How You Can Downgrade From Windows 10 to Windows 7 or 8.1
Downgrading Made Easy
Did you upgrade to Windows 10 and don’t like it? If your upgrade was within the last month, you are able to downgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 7 or 8.1. If you decide later to go back to Windows 10, you can.
Downgrade Option Built-in
When upgrading to Windows 10 from a previous version of Windows, the old OS files are stores in a folder with the name Wondows.old.
There is a feature built-in allowing you to return to your old operating system. The stipulation is, this option is available for only one month after upgrading. There are other options available if this time has passed.
To start, press Start > Settings > Update & security > Recovery. You will notice a header named Go back to Windows X (depending on what version you previously had). Press Get started.
There will be a window asking why you are returning to the old version. After filling this in, press Next, keep note of the information and prompts, such as do not unplug your system during process. Your system will now begin to rollback, during which time it is unable to be used.
Downgrade When There is No Option Given
If you do not have the option anymore, you will need to do a fresh install of Windows 7 or 8.1 on your system. Keep in mind, doing so wipes everything from your drive. If you have a physical copy of Windows 7 or 8.1, put it into your computer. If you do not have a physical version, Microsoft Product Recovery for Windows 7 and 8.1 allows you to create one.
Next, restart your system looking for a message similar to this “press Esc to choose boot device.” The key and message might vary – F12 and F10 are keys commonly used also. To be sure it is registered, you can tap the key several times.
A menu is displayed with a list of all your bootable devices in which you can choose from. To choose the device that matches the media use your arrow keys and hit Enter. Next, follow the wizard for installation. If prompted, choose custom install – which means this is a completely fresh install. You will be asked to enter a product key, this is on installation media (if purchased separately), or with documentation for the PC (if PC came with Windows), or a sticker which is on the device. Some Window 8 PC’s you do not need to enter the key due to it being embedded in the computers firmware. In this case, it is detected automatically and allows you to install Windows without you having to enter a key.
Going Back to Windows 10
If you decide to hang on to Windows 7 or 8.1 for little longer, you can downgrade. Upgrading to Windows 10 is free for the first year. Just give it a go, but know that you have the option to use whichever you feel the most comfortable with.