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How to downgrade from Windows 11 to Windows 10

Windows 11 brings a fresh new look and several new features that make Windows feel more modern. But be it the bugs or missing features, you might find yourself missing your old life, especially when you directly compare Windows 11 and Windows 10.




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.

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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, click down to 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.

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Step 3: Next up, you’ll want to click 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 Options.

Going back to Windows 10 involves using the previously mentioned backup that Windows 11 generated and Recovery Options will be the home for this. Again, keep in mind that you’ll only see this 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.

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Step 4: Once you click 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, click 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 clicking Next. Also, keep in mind you’ll need to remember your password to sign in to Windows 10, so don’t forget it. Click Next again to confirm.

Step 5: After you click Next a few times, Windows 11 will give you the Go Back to Windows 10 button. Click 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.

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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 methods 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. 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.

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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…
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