How to downgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 8.1 or 7

downgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 8.1
By Tapas Pal Updated

Windows 10 is considered to be the most powerful operating system Microsoft has ever come up with. It is a combination of almost all the best features which once proved to be the reason of popularity for its previous versions like 7 or 8.1. However, if you are running a free upgrade and want to roll back, you can easily downgrade from Windows 10 to your previous operating system.

 Is it possible to downgrade from Windows 10?

There are times when the user finds the new operating system difficult to get used to. Formatting it and getting the new one installed is the most adopted action during such moments. But, if you are using an upgraded Windows, you can simply downgrade it to your previous Windows version (7 or 8.1). Just a few steps and you can roll back to where you were a month ago.

Note: The upgrade should not be more than a month old for successfully rolling back. The built-in downgrading option gets automatically erased after a month. So keep this thing in mind before trying to return back from the existing Windows 10. After a month, Windows 10 eliminates this option automatically, as it deletes the Windows.old folder occupying the files from the previous version. Without these files, you can never rollback using the Microsoft’s inbuilt facility.

Steps to downgrade from Windows 10 to 7 or 8.1

1: Backup everything before you Proceed:

It is very important to back up to avoid the risk of losing data during crucial moments (before making any major changes to the system). However, you can also downgrade Windows 10 without doing any back up if you are good at taking risks. But in case you have valuable data stored in your system, we recommend initiating the backup before proceeding any further. CrashPlan is one such thing, you can use to have regular backups of your data.
Note: Make sure that the backup drive and the drive to which the Windows is installed are not same. This is important to keep the data secure.

2: Downgrading Windows 10 using an Inbuilt facility:

If your upgrade is still less than a month old, you can easily downgrade it to your previous version using an inbuilt facility lying within Windows 10 only. The old files (belonging to the previous version) get automatically stored in a folder called Windows.old (in File Explorer) while upgrading. This folder stays within the system for 30 days, after which it is deleted by Windows 10 (as it takes too much space). So, you can roll back as long as this folder stays in your system. You can also restore files anytime from this folder or can manually delete it to free a lot of space using the Disk Cleanup tool (if you don’t want to downgrade).

Follow these steps to downgrade:

Step1: Press Windows (Key) + I to open Settings.

Step2: Click Update and security option. From the left pane, select Recovery.

Step3: In the right pane, you’ll see an option saying, Go back to Windows 7/8.1 (whatever the previous Windows was).

Step4: Click Get Started from below the option. A window asking about the reason of going back will pop up on your screens.

Step 5: Choose any of the given options and click Next.

Note: Don’t unplug your system during the entire downgrading process. Try not to press any unwanted key in the process. Moreover, you won’t be able to use the system during the downgrade.

After these steps, the downgrade would begin.

• After the Downgrade is finished:

Reinstall the necessary programs which used to be there in your previous Windows version. Also, change the settings as per your needs.

• How to downgrade from Windows 10 without this Inbuilt feature:

Sometimes, getting back to the previous version is not as easy as it actually seems. For in case if you don’t find this facility (inbuilt option) in your Windows 10 (like in old PCs, where product key is required for installation), you’ll then need to initiate a completely fresh installation of the previous version. This can be achieved simply by downloading Windows 7 and 8.1 ISO files

Follow the steps given below:

Step1: Download the necessary Windows Installation media files. Burn the downloaded ISO files to a disc (or copy them to a drive) using a tool named Microsoft’s Windows USB/DVD download. You can download this tool from the internet.

Step2: Restart the system and you’ll see Press F12 to choose a boot device message. Press the key again and again till something new is displayed on the screen.

Step3: Select the bootable device where you placed your media files in, from the list (use arrow keys). Press Enter.

Step4: Choose Custom Install option to have a fresh install.

Step5: Enter the product key when asked. It is available in the installation media files which you downloaded above. Also, check the PC’s documentation if Windows was provided with the machine.

That’s it, upload and install the necessary programs and applications to make it look and feel as it was before.

So, this was all about downgrading Windows 10 to any previous version. Thankfully, Microsoft’s facility to easily downgrade your existing Windows version has helped in saving a lot of time which previously had to be invested anyways. You therefore, need not to search more helping guides over the internet, the inbuilt facility in Windows 10 would do everything you need to downgrade. Otherwise, the second option (fresh installation) stays always on the back-up.

If you have any feedbacks or queries regarding this article, just post them down in the section below, so that we can serve you in a more improved way in the future. Also, don’t forget to like and share this article if this really helped you in downgrading your present Windows or have helped you in any way. Moreover, if you have more working tips of downgrading Windows 10, share them with us.