How to Downgrade Windows 10 to Windows 8.1 or Windows 7

Microsoft has outdone themselves by offering us a fantastic deal of free Windows 10 upgrade for one full year. It is not surprising that many people have taken advantage of this great offer which saves them from spending over $300 on a new operating system. While some persons have given Windows 10 great reviews and recommendations, not everyone is content with Microsoft’s new operating system. Such persons are not content because they:

  • Don’t enjoy the new features or interface in Windows 10
  • Experience many problems using Windows 10 on their computer
  • Find that the new operating system is not running smoothly on their computer and it becomes an annoyance
  • Prefer to use the previous Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating system that they are more comfortable with
 If you are not content with Windows 10 and want to revert back to your previous operating system, you have come to the right place. Microsoft has provided the option to downgrade Windows 10 in the event that you are not satisfied with their new product. We will take you step-by-step through the process of downgrading the new Windows 10 back to the previous Windows 7 or 8 on your computer.

Can you downgrade Windows 10? Yes! But…

Fortunately, Windows 10 provides you with an option to downgrade the operating system and rollback to the Windows 7 or Windows 8 system that was previously on your computer. However, this option is only available for a maximum of 30 days beginning on the day that Windows 10 was fully installed on your computer. Therefore, the question you should ask yourself is: “How long ago was my computer upgraded to Windows 10?”

If your computer has been upgraded to Windows 10 within the past 30 days, then you are in luck as the option to downgrade Windows 10 should be available to you.

However, if you upgraded your computer to Windows 10 more than 30 days ago, then this option will most likely not be available to you. Nevertheless, you can always do a quick check to verify if the option to downgrade Windows 10 is still available.

Please note that the option to downgrade is only available on computers that have been upgraded to Windows 10 from a Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 operating system. As a result, this option will not be available on your computer if:

  • The computer was bought with Windows 10 pre-installed.
  • The hard drive of the computer was formatted before Windows 10 was installed. This is also known as a Clean Installation.
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If this is your case, then click here for options on how to remove Windows 10 and install Windows 7 or 8 on your computer.

Finding the option to downgrade Windows 10

The option to downgrade Windows 10 is found in the new Windows 10 Settings page.

1. Open the Start menu and click ‘Settings’

downgrade-windows_052. In the Settings window, scroll down a bit and click ‘Update and Security’

downgrade-windows_073. In the Update and Security section, select ‘Recovery’ on the left

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If there is an option to the right of the window that reads “Go back to Windows 7”, “Go back to Windows 8” or “Go back to Windows 8.1”, then you can downgrade Windows 10 and rollback to your previous operating systems without any hassle. You can click here to move ahead and get started.

Please note that this option will not appear if you are logged into a guest account or a standard account. You must be logged in as an administrator to view this option.

If you are sure that you are logged in as an administrator and the downgrade option does not appear, click here for options on how to remove Windows 10 and install Windows 7 or 8 on your computer.

If you are not sure that you are logged into an administrator account, please continue reading.

Verifying your Windows account type

1. Open the Start menu and click the “account” field found at the top of the menu. The account field will show the name and picture of the account currently in use.

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2. In the small drop-down menu under the “account” field, click the option ‘Change account settings

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The account section of Settings will open.

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Information on the currently logged-in account will be displayed on the right of the window. If the word ‘Administrator’ is not found below the name of the account, then you are not logged into an Administrator account. Try logging into an administrator account and try again.

Downgrading your Windows 10 operating system

Before downgrading your system

Before downgrading Windows 10, make sure you follow the following steps to ensure a smooth change in operating systems:

  1. Backup your important files. These will include your documents, pictures, music and videos. There is a possibility that some of your files can be deleted or corrupted during the process. You can backup your files on USB storage devices, optical recordable discs (DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD-R and CD-RW), external hard drives, or cloud storage (such as Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive).
  2. Retrieve all installation files and installation CDs or DVDs for all programs installed on Windows 10. After a downgrade, all programs installed on your computer while it was running the Windows 10 operating system will disappear.
  3. If you are downgrading Windows 10 on a laptop or netbook, ensure that the battery is full and can provide more than three hours of uptime. For convenience, connect the AC power adapter.
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After these three steps, it’s time to begin.

Starting the downgrade process

Now that you are all set to downgrade Windows 10, it’s time to begin.

1. Go to the Recovery tab in the Update and Security section of Windows 10 Settings.Click here to review how to find it.

2. Under the heading “Go back to Windows 7’ or “Go back to Windows 8” or “Go back to Windows 8.1”, click the “Get Started” button.

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3. You will be asked to give reasons for choosing to downgrade Windows 10. It is mandatory in order to proceed, so select one of the given reasons or type your own reason in the space provided. Click ‘Next’ to continue.

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4. If there are uninstalled updates, you will be given the option to install the latest updates instead of downgrading Windows 10. Select ‘No, thanks” and proceed.

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5. You will be reminded about information that we would have covered. Click “Next” to continue.

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6. You would be reminded that you need to remember the password for your accounts in the previous Windows 7 or 8. Click ‘Next’ to continue.

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7. At last, the final message! You will be thanked for using Windows 10 and invited to use it in the future. Click ‘Go back to Windows 7’, ‘Go back to Windows 8’, or ‘Go back to Windows 8.1’ to proceed.

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Congratulations! Your computer will restart and begin downgrading Windows 10 back to your Windows 7 or Window 8 operating system. In a few hours, you will be able to use your computer again, but with your previous operating system.

What can I do if the downgrade option is not available?

If the downgrade option is not available on your computer, the only means of reverting back to your previous operating system is to reinstall Windows 7 or 8. This will involve the deletion of your files and programs, therefore you should back up all your important files and installation files for your programs before moving forward. There are many ways in which you can reinstall Windows 7 or 8 on your computer:

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Recovery DVD or Recovery USB drive

If you have a Recovery DVD or a Recovery USB drive created from your previous Windows, this is the perfect time to use them. These recovery devices will provide you with the option to wipe your hard drive and reinstall your previous operating system. The mechanism for each Recovery DVD or USB drive is quite different depending on the make of the computer and the program used to create the disc or prepare the USB drive.

Recovery DVDs or USB drives are specific to the brand of computer by which they were made or prepared. Therefore, using a Recovery DVD or USB drive made by a different brand of computer will most likely not work or cause problems.

Watch this video to learn how to restore Windows using recovery discs.
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Windows Recovery

Some companies create a partition on your hard drive that is made for recovering your Windows operating system to factory settings (the condition of the operating system when you first turned on the computer). Accessing the recovery section of the hard drive is different depending on the make of the computer. It usually involves pressing a key during the boot-up screen. Find out how to access the recovery partition of your hard drive for your make of computer.

Reinstalling Windows 7 or 8 on your computer

If nothing else works, the only option is to reinstall Windows 7 or 8 using an installation DVD or installation USB. Remember that you will need a product key in order to install the operating system on your computer.

You will need a product key if you are reinstalling Windows on your computer.

Watch this video to learn how to install Windows 7:

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