How To Undo a Windows 10 Upgrade
Windows 10 has a lot going for it. Improved speed and security, the return of the Start button, and the Edge browser are just a few things I like about the new Windows operating system. But it also has a few rough edges right now. The good news is that Microsoft has provided an “Undo button” for those who've tried Windows 10 and want to go back to what they had before. Here's how it works, and my experience using it...
Don't Like Windows 10? Here's How to Downgrade
I explained how easy it is to upgrade even an older laptop to Windows 10 in my article, How To Get Windows 10 Right Now. My 5-year-old laptop is loving Windows 10, but not every one is equally happy with the new operating system.
Some people moving from Windows 7 are miffed that Windows 10 does not have an app to play DVD movies. Due to licensing issues, Windows Media Player was stripped from Windows 8 and Windows 10. There are paid apps in the Windows Store to replace it, but there's no need to open your wallet to solve this problem. See my article on the free VLC Media Player software which will do the job nicely.
And then there's Solitaire, the go-to app for people who want to waste time at work. I've seen rumors that the beloved card game was turned into a paid app, but that's not true. You can still play Klondike, Spider, FreeCell and several other solitaire games on Windows 10 for free. There are some new features and a Premium version that require payment. But your favorites are still there, even though it may take a few extra clicks to find them.
Those are nits, but some users are finding that third party screen savers don't work reliably, and some are experiencing crashes when using the new Edge web browser. Others report occasional slowdowns, or trouble getting Cortana to understand voice commands.
Any newly-released major upgrade of complex software is going to have bugs. If you find them too annoying, and you're not interested in waiting for Windows 10 to stabilize, or you just prefer the comfort of your old Windows 7 or 8 system, here's good news:
The UNDO Button for Windows 10
If you've upgraded to Windows 10 and you don't like it, you can do a "rollback" to the version you had previously.
My travel laptop was running fine on Windows 10 after upgrading from Windows 8.1 But just for fun, I decided to do a "downgrade" and test out the rollback option. If you want to do likewise, here's how:
- Open the Start Menu and click “Settings” (or tap it, on a touch display)
- Click or tap “Update & security”
- In the dialog window that opens, choose “Recovery” in the left column
- Under the entry “Go back to Windows x” (where x is 7 or 8.1), click or tap “Get started”.
The next screen asks, “Why Are You Going Back?” You can check one of the canned responses or write your own in the text box provided. There are no wrong answers here. You won't be denied a rollback if your answer is "My cat didn't get along with Cortana."
Next, you’ll see a screen that tells you two important things. You have 30 days from the date you installed Windows 10 to roll back to your previous operating system. And more importantly, you can upgrade to Windows 10 again later. Microsoft has said upgrades from Windows 7 or 8.1 will be free until July 29, 2016. It wouldn’t surprise me to see that deadline extended.
This last screen also warns that your system may restart several times, and that the process could take a long time. I’ve seen several trade press articles warning that the recovery process could take “several hours.” My guess is those pundits didn't actually try it.
My Windows 10 Rollback Experience
It took just 15 minutes in my case, and I was pleasantly surprised that everything works just as it did before the Win 10 upgrade.
So, if you regret your Windows 10 upgrade, do not be afraid to switch back to an earlier version. It’s quick and safe, in my experience, and you can always change your mind again.
A few readers have told me they were unhappy about being "forced" to upgrade to Windows 10, because they had heard that Windows 7 or 8 was no longer supported by Microsoft. That's untrue. Windows 7 will remain in Extended Support mode until January 2020. That means bug fixes and security patches will be provided, but no new features. Windows 8 is currently in Mainstream Support mode until 2018, and will not reach end of Extended Support until January 2023. So there's really no necessity to move to Windows 10, at least for several years.
Tell me about your Windows 10 experience so far. Is there a rollback in your future? Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 11 Aug 2015
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- How To Undo a Windows 10 Upgrade (Posted: 11 Aug 2015)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved