How to revert back to your previous OS after a Windows 10 upgrade

For some the upgrade to Windows 10 might not be their cup of tea but Microsoft makes it easy to revert back to the operating system you upgraded from.

Richard Hay, Senior Content Producer

July 31, 2015

1 Min Read
How to revert back to your previous OS after a Windows 10 upgrade

Let's face it - Windows 10 may not be for everyone.

It might be incompatible software, hardware or any other number of things that is not liked but bottom line is they want to go back to the operating system they upgraded from.

Well that is easy enough to do in Windows 10 and you have up to 30 days to make the decision to revert back to your former OS.

Once those 30 days are up then you will be forced to reinstall your old OS from scratch.

Here is how you revert to the previously installed OS.

1. Go to Settings>Update &security>Recovery.

2. Look for the Go back to Windows XX entry which will say either 7 or 8.1 depending on your former OS.

3. Click on Get started and follow the prompts to go through the restoral process.

Once it is complete you will find yourself in the familiar confines of your past operating system.

Take note - if you previously cleaned up after your Windows 10 install by using the Disk Cleanup tool and removed the old Windows installation files this option will not be available.

This process is the same for Windows 7 except the entry will say Go back to Windows 7 instead of Windows 8.1.

But, wait...there's probably more so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Google+.

About the Author(s)

Richard Hay

Senior Content Producer, IT Pro Today (Informa Tech)

I served for 29 plus years in the U.S. Navy and retired as a Master Chief Petty Officer in November 2011. My work background in the Navy was telecommunications related so my hobby of computers fit well with what I did for the Navy. I consider myself a tech geek and enjoy most things in that arena.

My first website – – came online in 1995. Back then I used GeoCities Web Hosting for it and is the result of the work I have done on that site since 1995.

In January 2010 my community contributions were recognized by Microsoft when I received my first Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award for the Windows Operating System. Since then I have been renewed as a Microsoft MVP each subsequent year since that initial award. I am also a member of the inaugural group of Windows Insider MVPs which began in 2016.

I previously hosted the Observed Tech PODCAST for 10 years and 317 episodes and now host a new podcast called Faith, Tech, and Space. 

I began contributing to Penton Technology websites in January 2015 and in April 2017 I was hired as the Senior Content Producer for Penton Technology which is now Informa Tech. In that role, I contribute to ITPro Today and cover operating systems, enterprise technology, and productivity.

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