You have certainly upgraded your Windows 10 to Windows 11 and tested the new features and functionalities of this new operating system. However, Windows 11 may still not be up to the standard of your old Windows 10 operating system that you have been working on since its release in 2015. You want to go back to it without doing another Windows 10 installation. Have no fear, it’s still doable, under certain conditions! Here’s what you need to know to go back to Windows 10 after installing Windows 11.
Extend the Time to Revert to Windows 10 beyond 10 days
Microsoft gives you the ability to uninstall Windows 11 and downgrade to Windows 10 with a few clicks in case you have upgraded from Windows 10 to Windows 11 with Windows Update. However, the scope of action is reduced by a short duration of 10 days beyond which, you will be forced to do a reinstallation of Windows 10 because the files of Windows 10 are by default deleted after these ten days.
Fortunately, there is a very simple way to overcome this problem. Indeed, you have the possibility to extend this period of 10 days and thus benefit from more time. Here is how to proceed in Windows 11 to extend the period of return to Windows 10:
- Open the Windows 11 command prompt by right-clicking on the Start menu and selecting Windows Terminal (Administrator).
- Type or copy and paste the following command in the command prompt that will open while replacing XX by the desired number of days: DISM /Online /Set-OSUninstallWindow /Value:XX
If everything went well, your period of return to Windows 10 will be extended by the number of days indicated in the command!
If you get an error message, it means that you have already passed the downgrade date or that the Windows.old folder that contains your old OS is no longer available. Example of an error message with error 87 displayed by the terminal:
How to Downgrade from Windows 11 to Windows after 10 Days
If you are still within the 10-day time limit or you have already extended the time limit, you can upgrade from Windows 11 to Windows 10 without reinstalling. To do so, you would just have to follow these different operations grouped into two main steps.
Step 1: Use the appropriate options in Windows 11 Settings
- First of all, you need to go to the settings of your Windows 11. This is not complicated to do: right click on the Start menu and click on Settings.
- Then, when you enter the Settings menu, look at the item at the top of the list and click on System which in turn has a list of options. In this list of options, click on the Recovery menu.
- Once this menu is open, you just have to click on the Revert option which should be clickable if the downgrade to Win10 is still possible.
SPOILER: this is not my case in the screenshot below, the Backspace option is normally not grayed out. It is not available here for me because I have already passed the 10 days period?
Step 2: Confirming the Rollback to Windows 10
When you click on the Backward option, Microsoft wants to be sure of your choices. To that end, it will first ask you why you want to move from Windows 11 to Windows 10. You don’t have to be honest at all and answer its questions in this scenario if you don’t want to. However, you should know that this information can be useful to Microsoft in order to improve its OS in the future. Therefore, please share your experience. In order to continue the operation, you need to choose a predefined answer or click on the "Another reason " box if you want to give more details.
Then, Microsoft will try to bring you back to your senses by asking you if you want to search for available updates. This is because Microsoft figures that its updates could rectify the problems you are facing with Windows 11. So you have to click No, thank you in order to continue the operation.
Finally comes the final warning from Microsoft. If you have used a password to log in to Windows 10, you must be sure you know it. Otherwise, your system would be locked and therefore you won’t have access to your session. As soon as this concern is over, you should now click on the Next button and then on Return to Windows 10. Your computer will then do an automatic restart and the process of switching from Windows 11 to Windows 10 will begin. It will take a few minutes to be finalized.
That’s it! You are now back on your Windows 10 system without reinstalling.