How to Go Back to a Previous Version of Windows from Windows 10

How to Go Back to a Previous Version of Windows from Windows 10

So, you want to go back to your old version of Windows? No worries, I’ve got your back! Reverting back to your previous Windows install is actually quite simple, but there are a few things you need to know.

First things first, in order to go back to a previous version, you must have upgraded to Windows 10. If you did a clean install, going back won’t be as easy. Also, keep in mind that if it has been more than a month since you upgraded to Windows 10, reverting back might not be possible. After a month, Windows 10 automatically deletes your previous installation files to save space on your hard drive.

I know it may seem like there are a lot of conditions that need to be met to revert, but don’t worry. I’ll help you figure out if you still have your old installation files and show you how to go back to that previous version of Windows, if you do.

How to Go Back to Windows 7 or 8.1

Hey there! So, if you’ve used any disk cleanup tools, like the one in Windows, it’s likely that your old installation files are gone. And if it’s been over a month, they’re probably gone too. But if you’re lucky, you might find the Windows.old folder at C:Windows.old.

If it’s not too late, you can go to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. You should see a button that says Go back to Windows 7 or Go back to Windows 8.1. Just click Get Started and Windows will guide you through the process of restoring to your previous version.

If you don’t have this option, it’s probably too late. But don’t worry, there’s still a way to get Windows 7 or 8.1 back on your computer, although it’s a bit more complicated.

Performing a Clean Install

Now, this is a longer and more complicated process. But if you had Windows 7 or 8.1 before, you should have a product key somewhere. You’ll need to find that key to go back to either operating system. And not only that, you’ll also have to do a clean install because you can’t just downgrade anymore.

Luckily, you don’t need your old install CD/DVD, though it would be a bit quicker if you had them. But don’t worry, you can download the Windows 7 ISO straight from Microsoft as long as you have a valid product key. And for Windows 8.1, you don’t even need a product key for a fresh install. Just follow the steps on Microsoft’s support page and you’re good to go.

Once you have the ISO downloaded, you can use Microsoft’s USB/DVD Download Tool to burn it to a disc or copy it to a USB drive. They’ll guide you step-by-step on how to do it.

Make sure to back up any important files before you continue. This is a clean install, so everything will get overwritten and you don’t want to lose any important work or information.

After you’ve backed up your important stuff, just insert the disc/USB drive and start the install process. Now, if you bought a computer with Windows 10 pre-installed, downgrading is a little trickier. You’ll need to buy a product key for either Windows 7 or 8.1 and then do a clean install.

Final Thoughts

All in all, rolling back to a previous OS version is pretty straightforward, but it does take some time. It’s especially easy for those who were forced to upgrade to Windows 10 and want to go back before their 30-day grace period ends.

Need more help? No problem! We here at PCMech are always ready to lend a hand. Leave a comment or visit the PCMech Forums to get in touch with us!

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