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How To Downgrade From Pre-installed Windows 10 To Windows 7 Or 8.1

The much awaited upgrade to Microsoft Windows 10 is finally here! The successor to Windows 8.1 is a free upgrade and comes with a lot of cool functions such as the Microsoft Edge and Microsoft’s premiere voice directed personal assistant:Cortana.

But things might not click between you and your personal assistant, and for whatever reason you might want to roll back to the older operating system. But before downgrading your system to Windows 7 or 8.1, there are certain pre requisites that you must take care of:

  • Have a virtual copy of either Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. If you have recently bought your system then it is very likely that your system came preinstalled with Windows 10, in which case you need to have Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8.1 either on disc or on a USB drive.
  • Necessary hardware drivers for Windows 7/8.1.
  • External hard disk to back up your essential data.

If the system was upgraded from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, then Windows 10 will essentially assist the user to downgrade the system with 30 days from the date of the upgrade. Here’s what the users can do:

  1. Open the Search and type ‘Go back’ in the search bar. This will display the result as ‘Go back to Windows 7 (or Windows 8.1, depending on which operating system was previously running on the system)
  2. Look for Go back to Windows 7 or 8.1 and click on ‘Get started’ and warnings to back up the data will be displayed. Click on next and the process will start.
  3. The system will take a while to downgrade and after a couple of reboots, the previous version of Windows will be up and running.

Now, if your system came preinstalled with Windows 10, there is a high possibility that the 30 days roll back period has expired and the user will have to manually downgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Before downgrading the system, the users will have to ensure these two things:

  • Availability of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 essential drivers. These are very important for the system to work and save the users from any technical glitches after downgrading. Download all the essential drivers such as Audio and Video drivers, Chipset, etc. and save them to a USB drive.
  • A user license to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.

After ensuring the presence of the above mentioned prerequisites, the users need to follow these steps to downgrade:

  1. Create a system image of Windows 10 if the user decides to upgrade to it in the near future.
  2. Carefully select the edition and version of Windows 7 or 8.1 depending on the system configuration. If the system houses 4 GB of RAM or more, the more sane decision would be to choose the 64 bit version of the operating system.
  3. Initiate installing the operating system. It is always better that the user should disable Secure Boot option by entering into the system’s firmware interface. Now the installation process should be initiated by the user.
  4. The user should be mindful of any partition that has been created in the hard disk. If there are partitions visible, it is advisable that all the partitions are deleted and new partition with adequate memory should be allotted for system recovery. The Operating System shall be installed in the larger partition.
  5. After installing the operating system, the user should install the required drivers which were previously saved in the USB drive. The Operating system, in all probabilities, will be out of date and therefore a quick system update is necessary after installing Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
  6. It is also advisable for the users to immediately download or update their Antivirus and Firewall protection. Freshly installed Operating Systems are prone to the risks of malware and other cyber viruses. Even activating the operating system requires active internet connection and therefore rendering the system open to online threats.
  7. Activate your freshly installed operating system by providing the License key. While exercising the downgrading rights on Windows 10, the activation key is stored in BIOS data and the system will automatically detect it and will activate the operating system.

About Adity Bera

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