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How to Rollback Windows 10 to Windows 7/8.1

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Are you regretful for upgrading to Windows 10? Don’t know how to rollback Windows 10 to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1? Here are several solutions for you to downgrade Windows 10 to Windows 7/ 8.1 without data loss.

Regretful after Upgrading to Windows 10?

Windows 10. Nevertheless, after using this system for a period of time, parts of users planned to rollback Windows 10 to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 since they think Windows 10 is not as good as Microsoft says:

  • Some programs cannot be used in Windows 10.
  • Privacy is threatened since Microsoft might collect or leak our private information like address, mail, and phone number by default.
  • Windows 10 loses many cool features which work well in Windows 7 or 8.1.
  • Windows 10 is a new-born operating system so it is vulnerable and unstable.

How to Rollback Windows 10 to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1?

No matter which method you take to rollback Windows 10, it’s best to back up all important files. After all, any accident or error could occur during the rollback process, and this may result in data loss and even system crash.

You can use the professional file backup software – MiniTool ShadowMaker.

It can help you to back up files with ease. So just download it to keep your data safe.

Check out the tutorials of how you can back up your computer with the professional backup solution.

Downgrade Windows 10 to Windows 7/8.1 within 10 Days

Microsoft has said that you can make the rollback within 10 days as long as you upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7/8.1 recently. Microsoft offers an option to do the downgrade, which could be Go back to Windows 7Go back to Windows 8.1, or Go back to previous version of Windows 10, depending on your system and settings. 

Please make sure that your computer is plugged in because the rollback might be interrupted due to power off, and then click Close to continue. Afterward, click Go back to Windows 8.1 button to do the rollback, which may take some time for the system needs to read settings of the previous Windows. Once the rollback process is completed, your computer will automatically boot from the previous version of Windows.

Nevertheless, during the rollback progress, you may receive the error message: We are sorry, but you can’t go back. The files we need to take you back to a previous version of Windows were removed from this PC.


Now, most users would want to know what files were deleted or removed. In fact, the rollback should be on the availability of Windows.old and $Windows.~BT or $Windows.~WS, which are created by Windows during the upgrade and hidden in drive C by default. If one of them is deleted, renamed, or damaged, then you may receive the error message above.

If you can’t find them after these settings, most probably they have been lost. Under this situation, you have no choice but to try recovering them or take another rollback solution.

And if you want to recover the lost or mistakenly deleted data, the Data Recovery feature of MiniTool Partition Wizard plays an important role.

What if the upgrade has been done for more than 10 days? You have to take the following methods.

Rollback Windows 10 to Windows 7 or 8.1 after 10 Days Limit

Before showing the exact methods, let’s see a way to extend the 10 days limit to go back to previous version of Windows, which is recommended by lots of websites.

The Way to Extend the One Month Limit to Go back to Previous Windows

Based on the fact that files (Windows.old and $Windows.~BT or $Windows.~WS) used to revert back to Windows 7 will be deleted automatically after 10 days, which is the key to resulting in downgrade to Windows 7/8.1 failure, many people suggest making a copy for those files or renaming them before the 10 days limit ends, which is in theory available. But in my opinion, it’s useless. Here is my explanation.

From Microsoft I got the message that the Go back to previous version of Windows option will be unavailable in Settings if the upgrade has been done for more than 10 days. Without such an option, how can we do the rollback even if files for reverting are still there? Of course, if you are lucky enough to find the option somewhere or make it appear again, this is undoubtedly an excellent solution.

Therefore, users have to look for other ways after the upgrade has been done over 10 days.

Change Windows 10 Back to Windows 7/8.1 from a Windows 7 or 8.1 Backup

Before upgrading to Windows 10, most people will be suggested to make a backup for their system or other important files in case of upgrade failure. If you have prepared such a backup, it could be so easy to do the restoration. 

In addition, if you have created a system image for Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 before the upgrade, you can use another recovery option in Windows 10 to do the rollback – Advanced Startup.

Someone suggests rolling back Windows 10 from a command prompt, which is indeed introduced by Microsoft especially for Windows 7 users. If you are interested in this method, just try it. Well, what if we want to do the rollback when Windows 10 is unbootable? Here are 2 options: rollback Windows 10 from Safe Mode or revert it by using Windows installation disc or system repair disc (CD or DVD disc rather than USB flash drive). 

All in all, rollback Windows 10 to old version of Windows from a backup is highly recommended if you have a backup for Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, because this requires simple operations and just removes new things. However, if there is no such backup, you have to take the following recovery options.

Rollback Windows 10 to Windows 7 or 8.1 via Restoring Factory Settings

In Windows 10 you are able to restore your computer to factory settings, which reinstalls the version of Windows coming with your computer. For example, if your computer was preinstalled with Windows 8, then upgraded to 8.1, and then upgraded to Windows 10, restoring factory settings will change Windows 10 back to Windows 8 rather than 8.1.

Detailed steps to do factory reset are as follows: go to Start, and then select Settings > Update & security > Recovery > Reset this PC > Get started > Restore factory settings.

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