Posey's Tips & Tricks

How To Force the Get Windows 10 App To Run

Not getting the OS upgrade prompt to show up? Here's a workaround.

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In recent weeks I have spent a lot of time experimenting with various Windows 10 upgrade scenarios in preparation for an upcoming project. As you might have heard, installing the latest updates to Windows 7 SP1 or to Windows 8.1 Update causes the Get Windows 10 app to be installed. It is this app that enables the upgrade to Windows 10. Unfortunately, I have found that in about half of my tests this app was never displayed even though I could confirm that it was installed.

If you have PCs on which the Get Windows 10 app is installed but not active then there are things that you can do to enable the app. The best course of action depends on whether your PC is running Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update.

Windows 8.1

If you are running Windows 8.1 then Microsoft provides a script that you can use to activate the Get Windows 10 app. The script (which you can find here) must be entered into Notepad and then saved as a CMD file. You can run the script by right clicking on it and selecting the Run as Administrator command from the shortcut menu.

The first time that I tried running this script, the script got stuck in an infinite loop and did not appear to do anything. After taking a closer look at the script and the messages that were being displayed within the command prompt, it quickly became apparent that I had forgotten to run the script as an administrator. When I reran the script using administrative credentials, it at first seemed that the script was once again stuck in an infinite loop. After about a minute however, the script ended and the Get Windows 10 app appeared.

Since running the script, I have spoken to other IT professionals who have said that they could not get the script to work. Upon hearing that, I decided to do some more research. I discovered that the script only works if updates KB3035583 and KB2976978 for Windows 8.1 are installed. You can check the existence of these updates by opening an elevated Command Prompt window and entering the following commands:

dism /online /get-packages | findstr 3035583    
dism /online /get-packages | findstr 2976978

Even with these updates in place, some administrators have still reported having difficulty with the Microsoft script. Recently Techdows provided its readers with a modified script that seems to be working better than the original script (). I have personally tested the Techdows version of the script and it worked well for me.

Although I have not found any documentation stating that the previously mentioned script only works with Windows 8.1, I have not been able to make the script work on machines running Windows 7. The only way that I have been able to force the Get Windows 10 app to appear on Windows 7 machines is to use a batch file provided by someone at Microsoft.

The batch file, which you can download here, is not officially supported. The author has also warned that the batch file tends to trigger false positives from anti-virus applications. Even so, I have not had any problems running the script on Windows 7 SP1.

When you run this particular script, there are a few screens of disclaimers that you must acknowledge before you arrive at the main menu. Upon seeing the main menu, I recommend choosing Option 1. This option checks the PC to make sure that all of the necessary updates are in place.

Assuming that Option 1 confirms your PC's readiness then I recommend choosing Option 2. My experience has been that Option 2 causes the Get Windows 10 app to appear almost instantaneously. Best of all, this option has worked flawlessly every time that I have used it. I have never had to attempt to use any of the other menu options, so I really do not know how well they work.

About the Author

Brien Posey is a 16-time Microsoft MVP with decades of IT experience. As a freelance writer, Posey has written thousands of articles and contributed to several dozen books on a wide variety of IT topics. Prior to going freelance, Posey was a CIO for a national chain of hospitals and health care facilities. He has also served as a network administrator for some of the country's largest insurance companies and for the Department of Defense at Fort Knox. In addition to his continued work in IT, Posey has spent the last several years actively training as a commercial scientist-astronaut candidate in preparation to fly on a mission to study polar mesospheric clouds from space. You can follow his spaceflight training on his Web site.

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