400 million people have Windows 10 installed on their machine, but that doesn't mean they're absolutely thrilled with it. Ever since the Windows 10 free upgrade offer launched in 2015, some have been unhappy with it. Not to mention people who have only paid to update their PC recently.

Don't worry and don't panic. If you only recently upgraded to Windows from Windows 7, Windows 8, you can roll back. You can also revert to previous versions of Windows 10 after installing a major update.

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Here's how to roll back to Windows 7, Windows 8, and earlier versions of Windows 10 after you upgrade.

Go back to Windows 7 or Windows 8 with ease

Before you start, make sure you're ready to ditch Windows 10 and go back to whatever your previous operating system was.

Previous versions of Windows required you to restore your PC or tablet from an external backup that you made yourself. Windows 10 is a little smarter to let you roll back. When you install it, the upgrade saves a copy of your old operating system so you can roll back if needed. To be clear, this only works for users who upgraded their Windows 7 and Windows 8 PC to Windows 10 within the last month. Users who performed a clean install of Windows 10 will still need to use the backup they created.

You can also revert to previous versions of Windows 10.

Turn on your laptop, desktop or tablet. Then tap the button in the lower left corner of your screen.

Tap or click . It's in the Start menu just above the power button.

Note that if you are in tablet mode, your start menu will look more like the below. Touch users should tap the menu icon in the top left corner of their screen and select Settings from the menu that slides out to the left.

How to roll back to Windows 7 from Windows 10 (3)In the Settings app, tap or click the icon.

Now tap or click on the option from the menu on the far left of your screen. It's just below the Backup menu item.

Now tap or click the button under labeled with the previous version of Windows you had installed. This option is entirely specific to what was installed on your PC before. For example, you might see Go back to Windows 7 instead of what's in this screenshot. Either way, tap or click Get Started. You will need your device to be plugged in.

Follow the on-screen prompts and you'll be back on Windows 7 and Windows 8 within the next few hours.

Remember that users who have performed clean installs of Windows 10, not upgrades, do not get this option. They are forced to completely restore their PC from all the backups they might have created. If you didn't create any backups before starting the Windows 10 installation process, it's time to order recovery media from your device manufacturer.

Roll Back to Windows 7 or Windows 8 the Hard Way

For some of you, it's been over a month since you used the free Windows 10 upgrade offer to update your machine. If so, the button to restore your device to its old operating system will be missing. Windows 10 only retains the files needed to roll back to Windows 7 and Windows 8 for one month. After that month, it cleans up the device storage and removes necessary files, assuming you've had time to acclimate to Windows 10 and want to reclaim your extra storage.


To revert to Windows 8, Windows 7, and a previous version of Windows 10, you'll need to restore your PC from a backup. If your device came with a recovery DVD, now is the time to use it. Dell, HP, Lenovo and others all offer ways to obtain recovery media for machines purchased from them. Some device manufacturers offer downloadable recovery media online. Contact your PC manufacturer's support to order recovery media, if you don't have one.

If you love Windows 10 and don't plan to roll back, go to the Storage tool in the System area and clear your temporary files. This will free up that storage space, but will also lock you out on Windows 10.