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  • Downgrade windows 10 back to windows 8 (8.1) or 7

    If you’ve upgraded a PC to Windows 10 — not performed a clean install, but an upgrade — you’ll have an easy option that lets you revert to the last version of Windows. To access this, open the Start menu and select Settings. Click the “Update & security” icon and select “Recovery.”
    You should see a “Go back to Windows 7” or “Go back to Windows 8.1” option. Click the Get started button to get rid of your Windows 10 install and restore your previous Windows install. Microsoft will ask you why you want to go back.


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    This works because Windows 10 stores your old Windows installation in the folder named “C:\Windows.old” on your computer. You can see this folder in File Explorer, though you shouldn’t attempt to delete it from here.

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    If it’s been over a month — or if you’ve run the DIsk cleanup tool and removed the “Previous Windows installations” files or deleted the C:\Windows.old folder by hand — you’ll no longer see this option. Windows 10 appears to automatically remove the old Windows installation files after a month to free up space.

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  • #2
    I wish I had found this guide last week when I was trying to downgrade! For some reason my HP wireless printer was not hooking up to my laptop once I upgraded to 10. I was scouring the web for ways to downgrade and eventually just had to do a whole system restore. It was annoying and all I wanted to do was print off two pages! What a nightmare. I have 10 on my other two laptops, but I wish there was a way to easily downgrade or use previous versions to launch software.

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    • #3
      Thank you for this helpful tip. I have a question which is lightly off at a tangent. The tip you offered only applies to those who upgraded to Windows 10. How about those who made a clean install of Windows 10 or bought a machine with Windows 10 pre-installed? What's the best way to revert to an older version of Windows then?

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      • #4
        Thanks for sharing this. From what I've read, the previous version of windows, after doing the upgrade to Windows 10, is only available for one month. After one month after the update, Windows 10 deletes the files of the previous version.


        Originally posted by Aree Wongwanlee View Post
        Thank you for this helpful tip. I have a question which is lightly off at a tangent. The tip you offered only applies to those who upgraded to Windows 10. How about those who made a clean install of Windows 10 or bought a machine with Windows 10 pre-installed? What's the best way to revert to an older version of Windows then?

        If you've bought a laptop with Windows 10, then I guess you would have to purchase Windows 8 and do a clean install with it. You can't downgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 8 if isn't already installed on your computer.

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        • #5
          I see. Thank you for the heads up. I am just asking to find out. At the moment, I am happy with how Windows 10 is working for me, so there is no need to go and look for an older version. I did have a look at what I can download for Windows 10, though. Apparently, I can download a copy of Windows 10 for free. I haven't tried it yet. Does anyone know anything about this?

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          • #6
            When i first switched over from Windows 7 to 10, I would have loved to have seen this guide; I was really miffed at Microsoft for forcing the new operating system on me when I was perfectly content with the "old ways". Now that I've been using Windows 10 for a month or so, I've realized that it's not so bad after all. I think I was mainly resistant to change, since I'm of the mindset that if it ain't broke don't fix it. The desire to switch back to Windows 7 is slowly fading. I suppose that's successful indoctrination for you!

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            • #7
              Well I really hope that this is a problem or issue that I never really have to think about or go through with, but I guess who is to say what will happen in the future. That said, then, I guess it is nice to have the options to go backwards and resort back to default mode, if you will. I am pretty sure I will be okay with W10 though, and all indications are pointing towards me having a good experience with it. Fingers crossed, of course, but thanks for the little peace of mind knowing there are options. Thanks for sharing.

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              • #8
                I guess that option is only available a month after upgrading to Windows 10. I haven't encountered any problem with a device or other software since upgrading to Windows 10 so I'm sticking to it. Windows 8 wasn't such a good experience after all so I really appreciate what I have right now.

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