How to go back to Windows 10 after upgrading to Windows 11
After upgrading Windows 11, you can easily restore Windows 10 without the help of external tools. But beware: this is possible only within 10 days after you have upgraded to Windows 11.
Reverting to Windows 10 simply requires accessing the Recovery Options menu, which can be reached by pressing Start.
Among the options available to you in this menu, the one that interests you is “Go back” to the right of this item, you will find the “Go back” button: just press it to start the procedure that will allow you to start restoring Windows 10. As we said, you will have this option available only if you have been upgrading to Windows 11 for less than 10 days. If you fall within this time window, the procedure initiated by Restore Options will allow you to return to Windows 10 without losing any data, in total safety.
Unfortunately, however, not everyone comes to the conclusion that they want to return to Windows 10 within this period allowed by Microsoft. So, how to restore Windows 10 if the downgrade deadline has already expired?
How to reinstall Windows 10 on a system running Windows 11
Unfortunately, reinstalling Windows 10 on a system where you have upgraded to Windows 11 is not exactly as painless a procedure as the one mentioned in the previous paragraph. The reason is quickly stated: you will have to reinstall all your applications and reconfigure the system according to your prior history. Basically, we are going to perform pretty much the same procedure we presented when we showed you how to install Windows 10 from a USB flash drive.
Let’s quickly review the steps necessary to perform this procedure, but before you begin, it is advisable to make a full backup of your system. One of the best ways to proceed is by using EaseUS Todo Backup, a powerful but inexpensive tool that will allow you to better manage the backup of your system. By making a preemptive backup, you will not lose important documents and other files. Never underestimate this step, as the loss of data could be devastating.
Step 1: Create an installation media
To reinstall Windows 10, you will need to create an installation media. To do this, you will need to choose the correct version of Windows 10 from Microsoft’s official download page. After the options are complete, you will download the Media Creation Tool, which will allow you to create the USB installation media. Remember that you will need to use a USB drive with at least 8 GB of available space.
By double-clicking on MediaCreationTool22H2.exe, you will start the very simple media creation procedure, after which, you will be all set to proceed with the reinstallation of Windows 10.
Step 2: Select custom installation
After creating the media and starting it via the Boot menu of your BIOS, it is important to perform the custom installation of Windows 10.
From the installer’s menu, select the version of Windows 10 you want to install and most importantly, select the option I don’t have a product key, as you can verify activation later. At this point, the tool will ask you “What type of installation do you want to perform?” Here you will have to choose “Custom: install only Windows (advanced option).” Be sure to choose the same partition where Windows 11 is installed. Confirm your choice and wait for the process to finish.
If all went well, you will find the data from the previous Windows 11 installation inside a Windows.old folder. In here you will find the files used by the various apps you had previously installed, but unfortunately they will be usable only after reinstalling the apps you are interested in and moving the files to their new destination folders. In this case, you will have to consult the guides and/or knowledge bases of the individual programs to find out which files and folders you need to recover from Windows.old.
Step 3: Verify Windows 10 activation
To verify that Windows 10 is properly activated, you will need to open Settings and go to Update and Security, selecting Activation from the side menu.
If Windows does not show as activated, you will need to enter the Windows 10 product key you have. If for some reason your activation key is invalid, or if you need a new product key, you can purchase Windows 10 at a very affordable price on the Mr Key Shop store.
Microsoft has given a very tight timeline for downgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 11. Just 10 days, to figure out if the Cupertino giant’s newest OS, should be more than enough, but that may not always be the case. For many, unfortunately, resetting Windows 10 means reinstalling the system, and this can be an inconvenience, especially in terms of time. It becomes critical in these cases to remember to make a full backup of Windows 11, possibly with EaseUS Todo Backup, before going back to Windows 10 to avoid potentially problematic data loss.