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How to revert to Windows 10 from Windows 11

If you are wondering how to switch back to Windows 10 from Windows 11 in this guide you will find all the steps step by step. Not all users who decided to upgrade to Windows 11 were satisfied with the experience. If you are also among them, here is how you can restore Windows 10 without any problems.

how to go back to windows 10 from windows 11

Table of Contents

Why return to Windows 10

A move back to Windows 10 can be motivated by several factors, including the need for greater stability, compatibility with specific software, or simply a preference for the Windows 10 user interface. The benefits of such a move include improvements in handling your daily tasks, greater efficiency in your work, and a decrease in technical problems. Before embarking on the downgrade process, it is crucial to make a full backup of your data. This step ensures that your personal information and important files are safe during the transition.

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.

This period can be extended up to 60 days with a trick. Here’s how:

Press Win+X on your keyboard and select Windows Terminal (Admin).

In the PowerShell window that opens, type the command dism /Online /Set-OSUninstallWindow /Value:60 and press Enter. This will extend the time limit for returning to Windows 10 from 10 to 60 days.

Reverting to Windows 10 simply requires accessing the Recovery Options menu, which can be reached by pressing Start.

how to go back to windows 10 from 11

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.

go back to windows 10 from 11

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.

how to revert back to windows 10 from windows 11

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.

downgrade windows 11 to 10

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.

reinstall windows 10

Downgrade from a Windows 11 PC to Windows 10

If you bought a new PC with Windows 11 but prefer to use Windows 10, you can downgrade without any licensing problems, since the Windows 11 product key is also valid for Windows 10

First, you need to download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool from Microsoft’s official page. This tool will allow you to create a drive for your Windows 10 installation. Once on the site, look for the download button and start the download process.

Before proceeding with the installation, it is essential to retrieve the Windows 11 product key. This key will be useful for activating Windows 10 without any problems. To do this, you can type cmd in the Windows 11 Start menu search box, start it as administrator and enter the command to display the Product Key. An alternative is to use PowerShell, started with administrator privileges, where you enter a specific command to achieve the same result. Remember to write down the Product Key and keep it in a safe place.

After retrieving the code, it is time to use the Media Creation Tool. Start the application, accept the license terms and choose the option to upgrade your PC. This will start the downgrade process.

When you get to the Windows 10 installation stage, the Media Creation Tool will give you several options. You can choose to keep your existing files and applications or opt for a clean install, which will remove everything. The latter option is recommended for new PCs or those who want a fresh start with no remnants of the previous operating system.

Continue following the on-screen instructions until the installation is complete. Once finished, Windows 10 will replace Windows 11 on your computer. If you prefer a more radical solution, you can also consider a clean installation from a bootable USB drive or by directly running the setup.exe file contained in the Windows 10 ISO image. This procedure will erase all data on the drive, so it is vital to make a backup before proceeding.

Remember that Microsoft will officially support Windows 10 until at least 2028. This leaves you ample time to decide if and when to permanently upgrade to Windows 11. By following these steps, you can restore Windows 10 to your PC without licensing issues, ensuring a return to the operating system you’re most comfortable with.

Takeaway

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.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, you can go back to Windows 10 from Windows 11, but the process depends on how and when you upgraded to Windows 11.
If you downgrade within 10 days of upgrading to Windows 11, you can return to Windows 10 without losing your data. After this period, you will need to perform a clean installation, which may result in data loss.
Go to Settings > System > Recovery. Here you will find the option to go back to Windows 10 if you are still in the grace period.
You will need to have Windows 10 installation media (such as a USB drive or DVD) and a valid Windows 10 product key.
Yes, you can generally use the same product key to activate Windows 10 after the downgrade.
Downgrading may affect the warranty or support offered by the manufacturer of your device. It is advisable to check with them before proceeding.
It is essential to make a full backup of your data on an external device or cloud service before starting the downgrade process.
Microsoft has announced that it will continue to support Windows 10 until October 14, 2025. This means that you will receive security updates until that date.

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