Skip to main content

How to downgrade from Windows 11 to Windows 10

Windows 11 might be the latest, but it's possible that you may not agree that it's the greatest operating system Microsoft has to offer. And that's fair. After all, Windows 11 has had its fair share of bugs and issues. And in your own comparison between Windows 10 and Windows 11, you might think you'd rather go back to Windows 10. If that's the case, we can help you navigate the downgrading process.




10 minutes

What You Need

  • A Windows 10 PC

Microsoft makes it simple enough to revert directly through the Windows 11 settings page. That’s because, upon upgrade from Windows 10, Windows 11 actually stores a copy of Windows 10 on your PC for 10 days so you can go back to it. Do keep in mind that if you go back to Windows 10 from Windows 11, you might have to reinstall some apps and programs. Anything you saved on your PC while Windows 11 also won’t carry over back to Windows 10, either.

how to downgrade from windows 11 10 version 1642083070 update settings page 768x768
Image used with permission by copyright holder

How to downgrade from Windows 11 to Windows 10

The first part of our guide also only applies if it has been 10 days or fewer since you upgraded to Windows 11. If it’s been the past 10 days, then we have some advice for you in the next section of our article. This all might sound scary, but don’t worry. This is what our guide is for.

Step 1: To begin the process of downgrading Windows 11 to Windows 10, you’ll want to head into Windows 11’s settings page. Hit Windows Key and I on your keyboard while in any app, or on your desktop.

Step 2: After that, select Windows Update in the sidebar. This is where you’ll want to be for our next few steps. You might notice that Windows Update is home to everything relating to software, device updates, scheduling, or even joining the Windows Insider program. You don’t need to think about those for now, as the focus will just be on Update history in the next step.

how to downgrade from windows 11 10 version 1642083070 reset this pc 768x768
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: Next up, you’ll want to select Update history in the middle of your screen. You might need to scroll down to see it. Once there, scroll down past the list of installed updates to get to Recovery.

Going back to Windows 10 involves using the previously mentioned backup that Windows 11 generated and Recovery will be the home for this. Again, keep in mind that you’ll only see the option to go back if it is within 10 days since you upgraded to Windows 11. After 10 days, the option disappears, and you’ll need to see another option at the end of our guide.

how to downgrade from windows 11 10 version 1642083070 go back button 768x768
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 4: Once you select the Go back button, Microsoft will prompt you as to why you’ve decided to go back to Windows 10. You can pick any one of the options on your screen, or type your own answer. Your answer helps in Windows 11’s development process. Once filled out, choose Next at the bottom.

Windows 11 will then ask you if you want to check for updates. These might help fix the problems you’re having (like the performance issues with AMD GPUs,) so try to give it a shot. If that doesn’t work, you can come back following the previous steps, and choose No, thanks.

Microsoft will warn you of the things relating to data that we mentioned at the top of the piece, and you can accept by selecting Next. Also, keep in mind you’ll need to remember your password to sign in to Windows 10, so don’t forget it. Select Next again to confirm.

Step 5: After you select Next a few times, Windows 11 will give you the Go back to Windows 10 button. Choose this, and Windows 11 will do its magic. Your PC will roll back to Windows 10 automatically. Depending on the speed of your PC, it should take less than 5 minutes on average. Your PC will restart about two times, and once it does, you’ll be taken right back to your Windows 10 desktop.

how to downgrade from windows 11 10 version 1642083070 go back 768x768
Image used with permission by copyright holder

How to downgrade from Windows 11 past 10 days

If it’s been more than 10 days since you upgraded to Windows 11, then the method we mentioned above will not work. To go back to Windows 10, you’ll have to do what’s known as a “clean install” of the Windows operating system. This involves erasing everything off your PC, and starting from fresh, so be sure to back up your files.

The easiest way to do this is to visit Microsoft’s Windows 10 download page on your Windows 11 PC and look for the Create Windows 10 installation media option. Download the tool, open it, and then follow the steps on the screen. You’ll want to make sure you choose the option to Upgrade this PC now. Follow all of the prompts on your screen and Windows 10 will install, putting your PC back in time to when it was new.

Frequently asked questions

Can Windows 11 be downgraded to Windows 10?

Yes, Windows 11 can be downgraded to Windows 10 and there are two main options for doing so: using the Go Back option in Settings to roll back the upgrade to Windows 11 or performing a clean install of Windows 10. The first option is only for those who upgraded to Windows 11 within the last 10 days. So basically, if you upgraded your Windows PC to Windows 11, you have 10 days to use the Go Back option in Settings to downgrade your PC back to Windows 10. If it's been more than 10 days, you'll need to perform a clean install of Windows 10. You can find instructions for either method in the previous sections of this article.

Why is "Go back" no longer available?

If the Go Back option appears to be grayed out in your PC's Windows Settings, then that means it's been more than 10 days since your PC was upgraded to Windows 11 and you missed the deadline for using this option to roll back the Windows 11 upgrade.

Can I downgrade from Windows 11 to 10 after 10 days?

Yes, you can downgrade from Windows 11 to Windows 10 after 10 days. But doing so requires a different method: performing a clean install of Windows 10. Be sure to follow the instructions for performing a clean install of Windows 10 described in the previous section.

Editors' Recommendations

Arif Bacchus
Arif Bacchus is a native New Yorker and a fan of all things technology. Arif works as a freelance writer at Digital Trends…
How to automate tasks in Windows to make everything faster
The screen of the Surface Pro 9 on a table.

In daily use of Windows 11 or Windows 10, you might notice that a lot of the things you do are repetitive. As soon as you turn on your PC, you might end up launching a specific app like a web browser. You might even be launching programs in tandem, like Slack, Teams, and Microsoft Office.

If you're hoping to be more productive and save time, automating these tasks to happen on their own without a mouse click or a keyboard as soon as your PC boots up is something to consider.

Read more
How to mass-delete all your emails on Gmail at once
Google services (YouTube, Gmail, Chrome, Duo, Meet, Google Podcasts) icons app on smartphone screen.

When your Gmail inbox becomes stuffed with junk, it can be near-impossible to sift through the hay to find the needles. Important emails, crucial documents, and those pictures from the family trip can get buried under mounds of spam and advertisements from shoe companies you never even bought shoes from. Luckily, there’s a few ways to sort through all your Gmail muck to put the spotlight back on what’s important.

Read more
How to open RAR files on Windows and Mac
Person sitting and using an HP computer with Windows 11.

Similar to zip files, a RAR (Roshal Archive) file is a way to compress multiple files down into a single, high-quality container. Once you’ve downloaded or received RAR content, the only thing you have to do is extract it to gain access to the media and docs within. Unlike zip files though, unpacking a .rar file isn’t as simple as selecting “unzip.”

Read more