qualifying computers. There are many reasons for wanting to remove this icon. This two-part Experts Exchange video Micro Tutorial series explains several techniques for doing that. In the previous Part 1, we discussed three techniques. Each of them works to remove the icon when initially performed, but some users report that the icon returns. In this Part 2, we discuss a fourth technique, which involves changing the registry. It has received no reports yet of the icon returning. We also provide a pre-built .REG file (attached in the steps below) that will easily and safely remove the Get Windows 10 icon from the notification area. Likewise, we attached another pre-built .REG file that will easily and safely restore the Get Windows 10 icon to the notification area, in the event that you want to utilize it at some point in the future.

Video Steps

1. Run the Registry Editor


If you prefer a safe, tested, simple, double-click method, skip to Step 6. If you prefer to modify the registry manually, follow Steps 1-5, beginning with this:

Start button
Run
regedit

Step1

2. Find the path to add a new GWX key


Expand the Registry Editor keys as follows:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
SOFTWARE
Policies
Microsoft
Windows

Step2

3. Add a key called GWX


Click the key that you just navigated to, that is:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

With that key selected/highlighted, click the Edit menu, then New>Key. Create a new key called GWX.

step3.jpg

4. Add a DWORD called DisableGWX


Make sure the new GWX key is selected/highlighted (it should be already) and click the Edit menu, then New>DWORD (32-bit) Value.

Step4

5. Set the new DisableGWX DWORD to a value of 1


Make sure the new DisableGWX DWORD is selected/highlighted (it should be already) and click the Edit menu, then Modify. The value will be 0. Change it to 1 and click OK. Reboot and that will remove the icon. If you ever want to restore the icon, set the value back to 0.

Step5
That completes the manual steps for changing the registry. The remaining steps show a safe, tested method that requires simply double-clicking a .REG file.

6. To remove the icon, download the plain text REG file attached to this step


To automate the above five steps, download the file attached to this step called GetW10_remove_tray_icon.reg, which contains the following code:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\GWX]
"DisableGWX"=dword:00000001

Open in new window

GetW10_remove_tray_icon.reg

7. Run the downloaded 'remove' REG file


Run the downloaded file by double-clicking it in Windows/File Explorer (or whatever file manager you prefer). You'll need to accept the User Account Control (UAC) dialog (if it's enabled) and the two dialogs below.

Step6a
Step6b

8. To restore the icon, download the plain text REG file attached to this step


To restore the icon, download the file attached to this step called GetW10_restore_tray_icon.reg, which contains the following code:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\GWX]
"DisableGWX"=dword:00000000

Open in new window

GetW10_restore_tray_icon.reg

9. Run the downloaded 'restore' REG file


Run the downloaded file by double-clicking it in Windows/File Explorer (or whatever file manager you prefer). You'll need to accept the User Account Control (UAC) dialog (if it's enabled) and the two dialogs below.

Step9a
Step9b

10. Clarification of file names in video


In the video, I had different names for the .REG files. After recording the video, I decided to create what I think are much clearer names for the two files:

GetW10_remove_tray_icon.reg
GetW10_restore_tray_icon.reg

When running either of those REG files, if the key and DWORD do not exist, they will be created; if they do exist, the DWORD value will be changed.

If you find this video to be helpful, please click the thumbs-up icon below. Thank you for watching!
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6 Comments
LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Michael Machie
You can also remove the Windows Update that was installed to install Windows10, which will not only remove the icon from the tray but will also never install the Win10 files or download that update in the future - removing all notifications, unnecessary Win10 files, and references within the system to download or install Win10 updates in the future.
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LVL 61

Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
> You can also remove the Windows Update that was installed to install Windows10

Thanks very much for your comment. Yes, the Windows Update for that is KB3035583, which was discussed in Part 1 of this two-part video series. Regards, Joe
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Michael Machie
After uninstalling the update (kb3035583), there is a need to 'check for updates' and then 'HIDE' (R-Click > 'Hide Update') the update before it re-installs itself again at next update check and install.

Joe,
I apologize for mentioning something you had apparently stated and I missed. I'm just wondering why all that registry work when it is easier, for the general User, and more efficient just to remove and hide the update. If you would prefer these comments not to be here I will delete them at your request. My intent is to help as much as possible.
0
LVL 61

Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
> After uninstalling the update (kb3035583), there is a need to 'check for updates' and then 'HIDE' (R-Click > 'Hide Update') the update before it re-installs itself again at next update check and install.

Yes, Part 1 talks about that in Step #4 ("Hide Windows update KB3035583") — even has this screenshot:

Part 1 - Step 4> I'm just wondering why all that registry work when it is easier, for the general User, and more efficient just to remove and hide the update.

All three methods in Part 1 are easier, but the problem is that they all have a nasty way of coming back. Have you ever hidden an update, only to have that update come back (unhidden!) in a future set of updates? This did not happen to me on KB3035583, but has happened to me on other updates (and I've had reports from users that it happened to them on KB3035583).

> If you would prefer these comments not to be here I will delete them at your request. My intent is to help as much as possible.

Just the opposite — I love the comments! I've made many corrections and improvements to articles and videos based on feedback like yours from EE members. Keep 'em comin'! Makes for better content. Regards, Joe
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:Jesse Mora
Thanks for sharing this with us, this fixed the issue in seeing this annoying message not only on my personal laptop but in our company desktop and laptops as well.

Thanks once again.

Best Regards,
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LVL 61

Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
You're welcome. And thanks to you for letting me know that it worked for you — I really appreciate hearing that! Regards, Joe
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