How to Remove the “Get Windows 10” System Tray Icon

Recently a Windows icon popped up in the system trays of all of my Windows computers. Its purpose, I discovered, is to assist you in upgrading to Windows 10 when it is released on July 29, and asks you to reserve your copy to facilitate your upgrade. That’s fine with me, and I went ahead and did what it asked. The problem is that the icon is consuming valuable screen space in my system tray and won’t go away. Even when you try and hide it (by clicking the little “up” arrow in the system tray then selecting “Customize” and “Hide icon and notifications”) it only comes back the next time you start your computer.

A Google search turned up some complex ways to remove it, but I figured out a very simple and easily-reversible way.

  1. Navigate to c:\Windows\System32
  2. Find the folder named “GWX”. Rename it “GWX2”. (Since this is in a Windows system folder, you will need to agree to provide administrator permission.)
  3. Restart your computer.

I would probably put things back by renaming the folder back to “GWX” sometime around July 29, as I’m assuming this program is important to an easy, automatic Windows 10 upgrade.