Nobody installs a new version of Windows only to find they need to restore their previous version of Windows, but many Windows 7 users and 8.1 users have had to do just such a thing. For whatever reason, users have decided they no longer wanted to deal with the drastically different Windows 10 or some of its odd behavior.
In some cases, important software no longer works on Windows 10 and users decide it isn’t worth the upgrade. No problem. You can revert to a previous version of Windows, but keep in mind, you only have 30 days to decide if you want to do it or not. It’s important to remember that during that 30 day period, you do not want to delete your Windows.old folder located in the root directory of your C: drive. It’s still possible to revert to an old version of Windows past the 30-day mark, but you will need to do a clean install of your previous OS in this case.
How to Back up Files on Windows 10
Always make sure all of your important files from Windows 10 are backed up before starting this process. Just like when you upgraded Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to 10, all of your files should go with you. Unfortunately, nothing is guaranteed and things happen. Having secure backups is one of the most important things you need to do. ALWAYS, have copies of your stuff in case there is some unforeseen error during the revert process. Just when you think it won’t happen, guess what? It will happen.
How to Revert to a Previous Version of Windows
To begin the process, go to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. You can also use the using Windows Key+I, and in the list on the right, you should see Go back to Windows 7 or 8.1, depending upon the version you upgraded. Click the Get started button. The process will be the same whether you are going back to Windows 7 or 8.1.
You will be asked why you are reverting. Just give an answer you wish. You will then go through a series of messages that tell you what’s about to happen, issues warnings remind you to leave your PC plugged in, and that after going back you will have to reinstall some apps.
The messages will also tell you to BACK UP YOUR DATA! Also, make sure you don’t get locked out. Before you go any further, make sure you know your password for the previous version of Windows. This is really important if you’re downloading to Windows 7 or didn’t use the same Microsoft Account to log in with Windows 8.1. Write your password down if you think you will forget it.
Continue to press the “Next” button and the revert process will begin.
You’ll see a message: Restoring your PC will restore your previous version of Windows, and your system will restart several times during the process.
It is important to be patient and remember NOT to turn off your computer at any time. You can upgrade to Windows 10 later if you decide to. Once after I downgraded to Windows 8.1 and logged in, the message to upgrade to Windows 10 will appear.
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