How to Downgrade Windows 10 to Windows 8.1, 8 or 7

Jun. 21, 2018 / Updated by Bessie Shaw to Windows 10

While Windows 10 is nicely designed and aims to be the best OS, you find it is not for you because of the interface, the annoying Windows 10 problems or just your personal operating custom. So you are ready to downgrade Windows 10 to the original version of Windows, like Windows 8 or 7 you are familiar with.

    In case of data loss and other unexpected issues, you'd better back up important files before system downgrade/change.

    There are many solutions for you to successfully downgrade or remove Windows 10, and here are the top 2 ways to downgrade Windows 10 to the previous Windows OS:

    Method 1: Downgrade Windows by Windows 10 Rollback Feature

    This method is for those who updated the system to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1, 8 or 7 less than a month and without any drive cleanup or deletion of files on the C drive.

    Windows 10 keeps previous Windows installations information for a month after you upgrade from the old Windows version. 30 days later, a clean-up will start automatically to remove folder C:\Windows.old, which stores the old installation files, to free up the disk space. So it is recommended to check the folder before the downgrading.

    Windows-old.png

    Note:

    1. Make sure you are logged in as an administrator.

    2. Back up important data (including your pictures, documents, music, apps, etc.) before any downgrading operation.

    3. If you operate this on a laptop, make sure the machine is in a connection of AC power adapter or in a full battery state that can support the uptime for several hours.

    Here are the steps for Windows 10 downgrading:

    Step 1: Start the Rollback Feature on Windows 10

    1. Use Windows shortcut keys Win + I to open the Settings.

    2. Go to the Update & Security menu.

    windows-10-settings.png

    3. Select Recovery in the left column.

    4. Click the button Get started under the option Go back to Windows 8.1/ 8/ 7.

    Go-back-to-Windows-7.png

    Step 2: Confirm the Downgrading

    You will get a pop-up dialog to confirm the downgrading.

    1. Finish the feedback according to your own situation.

    2. Click the button Next.

    Finish-the-feedback.jpg

    3. Select No, thanks if you meet an asking of checking for updates.

    checking-for-updates.jpg

    4. Read the notice in What you need to know.

    5. Click the Next.

    What-you-need-to-know.jpg

    6. Click Next if you could remember the password you’ve set in the previous Windows.

    the-password-you’ve-set-in-the-previous-Windows.png

    7. Click Go back to Windows 8.1/ 8/ 7 to finish the final step.

    Go-back-to-Windows-8.1.jpg

    Step 3: Downgrade to the Previous Windows OS

    Wait for a period of time, and your PC will finish all the downgrading process automatically. You’ll be able to use Windows 8.1, 8 or 7 as you like before long.

    Method 2: Remove Windows 10 by a Clean Install

    Downgrading Windows 10 with method above is not a tough task because Microsoft is nice enough to allow you to go back to the familiar one in seconds as long as your Windows 10 was upgraded from the old version within a month. But what if the new OS has been with you for over half a year?

    OK. This method is for those who have clean up the drive or who want a previous Windows version after the deadline of downgrading. That means you need to reinstall Windows 8.1, 8 or 7 on your PC to downgrade Windows 10.

    Note:

    1. Back up important files before the reinstalling.

    2. If you operate this on a laptop, make sure it is connected to an AC power adapter or in a full battery state that can support the uptime for several hours.

    3. Prepare the Windows product key to activate the Windows. You could find it on the PC’S case or on the certificate of authenticity sticker.

    Use Recovery Device to Downgrade to Windows 8.1, 8 or 7

    Find your original disc for recovery Windows, such as a Recovery CD, DVD or USB, which you got when you bought the PC.

    Recovery-CD.jpg

    Take the Recovery CD as an example.

    1. Press the PC power button and run the CD, keeping pressing F12 on the keyboard at the same time until options for booting appear on the screen.

    2. Select CDROM as a boot first device and press Enter.

    3. Follow the instruction to install the Windows OS.

    Create a Bootable USB Drive to Downgrade to Windows 8.1, 8 or 7

    If you don’t keep the Recovery disc, or if you want to install the Windows OS on a new PC with Windows 10 as an original OS, then you could try to create a bootable USB drive to remove or downgrade Windows 10 to the previous version.

    You could follow the instruction on Microsoft official site to create a bootable USB drive and reinstall the OS. And make sure you have the Windows product key number.

    What Should You Do after Downgrade Windows 10?

    You may find it hard to run the Windows OS you downgraded from Windows 10: no network available, sleep crash, display responding failure, recording failure, etc. And you may see a lot of yellow exclamation marks beside the hardware in device manger.

    In fact, the new-installed Windows can’t work properly without appropriate drivers, which play an important role in the communication between the hardware and the system.

    To resolve the driver problem, you could run Driver Talent after you downgrade Windows, which will help to download and install correct drivers instantly and automatically.

    Download Now


    Note: It is recommended to store Driver Talent on a USB thumb drive for easy access once you finish the Windows 10 downgrading.

    You could get a well-performed PC with only 3 easy steps:

    Step 1: Scan the PC for Problematic Drivers after Downgrading Windows 10

    Click Scan and the Driver Talent will detect missing drivers on your PC that experienced the Windows 10 downgrading.

    scan windows drivers

    Step 2: Download and Install Drivers

    Click Update and the Driver Talent will search, download and install proper drivers for the Windows automatically.

    update windows drivers

    Step 3: Restart the PC

    Restart the PC to make the new-installed drivers take effect.

    If there is no network after you downgrade Windows 10 to the previous Windows OS, you could try Driver Talent for Network Card, which is designed to solve wireless network driver problems initially once you finish Windows downgrading.

    Click the button below to get Driver Talent for Network Card directly.

    Download Now


    If you have any question of downgrading Windows 10 to the previous Windows OS, please comment in the section below or click the LEFT MENU on this page for more help. Any other driver issues, please see Windows Driver Solutions on this site.

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