Monday, November 2, 2015

GWX Control Panel: New Features in version 1.5

On November 1, 2015 I published version 1.5 of GWX Control Panel, the program that can remove the 'Get Windows 10' icon and prevent other Windows 10-related problems on Windows 7 and Windows 8. If you have never used GWX Control Panel before, you might want to visit the original announcement page, where you can find the complete feature list, download link, and user guide. If you're already familiar with GWX Control Panel, this post is just a quick review of the latest changes. (Download and contact links below.)

CHANGES IN VERSION 1.5

  1. Now detects the hidden $Windows.~WS folder associated with the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool, in addition to the more common $Windows.~BT folder that was already detected in previous versions.
  2. New Delete Windows 10 Download Folders feature now deletes both detected hidden download folders, preventing users from having to run scripts or manually override file security and ownership settings.
  3. Program now only requests administrator privileges when they're actually required, and only once per session, instead of always asking for permissions at program startup. Note: This is a hard feature to test because of the thousands of user security/permissions possibilities out in the wild; please let me know if you experience unexpected behavior when attempting to perform operations.
  4. New /norestart command line switch to assist support staff who operate GWX Control Panel via remote assistance tools. (More info at the announcement page.)
  5. Clear Windows Update Cache feature now displays a list of temporary effects that clearing the cache will have on Windows Update and gives you a chance to cancel before proceeding. (It is safe to clear your update cache, but some users might prefer to avoid the one-time changes that doing so incurs.)
  6. Decoupled download folder size checking from rest of the informational stats to speed up the first screen refresh with current status. You now always get information as soon as it's available.
  7. Removed the Close 'Get Windows 10' App button because it confused some users and was somewhat redundant, since the Disable/Enable 'Get Windows 10' App feature implicitly exits or launches the GWX app as needed.

DOWNLOADS AND DOCUMENTATION

You can always download the latest version of GWX Control Panel from the Ultimate Outsider downloads page. For the complete user guide and troubleshooting tips, see the original GWX Control Panel announcement.

CONTACTING THE AUTHOR

Because of the fickle and heterogeneous nature of Windows, it's impossible for me to test every possible user configuration or use case. If you have problems that don't sync up with your expectations or with the user documentation, please let me know. User feedback has been important in helping me decide where to focus for future updates. There are three easy ways to get in touch with me:
  • Leave a comment here on the blog.
  • Visit the Ultimate Outsider page on facebook and use the Message feature to send me a private message.
  • If you ever decide to send a PayPal donation (link on sidebar), you can use the "add special instructions to recipient" field to include a personal note. I read and respond to all of those.

9 comments:

Anon said...

Great work! Have you thought of a version that could run "silently" so network admins like myself could deploy it to user computers without having to go to each desk or issue instructions? Thanks! Bill

Ultimate Outsider said...

@Anon - Thanks! Several people have requested an unattended mode, and some form of that is on the roadmap. I can't give an ETA yet, but I do have something planned. There are a couple other big features ahead of that on my to-do list.

Kay B. said...

All I can say is wow! I don't know exactly what GWX did to my system, but a number of problems that I'd been having for the last couple of weeks disappeared after running your Control Panel. Thanks! Tip's on the way.

MasterO2 said...

Ultimate Insider, can you also add an option to GWX Control Panel that completely uninstalls gwx.exe and its associated files?

Most people want to be able to UNINSTALL, as well as disable, this idiotic windows 10 notification icon.

Regardless, thank you so much for this program. You have done a great service to normal Windows 7 users.

Unknown said...

Thanks a lot for the program!

Cheers from Italy

Unknown said...

I own a computer repair business and I've been fighting the GWX issues for weeks. Up till now I did the removal manually, changing permissions/ownership on the files and registry and then deleting the files/folders. I was skeptical about your "fix" so I ran it on a machine after finishing my manual removal and your program came back with zero results. This not only confirmed to me that my manual process works but that your program does a proper removal in a much shorter time !! GOOD WORK !! I would suggest that you keep the program simple and sweet and JUST focus on the GWX crap. Example: presenting an options to users for clearing the Windows update cache could possibly cause other issues unrelated to GWX and I'd be concerned that an average user and/or a "non-technical" person may get into trouble with features not directly related to GWX. Again, GREAT WORK on your fix !!!

Mack McRae said...

If your PC is on a domain, the upgrade icon will disappear and 10 will never automatically download and install. I confirmed this by taking a new 7 machine that had the icon and attaching it to a domain. The icon and upgrade to 10 disappeared from the PC. This was even before I configured the PC for WSUS.

Ultimate Outsider said...

@Unknown - Thanks for your comments. While the tool originally was only intended to manage the GWX icon, it has expanded to cover more bad Windows 10-related behavior... all features are still related to Windows 10, though. The Clear Windows Update cache feature is sometimes required to clear vestiges of the Windows 10 Upgrade hijacking of the Windows Update control panel. The in-app help and the user guide make it clear that most folks won't need to do it, and that they should try disabling the other Win 10 related features before deciding to proceed with clearing the cache.

There are some new features coming soon, and they still adhere to my original goal of detecting, controlling and/or eliminating Windows 10-related annoyances.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the clarification,, Again, my compliments on a good software build... John