How to downgrade Windows 10: Uninstall Win 10 and reinstall Windows 7 or 8
If you’re having problems with Windows 10 it’s easy to go back to your old Windows version
As of 29th August 2015 Windows 10 has been rolled out for general public, and if you upgraded the clock is ticking on your downgrade window. Microsoft gives you One Month to try out the new OS and roll back if you wish before the option disappears. Windows 10 may have some Applications that don’t work properly. It’s easy to downgrade Windows 10 and return to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1
Before you begin
The first step is of course to backup any information you currently have on your PC that you want to keep. Changing an operating system is a big thing, and data can often be lost along the way. You can use external hard drives, thumb drives, or some of the various online storage such as OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox that offer lots of space for free. When you’ve safely copied any documents, video, photos, or other important data you need, you’re ready to begin.
If you’ve added any user accounts since upgrading you’ll have to sign out of them and then remove them from the main account before you can downgrade.
Naturally, you can only downgrade if you upgraded from Windows 7 or 8.1. If you then did a clean install of Windows 10 you won’t see the option to go back. You’ll have to use a recovery disc, or reinstall Windows 7 or 8.1 from scratch.
When you upgraded to Windows 10 on a PC that already has Windows, the old version is stored in a folder called Windows.old. While this takes up space (up to around 30GB), it also means that you can restore the version via Windows 10 itself.
To do this first open the Windows Start menu by clicking on the icon in the bottom left of the screen. Select Settings from the menu.
Now you’ll see on option for Update & Security. Click it.
On the next page you’ll find a list of options on the left, one of which is Recovery. Click this and the main pane will display a variety of choices.
The one you want is Go back to Windows x’ where x will be 7 or 8.1
Click ‘Get started’ to begin. If you’re using a laptop you’ll also need to connect it to a power source or the option won’t work.
You’ll now be presented with a screen asking you why you’re downgrading. Essentially, it’s a tool so Microsoft can gauge the user experience with Windows 10. Click Next when you’re done.
You will see a couple of prompts before rolling back giving you the option abort should you feel the need. To proceed please click NEXT.
Windows will now roll back your system to how it was before Windows 10 was installed. Some people are finding that even if their Windows.old folder is intact, Windows 10 will still throw up an error saying that files needed have been removed awaiting a patch from Microsoft to fix this. If you deleted Windows.old yourself you have to start from scratch. On our Windows 7 test machine, some shortcut had stopped working but we just recreated them again. All of our data was intact and in the right place