The Windows 11 era is well underway. Microsoft announced its new operating system at a dedicated event last June, before it began rolling out three months later.
A gradual delivery to all compatible hardware was always going to take a while, 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’s even a way to
install it on unsupported PCs and laptops, although there are some risks associated with this.
Windows 11 certainly isn’t for everyone. If you’ve installed the new OS but aren’t enjoying it, you can roll back to Windows 10. After all, it’ll continue to be supported until October 2025.
There are two methods available – it’s much easier soon after installing Windows 11, but still possible after that. Here’s what you need to know.
How to downgrade Windows 11 to Windows 10 within first 10 days
If you’ve tried out Windows 11 briefly but aren’t enjoying it, there is an easy way to go back to Windows 10. Just make sure it’s not been more than 10 days since you installed it for this method to work:
- Open Settings and make sure the ‘System’ tab is selected
- Scroll down and select the ‘Recovery’ option
- Under ‘Recovery options’, you should see a ‘Previous version of Windows’ section. Click ‘Go back’ to get started
- From the window that appears, choose any of the options and click ‘Next’
- When prompted to check for updates, click ‘No, thanks’
- Click next from the following two screens and then ‘Go back to earlier build’ to get the process started
All your existing settings and files should be unaffected, but it’s worth
backing up your PC first to make sure.
How to downgrade Windows 11 to Windows 10 after 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 reinstallation of Windows 10, although this is less complicated than it sounds. However, you’ll need to do a backup first – this process will only work with a clean installation.
- Head to the
Windows 10 download page on the Microsoft website
- Under ‘Create Windows 10 installation media’, click ‘Download tool now’
- Once complete, click 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 will now appear. After a few seconds, click ‘Accept’ to agree to the terms and conditions
- The ‘Getting a few things ready’ screen will show 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 ‘Choose what to keep’ screen, make sure you select ‘Nothing’, then ‘Next’ once again
- You’ll now be on the ‘Ready to install’ page. Click ‘Install’ to begin the process, but be warned: there’s no going back from here
Once this process is complete, you’ll need to follow the steps as if you’re using the device for the first time. This won’t take too long, and you should be up and running with the latest version of Windows 10 within a few minutes.
Of course, the other option is to
install Windows from a USB. This is preferable if you want to reinstall Windows 10 on multiple devices, as it’ll only need to be downloaded once.
If you’ve installed Windows 11 but are still on the fence about keeping it, you might want to wait for a while. Microsoft has already released
Windows 11’s first big update, with
more new features on the way soon. By the time the
22H2 feature update arrives, the OS will look and feel quite different to the version that shipped at launch.
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