How to roll back Windows 10 to Windows 7: basic methods

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How to roll back Windows 10 to Windows 7: basic methods
How to roll back Windows 10 to Windows 7: basic methods

It is clear that Microsoft is increasingly pushing its latest development in the form of the tenth modification in the operating system market, forcing users of earlier versions of Windows to switch to its use almost by force. And still, the "seven", so beloved by many users, remains relevant and most in demand. There are also those who have tried the "ten" in the work, but they did not like it. In this regard, quite often questions arise about how to roll back Windows 10 to Windows 7. It must be said that there are not so many options, but they are. We'll talk about them later.

Is it possible to roll back Windows 10 to 7: options

Indeed, you can return the use of the seventh modification of Windows after installing the tenth. In this case, only the solutions presented in the list below can be applied:

  • standard return after an upgrade (the so-calleddowngrade);
  • restoring a working system from an image;
  • rollback to pre-installed Windows 7 on laptops;
  • clean install of Windows 7 instead of Windows 10.

It is noteworthy in the above list that not all return decisions are equal. You can partially roll back the system, saving your own files and previously installed programs (but not those that were already installed in Windows 10) using the first and second methods. The use of the third may not affect user data, however, you will have to say goodbye to applications that were installed before switching to the tenth modification. The fourth method can be used exclusively when performing the so-called clean installation, when the previous methods did not give any effect, but there can be no question of saving files and programs. In the best case, important files can simply be moved to a logical partition or copied to a removable drive.

Standard rollback when upgrading

For starters, let's assume that you went along with Microsoft and still upgraded your "seven" to "ten". How to roll back Windows 10 to Windows 7?

Standard rollback after upgrade
Standard rollback after upgrade

Very simple, because the top ten itself has a special tool for this, located in the security and updates section. But even here there are subtleties. Firstly, before, users were given 30 days from the date of the upgrade to think, but now the period has been reduced to 10 days. After its expiration, a refund for allwish to fulfill will be impossible.

Windows.old directory with old system files
Windows.old directory with old system files

Secondly, an important condition is the presence in the system partition of a special directory with the files of the old Windows.old system. If you did a disk cleanup that removed system files, you won't be able to roll back. Pay special attention to the fact that all applications previously installed in Windows 7 that migrated to Windows 10 will remain functional, but the programs that you installed already in the "top ten" will disappear.

How to roll back Windows 10 to Windows 7 without losing data from the image?

The above option, as it is already clear, is not good enough only because it cannot provide a full return after the time allotted for reflection, when the files of the old OS are deleted automatically.

Restoring a system from an image
Restoring a system from an image

That is why it is better to use a technique that allows you to return Windows 10 to Windows 7, which is supposed to use a working system image, and rollback through special boot options and the troubleshooting section.

Unfortunately, ordinary users very often do not think about such things, because the image must be created in advance. In addition, its size, depending on the volume used for the system partition, disk space, can be quite impressive. At the very least, if you are only thinking about switching to the "top ten", create an image in advance and save it, say, in a logical partition or on an external drive of a suitable capacity(e.g. USB-HDD).

Actions on laptops with Windows 7 preinstalled

Now let's try to figure out how to roll back Windows 10 to Windows 7 on some laptop models that were originally shipped with the "seven" pre-installed in the standard factory assembly. Here the most important condition is the absence of actions with the hard disk (or rather, with the partition on which the factory copy of Windows 7 is stored).

Rollback to pre-installed Windows 7 on an HP laptop
Rollback to pre-installed Windows 7 on an HP laptop

To perform such operations in most laptops, you can find special menus that are called at startup, where you need to activate the reset item. Naturally, if the hard drive was formatted with the removal of all existing partitions during the installation of Windows 10 or replaced with a new one, you will not succeed.

Clean install

Finally, with the basic questions regarding how to roll back Windows 10 to Windows 7, clarity has been made. It remains to dwell briefly on the latest option, which involves a clean installation. It will be required in cases where the previous solutions did not give any effect, the necessary conditions for the preservation of the components of the old system were not met, or the period for the possibility of performing a downgrade by the standard method simply expired.

In such a situation, you just need to create a new boot drive, write the installation distribution kit from the image to it, and then perform the installation, which will require you to format the partition, which will later be used as a system partition forinstalled "seven".

Note: keep in mind that if you changed the 32-bit architecture to 64-bit during installation (and, accordingly, converted the system partition from MBR to GPT), Windows 7 x86 will not just stand back up. Therefore, you will either have to perform the reverse conversion in advance (for example, in the AOMEI Partition Assistant application), or enable Legacy boot mode in the BIOS instead of UEFI. The flash drive on which the image file is written must have the NTFS file system (for installing Windows 10 x64 when booting UEFI and using the GPT partition style, FAT32 is required).

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