How do I undo the Windows 10 upgrade?

Ask Mr. Noobie

Ask Mr. NoobieQUESTION: Maybe most people like the new Windows, but I don’t like it that well. I have an Asus laptop and refuse to put it on. My grandkids use the Asus PC, so I don’t care about that one. But my older Vaio/Sony laptop did not do so well when I accepted the Windows 10. You have informed us on how to do so many things. Can you do a lesson on how to get Windows 10 out of our computers and go back to our prior windows?? – Juanita G from New London, Ohio

ANSWER: You’re in luck! Microsoft has made it pretty easy to roll back to your previous version of Windows after the Windows 10 upgrade, as long as you do so in the first 30 days after you upgrade to Windows 10.

Before you attempt to do any of the steps below, however, please make sure you have a full backup of all of your important files (documents, photos, music, videos) and have original media for any program you may need to reinstall if something goes wrong.

The first thing you need to do is click the Start button and click Settings. That will bring up a screen that looks like this:

Windows 10 Settings

On this screen, click Update & security. On the screen that appears, click Recovery on the left-hand side. You should see a screen that looks like this:

WIndows 10 Update and Security: Recovery

Next, click the Get started button underneath the Go back to Windows 8.1 section. Note: if you upgraded from Windows 7 this section would say Windows 7 instead of Windows 8.1.

After you click Get started, a wizard will appear. I’ve included a screenshot of the first screen of the wizard to help you recognize it. I didn’t include any future screenshots because I don’t want to rollback Windows on my computer. But you should follow the steps to complete the rollback process.

Why are you going back?

If it has been longer than 30 days

Windows 10 hasn’t been officially released for 30 days yet so you should be within your 30-day window. But in case you read this outside of the 30-day window or for others that may be reading this wanting to do the same thing also outside the 30-day window, your only choice to rollback is to do a complete system restore on your computer.

This is a much more complex process and involves a lot of work. Again, you want to be sure you have a full backup of your files and all original media for the software installed on your computer. When the system restore is done, your computer will be in the same state it was in the day you purchased it. That means a lot of reconfiguring, reinstalling of software and restoring of files.

It’s do-able but it’s a lot of work.

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