How to Disable “Update to Windows 8.1 for Free” Notification in Windows 8 Store?

Almost all of us know that Windows 8.1 is a free update for Windows 8 users and it can be downloaded and installed through Windows Store program in Windows 8 as mentioned here. If you are using Windows 8, it automatically notifies you about the availability of Windows 8.1 free update. Windows 8 regularly shows a notification message on the screen which asks you to go to Windows Store to download Windows 8.1 for free as shown in following screenshot:


Once you click on "Go to the Store" button, it allows you to update to Windows 8.1 for free via Windows Store.

But there is a slight problem! Some users may not want to update their Windows 8 computer to Windows 8.1 for some reasons. In such situations, the regular prompts to get Windows 8.1 for free might become annoying to them. There is no option given to permanently disable this notification message and you regularly get them.

I have received many emails from readers asking a way to turn these notification messages off in Windows 8. So today in this tutorial, we are going to tell you few ways to disable "Update to Windows 8.1 for Free" notification message in Windows 8:

  • METHOD 1: Using Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc)
  • METHOD 2: Using Registry Editor (regedit)
  • METHOD 3: Another Registry Editor Fix

Once you follow these methods, you'll no longer receive these annoying notification prompts to upgrade to Windows 8.1 for free.

METHOD 1: Using Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc)

1. Press "WIN+R" keys together to launch RUN dialog box and type gpedit.msc and press Enter. It'll open Group Policy Editor.

2. Now go to:

Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Store

3. In right-side pane, double-click on "Turn off the offer to update to the latest version of Windows" option and set its value to "Enabled".


That's it. It'll immediately disable the Windows 8.1 free update notification in Windows 8 and you'll never see it again. If you want to enable the notification again in future, set the value to Not configured.

METHOD 2: Using Registry Editor (regedit)

If you don't want to use Group Policy Editor or can't use it, you can do the same thing using Registry Editor. Just follow these simple steps:

1. Press "WIN+R" keys together to launch RUN dialog box and type regedit and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

2. Now go to following key:


3. Create a new key under Microsoft key and set its name as WindowsStore

So the final key path would be:


4. Select WindowsStore key and in right-side pane, create a new DWORD DisableOSUpgrade and set its value to 1


5. Close Registry Editor and log off or restart Windows to take effect. It'll completely turn off Windows 8.1 update notification.

If you want to restore the notification in future, just delete the DWORD or set its value to 0.

METHOD 3: Another Registry Editor Fix

If the above mentioned methods don't work for you, try following method:

1. Press "WIN+R" keys together to launch RUN dialog box and type regedit and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

2. Now go to following key:


3. In right-side pane, look for UpgradeAvailable and change its value to o

4. Close Registry Editor and log off or restart Windows to take effect and you'll get rid of Windows 8.1 update notification.

To restore the upgrade notification in future, just change value of UpgradeAvailable to 1 again.

Also check following new method:

How to Stop Automatic Forced Upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1?

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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • Thanks VG. I wanted this.

  • Although it sounds like a silly idea to skip Windows 8.1 but I know many people want this trick. Thanks VG for sharing it.

  • Why wouldn't you want to upgrade to Windows 8.1? It's tonnes better. I guess the only reason I can think of is that perhaps people might be worried about reinstalling their apps or maybe in a corporate environment where they don't have permission to upgrade and don't want the prompt?

  • @Lewis: It breaks stuff, including but not limited to mouse functionality in some apps - such as games running on the Source engine, where it introduces mouse lag that makes playing impossible.

    From the perspective of a gamer, 8.1 isn't 'tonnes better'.

  • Thanks a bunch!

    I've never previously had use of the group policy editor, but I might use it for more stuff in the future now that I've seen the power it holds.

  • I have NO windowsStore folder, key to click on. I am unsure how to proceed? Windows says"can't find gpedit.exe, so, I am trying to use regedit.exe so under microsoft I have the following folders,keys: cryptography,peernet, system certificates, windows, windows RT, and no win store in any of these either?

  • One of the reasons for which Windows 8 users won't upgrade to 8.1 is the "blank screen of nothingness" which causes the installation to fail.

    Of course there are some workarounds to fix the blank screen, one of which consists of replacing an outdated system file and deleting the WAT folder. Microsoft hasn't released an official fix for Windows 8 yet.

    Another reason is certain computers, though they're Windows 8-ready are not compatible with Windows 8.1.

  • Windows 8.1 crashed my $3000 computer. I had to send it back to Origin to get it fixed. Luckily they accepted my warranty although it had expired a month before or i'd be s*** out of luck. Thanks for this tip!

  • Seriously guys, go back and both read and digest the how-to above before proceeding - for those of you who missed it, when making changes to the registry, point 2: "If the above key doesn't exist, you'll need to create it manually"

    You will also need to create the DWORD value and simply enter its value in Hex as 1.

    And to those who cannot understand why we would choose not to upgrade, first, after searching for this issue, can I assume that you are either also not interested in upgrading to 8.x or you are a troll as you have no real purpose here.

    And second, we all have our own reasons for not wanting to upgrade, with the current prices of both Windows 7 and 8, why would there still be users running XP? Because it suits them maybe? When a new version or update is released, I tend not to test it straight away - I am not a beta tester so would prefer MS to fix all the bugs and release a completely stable version that is unlikely to break things before I install.

    Finally, just to make sure everything is fine, one would normally run the compatibility test prior to installing however, I found relatively new software that was incompatible that by all accounts really should be as its no more than 2 years old, do I run the risk of installing just in case MS has it wrong? In which case, as I have opted out of the upgrade, it would be nice for MS to provide an opt-out function so as this is unlikely to be forthcoming, these hacks are the next best thing.


  • For method #1, gpedit.msc is not found.
    For method #2, regedit finds most of the key's name, but not all. It finds HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\ but WindowsStore does not exist.

    Any suggestions?

  • Steve, I read your reminder...Got it. Thanks!

  • gpedit.msc not found for me either.

    regedit i found one path with WindowsStore key:


    I added the DisableOSUpgrade value there. We'll see.

    Can't believe MS has a non-disableable nag screen for the upgrade. Simply ridiculous.

  • Ah: "If the above key doesn't exist, you'll need to create it manually."

  • u know why people want to skip 8.1? cause it brakes a lot of games, i heard a lot of people have issues with games in 8.1, i only hear bad things about it

  • They tell you it's free but you still need an activation code. I think the sketchiest part of the update, is you can't restore to any previous versions. 8.1 completely deletes all previous versions. And they don't give you instructions on how to restore your computer either. I finally got my computer fixed by calling hp support.

  • Thanks for the advices.
    There is a lot of users not interested in upgrading to Windows 8.1, whose "new features" are of almost no interest for people using Windows 8 in desktop mode (including the silly "fake" Start button, people interested to fix this shortcoming did that a long time ago with Classic Shell or Start8 and in a much better way).
    I'll almost certainly wait for Windows 9 before upgrading my 8.

  • Ok I fixed my issue with a completely different entry.


  • I've used the regedit method which works well. Thank you, this is so useful !!!

    Some people have commented asking why wouldn't everybody want to upgrade to 8.1...
    As far as I understand, one of the reasons is that Microsoft purchased Skype so in 8.1 it is embedded within the OS in a way that it is impossible to log out of Skype unless you close the Windows session.

    Microsoft says that this is OK, and if the user doesn't want to be bothered on Skype this can be accomplished by simply turning on the "invisible" mode... so they say it shouldn't make any difference on the user's experience... yet Skype keeps running on the background.

    This is good for Skype in general terms, because it networks computers making them share resources in terms of bandwidth and others. Also, some people believe that this is good for the surveillance agencies (i.e. those mentioned by Snowden) because the software should allow them to see you permanently on your laptop's camera through a backdoor...

  • Many thanks, that was very useful.

    I installed 8.1 on a Windows 8 computer a while ago and after hours of waiting for it to install, the computer finally booted up - in Safe Mode and I was unable to get it to boot normally. So I went back to Windows 8 and have wanted nothing to do with the "upgrade" since. Those prompts were driving me nuts and so I am very pleased to have found a way to get rid of them.

    I owe you a beer!


  • Thanks for the excellent tutorial. You are awesome.

  • anyone who switched to windows 8.1 and wants to go back to windows, 8 all you have to do is go to settings/change PC settings/ General/ remove everything and reinstall windows and all drives, I love windows 8 ability to do this, does anyone know if they removed this feature on windows 8.1 ?

  • Thank you so much Vishal.

  • These comments all miss the point.
    It doesn't matter why you don't want to upgrade.
    It's your machine. No excuses or apologies needed.

    Microsoft doesn't see it that way.
    Upgrade now or upgrade later, that's your choice.
    They don't listen, they DICTATE!

    My disenchantment with MS has been growing over the last decade.
    With endless updates, software that you buy but don't own.
    Random blue screens lately.
    This upgrade hijack is the last straw.

    My next computer will be a Mac.
    And the old ones will get Linux.

    By the way, I applied both methods #1 and #2.
    Rebooted and got the popup again.

  • Thank you for the tip to disable the Windows 8.1 popup upgrade. Windows 8.1 acrobat reader does not provide a menu option to close the file. I am not on the Microsoft radar.

    It is a distraction for clients when a update popup appears when a customer signing docs on adobe acrobat.

    Thanks again and keep the tips coming.

  • For those commenting on why there's no Windows Store in the registry directory provided above, you have to manually make the key. Right-click and create new key. Then follow the procedure presented by the author. Thanks by the way! Very much appreciated. =D

  • The first method wasn't happening on my machine, gpedit.msc wasn't a valid name. I tried method #2 and gonna wait and see.

  • In the second method I've reset the value to "0" and have not yet seen the message appear.

  • @Larry? WTF? Lol. How much of that Apple Kool Aid did you drink? Should we call you an ambulance? "They dictate", haha, this coming from a credulous apple fanboy who finds apple advertising acceptable, with all it's brainwashing glory. A fanboy with an over rated, slow, outdated, PC they stamp mac on, because that's what it is. A mid grade PC, for two thousand dollars, or $1999 for the iMac. what a joke. Then they tell you, that you are not allowed to install that OS on anything that apple doesn't make directly. I hate to break it to you Larry, but apple utopia they are promising isn't a bit better. In fact it's more restricted. There's one born every day...

  • @ boing
    Seriously, calm down, and quit saying that overused word: fanboy. While I do respect yours and Larry's opinion, you have to understand to look at both sides. For Larry, Microsoft seems like a dictator, and it's fine to think that way (after all just look at Windows 8. People feel as if Microsoft is pushing them to use Metro without giving them any options.) He can use a Mac (an OS that makes you feel like you're in prison) if he wants to. And as for you, realize that Windows is also not a perfect OS ( an OS where malware is still common, where manufacturer-installed BLOATWARE is terrible, and where users become stuck on old windows versions). To be honest, I myself is a Microsoft fanboy (I have always used windows and will not switch, and I always try to persuade people to use windows). But my point is, you should always look at both sides.

  • Run regedit
    Go to
    and change the value UpgradeAvailable from 1 to 0

  • I apoligize for having gotten carried away in my previous comment.
    That was the first time for me, and I don't know what a "fanboy" is.
    It's probably derogatory but I don't care about that. Lively exchanges can be stimulating.
    I have developed windows software over two decades, in Visual C++, VB and dotNet, using what was at one time a superb development environment. So my observations are more than that of a casual user.
    I don't necessarily blame Microsoft for the increasing complexity and security concerns over the years. Maybe the programs and hardware devices that break, and the blue screens that seem to appear after numerous automatic updates aren't entirely their fault.
    But to repeatedly pop up a dialog in a captive environment without a "don't ask again" option -- that is something that Microsoft CAN control. It is beyond rude.
    Nobody should have to scour the internet searching for a way to get rid if this annoyance.
    Nor should he have to muck around in the registry or group policy editor to fix it, possibly causing system damage in the process.
    That's why perhaps I got a bit het up over it.

  • Thank you. I made both registry changes. I hope it works. I use my computer for live sound recording on movie sets, so I cannot afford to have sudden prompts that disable all functionality until I hit a button. What were they thinking?

    The drivers for my TASCAM DAW required .NET Framework 3.5, which, mysteriously enough, is disabled by default. What were they thinking? There is a bug where you cannot enable it if you have upgraded from Windows 8 to 8.1. The workaround to do so does not work as I have the Windows 8 disk. I had to reinstall Windows 8, as I see no real benefits of 8.1, and want to be able to use the Windows 8 disk if something like this happens again.

  • Just found this, it was just what I was looking for thanks!

    As for why I dont want Win 8.1... well I actually like the way vanilla 8 is laid out and works... I dont really want to change it at all. Also, if it isnt broke, why would I fix it?

  • I hope this works. I was in the middle of a long Matlab calculation and the machine just started the "upgrade" to 8.1 . I do not remember clicking yes on the upgrade offer, but I guess the popup came up and I did not realize the mouse was on it and not on what I was working on.

    I unplugged my PC before it finished the upgrade. Miraculously (do not do this at home), it ended well, in that after I restarted it, it said that it was unable to do the upgrade, and apparently my old Win 8.0 is there as before.

    Windows 8.0 is annoying, and it took me about 3 weeks to get it running ok.I only use this machine for calculations (I must admit that Matlab runs better on Windows that it does on a comparable Mac), so I don't care about the next version of the OS. Not interested. It was hard enough to get everything running on 8.0.

    (In case someone from Microsoft is reading this, I was contemplating a new Windows machine but this guerilla upgrade made me change my mind. )

    Anyway, the first approach worked for me. Thank you VG.

  • Thank you so much for this! I have had to upgrade to 8.1 twice in the past, and it is a nightmare. Sure there are some apps that you get to use for 8.1 and you get the fancy windows button in the left hand corner, but it's not worth it. I'm so glad I found this because the update reminder was getting more persistent and even setting time reminders for me.... anyways, thank you so much.