Rollback from Windows 10 to Windows 8.1

Not liking the newly installed version of Windows 10? Has it messed up your PC settings? Are you feeling troubled with its all new interface and program settings? Don’t worry, Microsoft allows you to roll back to your previous Windows right away. That is – if you carried out an in-place upgrade of your Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 operating system. This tutorial will show you how to rollback Windows 10 to your previous version of Windows, provided you performed an in-place upgrade from Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 to Windows 10 – and provided you carry put the rollback operation, within 30 days of upgrading to Windows 10.

UPDATE: Rollback period has been reduced to 10 days in Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

Rollback from Windows 10

Windows 10 has some great new features like Edge Browser, Windows Hello, Virtual Desktop, Device Guard, Antimalware Scan Interface, etc. but some people just can’t get past the habit and comfort of using their previous Windows versions. And then again, some may have messed up their upgrade and may want to get back to the stability of their previous Windows version, after using Windows 10 for a few days.

Thankfully Microsoft has kept an option of rollback, where unsatisfied users can uninstall the upgrade and rollback to the previous version of Windows – Windows 8.1 or Windows 7.

To roll back your Windows 10, go to your PC Settings, by typing Settings in the taskbar search bar, next to the Windows icon, and clicking on Settings. It will open the PC Settings. Select ‘Update and Security’.

Rollback from Windows 10

The Update and Security option opens. Here you will see options like Windows Update, Activation, Backup, Recovery and Windows Defender. Click on ‘Recovery‘.

This will open the Recovery settings window for your PC. You will see 3 options:

  1. Reset this PC: Remove everything and reinstall Windows. This will take your PC to its original factory settings.
  2. Go back to your previous version of Windows: This will just bring your previous Windows back on your PC without affecting your documents and files. Note that you have to carry out the rollback operation, within 30 days of upgrading to Windows 10
  3. Advanced Startup: Here you can change your PC settings using a Windows image or a USB/DVD.

Click on ‘Go back to previous version of Windows’. In this case you see Go back to Windows 8.1.

Microsoft will then ask for your feedback and the reason to uninstall Windows 10.

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Give your feedback and move ahead. Click on Next. You will see the following screen.

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Make sure your PC is plugged in as the rollback might get interrupted due to power off. Click the Go back to Windows 8.1 button.


Your system might take a while to process the rollback and read the settings of your previous Windows version. Sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee.

Note the important warning – you need to know or remember your password you used to sign in to your previous Windows version.

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Once the rollback process is completed, your PC will automatically be booted into your previous version of Windows.

You can also get back to an earlier build of Windows 10 using this method.

Rollback is dependent on the availability of the Windows.old & other folders folder, if you delete that, then you may not be offered the option to rollback.

See this if you receive We’re sorry, but you can’t go back. The files we need to take you back were removed message. But if you follow this trick, you may be able to rollback Windows 10 after 30 days limit.

On one of my other laptops, I upgraded my existing version of Windows 8.1 and ended up with a bit of a mess. So I decided to go in for a clean install of Windows 10 on a separate partition using a bootable USB.

You can also downgrade from Windows 10 using EaseUS System GoBack or Windows 10 Rollback Utility.

Also see:

  1. How to remove or uninstall Windows 10
  2. How to downgrade Windows 10 to Windows 8.1/7 after a clean install.

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