Not everyone will love Windows 10. Maybe it didn't recognize an essential device, or wouldn't play a particular game, or you just didn't like it. Fortunately, Microsoft has made it easy to uninstall Windows 10 within 30 days of the upgrade, and revert to the previous version of Windows.
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When can I uninstall Windows 10
Not everyone will be able to uninstall Windows 10 after an upgrade. We need three things:
1) To have upgraded to Windows 10 with an option other than "Nothing"
The default option is to keep personal files and apps. If we changed it when we did the upgrade and selected "Nothing", it is impossible to uninstall Windows 10.
2) To have kept the Windows.old folder on Local Disk (C:)
This folder contains our previous version of Windows, and without it, we can't revert to anything.
It's not easy to delete Windows.old, it needs a specific procedure, so if you deleted it, you would remember.
3) To have an installation less than 30 days old
Since Windows 10 launched a couple of days ago, at the time of this writing, this won't be a problem for anyone. If however you are reading this guide later, you only have 30 days to uninstall Windows 10 since the day you did the upgrade.
After the 30 days, the Windows.old folder is deleted automatically, and you can't uninstall Windows 10 anymore. You will need to format the hard drive and reinstall Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
How to Uninstall Windows 10
The only thing we have to do to uninstall Windows 10 is to go to Start Menu -> Settings...
...then select Update & security.
There, we go to "Recovery" where we will find the "Go back to Windows 8.1" option (or Windows 7, if that was the case) and click "Get started".
Microsoft wants to know why we want to uninstall Windows 10. We can answer them honestly, make fun of them, or not answer them at all; it won't affect our uninstallation.
The Windows 10 uninstall process will recover some of the programs we had in the previous Windows installation, but it might not recover everything.
There is also a reminder that we should remember our login information for the previous version of Windows.
And this is the final step before we uninstall Windows 10. After this, there is no turning back.
The system will restart, stay on the following screen for a few minutes - depending on our system's and hard drive's speed.
And after that, we are back to our Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 installation.
That's it. We have now uninstalled Windows 10.
Did you have any problem to uninstall Windows 10?
If anything didn't work as described, and you weren't able to uninstall Windows 10, leave us a comment.
- Delete Windows.old after the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
- Upgrade Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 Without a Reservation
- Remove Windows 10 Upgrade Icon from Taskbar / Systray
- Error 80240020: How to Fix it for the Windows Upgrade
- Clean Windows 10 Install for Free: This is the Only Way
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