This week some clients reached out about why this Upgrade to Windows 11 is ready – and it’s free window was appearing on some of their workstations.

Upgrade to Windows 11 is ready - and it's free!

Around the same time, Microsoft announced on the Windows Experience Blog:

“Today, we’re excited to share that the upgrade offer to Windows 11 is beginning to enter its final phase of availability putting us ahead of our initial plan of mid-2022″

This affected only environments where Windows 10 Professional was in use – and despite having managed windows updates (and NOT approving a Windows 11 Upgrade) this prompt still occurs.

 

Here are 3 options you can use to stop this prompt and keep your devices on your supported Win10 platform.

 

1. Group Policy

Set the following policy:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Updates for Business

Policy Name: Select the target Feature Update version

Policy Settings:

Which Windows product version would you like to receive feature updates for? = Windows 10
Target Version for Feature Updates = 21H2

 

2. Registry

This solution will apply the above policy settings directly as local policy.

Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate
ProductVersion = Windows 10 (REG_SZ)
TargetReleaseVersion = 1 (REG_DWORD)
TargetReleaseVersionInfo = 21H2 (REG_SZ)

 

3. Microsoft Endpoint Manager Update Rings

For MEM / Intune environments, there are Update Rings for Windows 10 and later policies available that include options for controlling the Windows 11 upgrade. Check your Windows Update Servicing configuration to ensure your Update Ring Settings include:

Upgrade Windows 10 devices to Latest Windows 11 release = No

If you have policies enabled under Feature Updates for Windows 10 and later, then take a look to ensure these are limited to Windows 10 releases.

Here’s an example of the Update Ring policy applied:

Update Servicing Ring

Published On: February 14th, 2022 / Categories: Notes from the field, Windows 10, Windows 11 /

7 Comments

  1. nospam 2 February, 2023 at 3:57 am - Reply

    NOT good because when a new win 10 feature update is released it will be prevented until manually updating the registry/policy!

    • Dave Stagg 2 February, 2023 at 4:53 pm - Reply

      This is true – but that’s the idea of this setting. You get to delay and control which feature update your systems can use. I haven’t tried, but you may be able to set for “Windows 10” / “29H2” to allow Win10 feature updates but still avoid Win11.

      • gysiguy 18 February, 2023 at 9:27 am - Reply

        Can anyone confirm if this works?

  2. Brian 22 December, 2023 at 12:17 am - Reply

    We used the registry version, and even with all 3 values in place, the end user was able to initiate the install of Windows 11.

    • Dave Stagg 5 February, 2024 at 10:01 am - Reply

      Thanks for the feedback. I haven’t had a chance to confirm if the behaviour has changed for me yet. If you use the Group Policy, apply it to a test device and confirm that the registry values you’re using are in the correct format, and that the settings reflect an existing Win10/11 version. Also the Windows edition should be Pro or Enterprise.

  3. Nonoja Business 2 February, 2024 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate
    does not exist in my registry. Is this also only a feature of the pro editions? I got Home edition.

    • Dave Stagg 5 February, 2024 at 10:02 am - Reply

      Unfortunately, I don’t this is going to work for Home edition.

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