Windows 7 Pro gets nag patch KB 4524752 with a couple of eerily familiar registry keys

Last night, as promised, Microsoft started rolling out the patch to Windows 7 Pro that implements 'Support for Windows 7 is coming to an end' nag screens. While all indications at this point say that the nagging is tame, there’s an ominously familiar Registry key lurking.

windows 7 logo in the rear view mirror
pan xiaozhen modified by IDG Comm. / Microsoft (CC0)

Sharp-eyed AskWoody reader @Zathras sounded the alarm last night: The Win7 Pro "support notification" urging you to upgrade to Win10 has arrived.

win7 to win10 nag Woody Leonhard/IDG

It's KB 4524752 and the Knowledge Base article says:

After 10 years of servicing, January 14, 2020 is the last day Microsoft will offer security updates for computers that run Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1). This update enables reminders about Windows 7 end of support.

This update is available through Windows Update. If automatic updates are enabled, this update will be downloaded and installed automatically on devices running Windows 7 Professional. 

Remember how we never really figured out back in May which Win10 Home machines were getting the nag and why it appeared as Optional on some machines, Important on others, and not at all occasionally? Same thing's happening here. Zathras says it appears on his machine as Recommended. But an anonymous poster right after him says it's marked Important.

On my Seven Semper Fi machine, it's Optional but italicized.

A quick primer for those of you who forgot. In Win7 Update, you have two categories — Important and Optional. The ones marked Important are installed when you run an update. The ones marked Optional have to be checked before they'll be included in the update run. Optional updates have two flavors — italicized (which means they're Recommended but Optional) and straight-faced (which means they're optional Optional, I guess). But they won't get installed unless you check them.

The Knowledge Base article goes on to say:

Devices in managed organizations will not receive notifications. After it is installed, this update will run additional checks and will not show a notification on domain-joined devices, devices in kiosk mode, or devices that previously turned-off free upgrade notifications through registry settings.

Devices that do not meet this criteria will see a notification but can disable future reminders by selecting Do not notify me again in the lower-left corner of the notification, and then close the window. 

That’s in line with what we’ve been told. The next bit, though, sounds eerily familiar:

If you are an IT professional, you can set the following registry keys to disable notifications:

Registry location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Gwx

DWORD name: DisableGwx

Value data: 1

Registry location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate

DWORD name: DisableOSUpgrade

Value data: 1

That “IT professional” admonition is a bit trite, but the registry keys themselves will seem very familiar to those of you who lived through the “Get Windows X” campaign in early 2016. Surely you remember GWX — the sad and lengthy episode where, at one point, clicking an “X” on a dialog box installed Win10 on a Win7 machine, without your review or permission. Yeah, that GWX.

In this case, the registry keys are precisely the same ones that blocked the GWX campaign. I’ve written about them extensively. 

The patch appears to be on the up-and-up. That “Do not remind me again” checkbox actually does take away the nag. For now at least. 

Do you see KB 4524752 listed in Windows Update? Is it Important or Optional, italicized or not? Let us know.

Seven Semper Fi Spidey sense in AskWoody.com.

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