Question: I have a lot of custom software on my “Windows 10 Home” PC that might not work on Windows 11. As a result, I don’t want to upgrade to Windows 11 until I can no longer get security updates for Windows 10. But it looks like avoiding Windows 11 is hard. What do you suggest? — David Hintz, Blaine, Minn.
Answer: There are several ways you can avoid getting Windows 11 on your PC. And it’s a perfectly reasonable strategy if you’d rather keep using Home or Pro versions of Windows 10 until Microsoft stops providing security updates for them in October 2025.
Here are the methods, which range from sensible to impractical to risky:
- If your PC lacks a certain computer chip, it can’t handle Windows 11 and you can forget about the upgrade. The chip, called a “Trusted Platform Module” version 2.0 (see tinyurl.com/2p8urcun), is located on the main circuit board and handles several security-related tasks, such as data encryption. If your PC lacks this chip, Microsoft won’t let you download Windows 11 to your PC. (To find out if your PC has the chip, see tinyurl.com/26v2ejd6.)
- If Windows 11 is downloaded and installed on your PC, you have 10 days to revert to Windows 10 without losing any personal data. To do that, go to Windows 11 Settings, click “system,” then click “recovery.” Select “go back.” Follow the directions and your PC will be returned to Windows 10. After 10 days, this process doesn’t work. (See tinyurl.com/nytzp4x8.)
- Windows 11 is installed via the “Windows update” function of Windows 10, which can be paused for seven days. If you’re willing to keep pausing the updates every seven days, you’ll never get Windows 11. However, you also won’t get any other updates, including those for security, so this method is impractical for anything but a temporary delay in getting the new operating system. (For details about this and the following methods of blocking the Windows 11 download, see tinyurl.com/2p8ph86y.)
- You can turn off Windows 10 “update services,” which means Windows will never update unless you tell it to. Like pausing Windows update, this isn’t practical for the long run.
- If you use Windows 10 Home, you can edit your PC’s registry, a database of settings, to prevent Windows 11 from being downloaded to your PC. However, I advise against making changes to a PC’s registry because if you make a mistake, the PC might not work.
- Readers who use Windows 10 Pro can make changes to the “Local Group Policy Editor” that will prevent Windows 11 from being downloaded. Experts consider using the Local Group Policy Editor a safer way to make PC changes than using the registry.
Question: I want to install a video doorbell and some outside cameras, but I don’t know enough about home security systems. Are there any beginner’s guides to video home security? — Anthony Adamczyk, Manchester, Conn.
Answer: Last January’s Consumer Reports contains a buying guide for home security cameras (tinyurl.com/4u4w7x7x). It discusses the pros and cons of using video doorbells and wireless security cameras, and how to decide what you need. The online Tom’s Guide from September (tinyurl.com/rjcnx7s8) compares do-it-yourself home security systems, most of which have the option to connect to outside professional monitoring services.