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How to downgrade Windows 10 to Windows 7 or 8

Windows 8

Found that Windows 10 isn’t really the OS for you? You can simply restore your computer back to its original state

We think that Windows 10 is great and that everyone should upgrade to it where they can. However, if you’ve upgraded and are now finding that the OS isn’t right for you (perhaps you’ve got some unsupported hardware), you may want to go back to your original OS. The good news is that this is very easy to do, as the upgrade process saves details of your old version of Windows. Provided you haven’t run a disk cleanup on your system, deleting these original files, you can just roll back your computer to its previous operating system. A final restriction is that you have just one month from upgrading to complete the operation. Make sure that you’ve backed up any important files before you follow these instructions, just in case something goes wrong.

Step 1 – Open Recovery

Click on the Star Menu, type ‘recovery’ into the search box and click Recovery Options. This will launch the Recovery app, which lets you refresh or restore your computer. If you’ve got a previous operating system available, the second option will start ‘Go back to Windows xx’. Click Get Started.

Step 1 - Recovery app in Windows 10

Don’t have a restore option?

If you’ve left it too long to restore your computer or you deleted your recovery files, you’ll no longer have a restore option for your previous operating system. At this point, you’ve got two potential options. First, if your computer’s manufacturer created a restore partition, you should be able to reboot your computer and flash your computer back to its original state. Please note that this will wipe your files and applications, so you must make sure that you back up everything first. To find out how to restore your computer this way, you’ll need to check your computer’s manual for help or contact its manufacturer directly.

Secondly, if you have the original Windows installation disc, you can just perform a clean install on your computer. Again, this will wipe everything on your computer, so make sure that you have backed up everything important.

Step 2 – Select a reason

You’ll get a dialog box asking you why you want to downgrade, and you must select a reason from the list before you can click Next. After clicking Next, you’ll get a warning message telling you that you can’t use your computer until the process has completed and that you must leave it turned on. Click Next to agree and Next on the final warning page, which tells you that you’ll need to know the password to log into your old version of Windows. Finally, click the Go back to Windows XX button and your computer will restore to its previous version.

Step 2 - Choose reason to downgrade

Step 3 – Reboot and choose what to do

Your computer will reboot and go back to your previous version of Windows, complete with your files, settings and applications. You can now continue using your computer as normal, but at any point you can upgrade to Windows 10 again, or choose to clean install Windows 10 on your computer.

Windows 7 Log On

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