In a previous article I showed you how to upgrade to Windows 10 from either Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, but if like some people you found that you preferred your old operating system instead, then this article will show you how you can easily go back to it.
Please note that you only have 30 days from the point in which you upgraded to Windows 10 to do this, after which time the files that you need to go back to your old operating system will be removed and you will have to either stick with Windows 10 or do a Clean Install for your old operating system. For the purposes of this article I will be reverting back to Windows 7 from Windows 10. Please also make sure that you have made a backup of your data before starting the process. You should be fine as it shouldn’t delete any personal data, but it is worth doing just in case.
To start the process off, click Start (white Windows logo) and then Settings.
In the Settings area, select Update & Security
In the Update & Security section, select Recovery
In this window select Get Started underneath Go back to Windows 7. If you originally had Windows 8.1 it will say that instead.
Once you have selected this option it will start the recovery process.
You will now see the first of 5 dialogue boxes. Pick a reason as to why you wish to revert followed by Next.
The first window will see if a Windows Update may help with any issue you may have been having with Windows 10 that can persuade you from reverting back to your previous version of Windows. Just click No Thanks.
This dialogue box will inform you what may get deleted during the reversion process. Some programs may need to be re-installed and any changes you made to Windows 10 will also be lost. You are also advised to make sure that you have backed up any important data, should something go wrong. You should be fine as no personal data should be affected, but it is always wise to make a backup before hand.
This one is important as the password you may have used for Windows 10 may be different from the one you used in Windows 7. For example, many people used either a PIN to access Windows 10 or their Microsoft password. If you do find that you have forgotten your password and wish to carry on, then I have written an article on how to remove a password for Windows 7 using Offline NT Password.
The last box is a goodbye message of sorts, but does state that you can re-install Windows 10 on your machine anytime again in the future should you wish to. You won’t need a Product Key either as when you upgraded to Windows 10 your system’s hardware (motherboard) was registered on the Microsoft servers as having a legitimate Windows 10 licence.
That’s it for messages, so now the process of reverting back to your old version of Windows will begin. The time it takes will depend on how fast your computer is, but I found that it took far less time than it did to upgrade to Windows 10 in the first place.
It will stick on this window for approx 10-20 mins
Your computer will then reboot and you will see the old familiar Welcome screen from your old operating system.
Finally, you will have fully reverted back to your old version of Windows.
Once this has completed, make sure that you check for any Windows Updates that there may be, and update any security software you have. (eg. anti-virus) As stated in the dialogue windows during this process, you may find that some programs will require re-installing again.
That’s it. The process is pretty straight forward so hopefully everything went OK for you.