The Windows 10 upgrade push was unusually aggressive and some users have permitted it to go ahead in large part to make the annoying pop-up messages go away. Unfortunately, things do not always go smoothly. Some driver and display issues have been reported, in addition to the usual end-user dissatisfaction after Windows upgrades.
PCWorld has offered a quick how-to with instructions on how to roll back to your previous version of Windows, whether it be 7 or 8.
- Back up your files, just in case.
- Locate your Windows 7 or 8 product key, again just in case.
- Click the Start button -> Settings -> Update & Security -> Recovery
- As long as you’re eligible to downgrade, there will be a section titled “Go back to Windows 7” or “Go back to Windows 8.1”. Click on the “Get started” button to begin the downgrade.
- After a reboot or two and some waiting, you should be returned to your old, familiar login screen.
You are only eligible to downgrade if certain conditions are met. For example, there is only a 30 day grace period after upgrading in which you are permitted to downgrade. Also, you must still have the folder “C:\Windows.old” that was created during your upgrade to Windows 10, as this contains your old operating system’s files.
Finally, there have been reports of downgrades not completing successfully. In particular, some users report a black screen with only the mouse cursor after logging in upon the downgrade’s completion. Sometimes this is fixed by manually shutting down the computer and starting it again, but there are no guarantees when messing with system files, so be sure to start by backing up everything.