How to Downgrade from Windows 10 to an Earlier Version of Windows

So you’ve grabbed the free upgrade, installed the all new Windows 10 and given it a try for a couple weeks. Now if you don’t like Windows 10 for whatever reason, be it for the privacy issues, learning curve, or program incompatibilities, you can easily downgrade to your previous version of Windows with just a few clicks. The good thing about downgrading is that you will get to keep all your programs, files, and settings intact.

In fact, a smooth upgrade and downgrade process is one those improved features of Windows 10. And if you would like to downgrade, here is how you can to a previous version of Windows from Windows 10.

Note: even though I’m downgrading to Windows 7 from Windows 10, the procedure is the same even if you want to downgrade to Windows 8 or 8.1.

Before downgrading from Windows 10, there are a few things you should know and do.

1. Downgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 only works if you’ve upgraded your machine to Windows 10. So, if you’ve done a fresh installation of Windows 10, then you cannot downgrade.

2. You only have a month from the date of the installation of Windows 10 to downgrade from it. After that you may not be able to downgrade. Make sure to make up your mind before you run out of time.

3. Make sure that you have the “window.old” folder in your C drive and you have not changed or deleted any of the said folder contents.

4. Any settings you’ve applied to your Windows 10 machine will be lost as a part of the downgrading process.

5. If you’ve secured your previous version of Windows with an administrator password, then make sure that you have that password with you. Otherwise you may not be able to log in after downgrading.

6. Though the downgrade process is smooth, make sure that you have a good backup of all your files.

7. You may sometimes need to reinstall certain programs. This is not likely to happen, but be ready for it.

Downgrading from Windows 10 is easy and straightforward. To start, click on the “Notifications” icon and select the “All Settings” option.

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The above action will open the Windows 10 Settings panel. Select the “Update and Security” option.

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Once the Update and Security panel has been opened, select the “Recovery” option from the left sidebar.

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On the right panel of the window, you will see the “Go back to Windows 7” option. Just click on the “Get Started” button to start the downgrading process. If you have used Windows 10 for over a month, you will not have this option.

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The above action will bring forward a window asking for a reason for your downgrade decision. Simply select an option and click on the “Next” button to continue.

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Windows will show you some need-to-know stuff. Read it and click on the “Next” button to continue.

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As I said before, if you’ve used a different password for your previous Windows installation, then make sure that you have it with you. Click on the “Next” button to continue the procedure.

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Finally, click on the “Go back to Windows 7” button to commence the downgrading process.

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At this point, you’ve done everything you need to do. Just sit back and wait while Windows downgrades your machine. Depending on your previous Windows installation, the downgrading process may take a while.

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Once the downgrading has been completed, you can start using your system. Of course, you may still need to configure some settings, and if you find any problems with the installed applications, then you may also want to reinstall them.

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In the future, if you ever want to give Windows 10 a try again, you can do that for certain. After all, Windows 10 is free for the first year.

Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about downgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 7, 8 or 8.1.