In the last few days millions of people have upgraded Windows 7 and 8.1 systems to Windows 10. But suppose you have tried Windows 10 and now you want your old system back? As long as it has not been more than 30 days since you installed Windows 10, there is an easy way to downgrade.
Here is the procedure. (You will need to be in an administrative account.) Since something can always go wrong, first back up any personal files and data. Also, if a laptop or tablet is involved it will need to be plugged in since the rollback can take a while.
- Open the Start Menu
- Click or tap “Settings”
- Click or tap “Update & security”
- In the dialog window that opens, choose “Recovery” in the left column
The image below shows the options that are then displayed. Under the entry “Go back to Windows x” (where x is 7 or 8.1), click or tap “Get started”.
- A blue window (example shown below) will open asking why you want to roll back the system. Choose an answer and click “Next”.
- Another blue window with some information will open. Click “Next”.
The rollback will start. Depending on your system, the process may take several hours.
The files needed for reverting to a previous system are in a folder Windows.old or in folders $Windows.~BT and $Windows.~WS. If you have deleted these with a clean-up procedure, then no rollback is possible. Once you are sure that you are happy with Windows 10, the Disk Cleanup procedure can be used to remove these files. The process is similar to that given for Windows 8 in this tip.
And there you have it - how to go back to your old familiar system.
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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.
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