The Windows 11 era is well underway. Microsoft announced its new operating system at a dedicated event last June, before it started rolling out three months later.
Gradual distribution of all compatible hardware always takes some time, but Microsoft announced in January that it was ahead of schedule. However, all eligible devices have been able to download Windows 11 manually since October.
There is even a way to install it on unsupported PCs and laptops, although there are some risks involved with this.
However, Windows 11 is definitely not for everyone. If you installed the new operating system but don’t like it, you can roll back to Windows 10. After all, it will continue to be supported until October 2025.
There are two methods available – it will be much easier right after installing Windows 11, but still doable afterwards. Here’s what you need to know.
How to downgrade Windows 11 to Windows 10 within the first 10 days
If you’ve tried Windows 11 for a while but don’t like it, there’s an easy way to roll back to Windows 10. Just make sure it’s been less than 10 days since you installed it for this method to work:
- Open Settings and make sure that the ‘System’ tab is selected
- Scroll down and select the ‘Restore’ option
- Under ‘Recovery Options’ you will see a ‘Previous versions of Windows’ section. Click ‘Back’ to get started
- From the window that appears, select any option and click ‘Next’
- When prompted to check for updates, click ‘No thanks’
- Click next from the following two screens and then ‘Back to previous build’ to start the process
All your existing settings and files will not be affected, but you should back up your PC first just to be sure.
How to downgrade Windows 11 to Windows 10 in 10 days
However, if it’s been more than 10 days or you don’t see the option mentioned above, there is another way.
It involves a full reinstall of Windows 10, although this is less complicated than it sounds. You’ll need to make a backup first, though – this will only work on a clean install.
- Visit the Windows 10 download page on the Microsoft website
- Under ‘Create Windows 10 installation media’ click ‘Download tool now’
- Once done, click on the downloaded file to open it
- From the ‘Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?’ pop-up, select ‘Yes’
- The Windows 10 Setup window should now appear. After a few seconds, click ‘Accept’ to agree to the terms and conditions
- The ‘Getting something ready’ screen will appear for a few seconds. From the next screen, select ‘Upgrade this PC now’ and click ‘Next’
- The latest version of Windows 10 will now be downloaded. You can still use your PC in the meantime
- Once the download is complete, click ‘Next’ and then ‘Accept’ from the following screen
- From the ‘Select what to keep’ screen, make sure you select ‘Nothing’, then select ‘Next’ again
- You should now be on the ‘Ready to install’ page. Click ‘Install’ to start the process, but be warned: can’t go back from here
Once the process is complete, you will need to follow the steps as if you were using the device for the first time. The process shouldn’t take too long and you’ll be up and running with the latest version of Windows 10 within minutes.
The other option, of course, is to install Windows from USB. This is more suitable if you want to reinstall Windows 10 on multiple devices, as it will only need to be downloaded once.
If you’ve installed Windows 11 but are still wondering about keeping it, you might want to wait a while. Microsoft has released the first major update of Windows 11, with many new features coming soon. By the time the 22H2 feature update arrives, the operating system will look and feel quite different from the factory version at launch.
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