How to rollback from Windows 11 to Windows 10

Loredana Harsana
by Loredana Harsana
Windows & Software Expert
Loredana is a passionate writer with a keen interest in PC software and technology. She started off writing about mobile phones back when Samsung Galaxy S II was on top of the world and... Read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • After encountering different bugs, a number of errors, and many crashes, users have been searching for a way to rollback from Windows 11.
  • You only have 10 days to go back to Windows 10 but there is a way to extend that period to 60 days.
  • If the trial period has finished, you can just install a fresh copy of the old OS in just a few steps.
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Microsoft released Windows 11 to all users and plenty of reviews already surfaced on all media platforms.

Our readers complained about the new Windows 11 updates as they came with a lot of bugs and crashes.

In addition, there are also graphics errors in the taskbar, the new settings app doesn’t start if several user accounts are stored on the updated PC, and the integrated search refuses to start if you click on the search magnifier in the taskbar.

And the list doesn’t stop here. It seems like the only option for some users at this moment is to roll back to Windows 10 to get rid of all these issues.

So don’t panic, as we have the solution to your problem. Just follow the steps below and bookmark this page in case you find yourself in this situation again.

How much time has passed since the Windows 11 upgrade?

No matter what build of Windows 11 you’re using, you will be able to roll back to Windows 10 without any problems.

The only impediment to this idea is that you can only do so in the first 10 days after the installation process of Windows 11.

After these 10 initial days, which can be considered as a trial, you will not be able to roll back anymore, but we present you with an alternative in this guide.

In an official FAQ that has been sent to hardware manufacturers, Microsoft is answering questions about the setup of the Windows 11 OS, confirming the statements we made above:

If you’re not sure how many days ago you installed Windows 11, and thus, don’t know if you can easily rollback, read along for details.

  1. Press the Windows key + X to open the Start menu options and select Windows Terminal (Admin).
  2. Choose Yes in the UAC pop-up.
  3. Type the following command and press Enter to run: dism.exe /online /Get-OSUninstallWindow
  4. The number of days remaining sincer your Windows 11 installation will be displayed.

How can I rollback from Windows 11 to Windows 10?

1. Extend the trial period to 60 days

Note icon
NOTE
It is worth mentioning that this method will only work if you perform it before the initial 10 days have passed.

  1. Open Windows Terminal by pressing the Win + X keys on your keyboard and selecting the app from the menu.
  2. Type the following command inside the Command Prompt window and after running it, you should receive a message saying The operation completed successfully: DISM /Online /Set-OSUninstallWindow /Value:60
  3. To check if it worked, simply use the previous command again and you will see that now the period has been extended to 60 days: dism.exe /online /Get-OSUninstallWindow

Because having only 10 days to decide if you want to stick with Windows 11 might not be enough, we thought that it could be useful to find a way in which you can do so for an extended period of time.

As you can see, the roll-back time has been increased to 60 days, and thus, now you have more than enough time to test out Windows 11, without the need to completely uninstall it and reinstall it.

2. Use the built-in Settings app to rollback to Windows 10

  1. Click on the Start Menu and open Settings.
  2. Choose Windows Update, then click on Advanced options.
  3. Scroll down the list and choose Recovery.
  4. Click on the Go Back button under the Recovery options menu.
  5. Microsoft will ask about the reasons you have to go back to Windows 10. Choose an answer, and then click Next.
  6. A pop-up will appear asking you to try updating your Windows before performing the rollback. If you already tried that, click the No, thanks button.
  7. Microsoft lets you know about the implications of the rollback. Click Next after you’ve read the statements.
  8. Windows reminds you to keep your password or PIN in mind, so you won’t have issues after the roll back process has ended. Click Next if you got it covered.
  9. Click the Go back to earlier build button to start the roll back process.

We also recommend you back up your files. While downgrading does not delete your personal data from your PC, it’s better to be safe than sorry in case something goes wrong, and you have to format your drives.

Keep in mind that, to avoid this kind of displeasure in the future, you can stop Windows Insider builds or change the Insider channel from Dev to Beta or Release Preview until all issues are fixed.

As you could clearly see this is how to go back to windows 10 from windows 11 without windows.old and without losing data.

What to do if Windows 11’s installation automatically starts after the rollback?

1. Delete the update downloaded files

In case you left the Insider Program while Windows 11 was being downloaded, then you might end up with a request to Restart to install the newest Windows feature update.

This message appears because leaving the Insider Program doesn’t automatically stop any ongoing downloading processes. If you encounter this issue, follow these simple steps:

  1. Do not restart when the pop-up appears.
  2. Press the Windows key + E to start File Explorer and navigate to the following path: C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download
  3. Press Ctrl + A to select all the files at that location.
  4. Press Shift + Delete to completely remove the files and click Yes to confirm.
  5. Click the Start button and choose Update and Restart.

After these steps are completed, your OS will try to install Windows 11, but the needed files were removed, so the process will not go through.

2. Use Disk Cleanup

In case this process didn’t work as intended, you can also try the Disk Cleanup app, by following these steps:

  1. Click the Search button in your taskbar, type disk cleanup, and click on the app from the results.
  2. Click the Clean up system files button.
  3. Wait for the process to complete, then restart your PC.

What can I do if the 10 day trial has passed?

If the rollback period has passed, the only method to go back to Windows 10 is to install a fresh copy of the OS. Fortunately, that is a simple and straightforward process.

  1. Head over to the Microsoft dedicated page. While here, download the Media Creation Tool.
  2. Run the downloaded file and accept the terms of service.
  3. Click on the Upgrade this PC now option, then hit the Next button.
  4. Media Creation Tool will start downloading Windows 10 and create a media so wait patiently untill the process is finished. You are encouraged to use your PC in the meantime.
  5. Next, agree to the terms again and click Accept.
  6. Unfortunately, you can’t keep any files and the only option is to click Next so you will lose any files, apps and settings.
  7. Click the Yes button to confirm the option.
  8. The tool will start a series of checks to acknowledge if it can install Windows 10 on your PC. The process will last for a few minutes.
  9. The last step is to click the Install button. The system will go through with the Windows 10 installation.

If this solution was hard to follow, we also have a complete guide on how to reinstall Windows 10 that will help you.

Although installing a Windows 10 fresh copy is a longer process than a rollback, you will know for sure that it will work and all things will get back to normal again.

Rolling back to Windows 10 after the Windows 11 installation is not a very complicated process but doing so will result in a series of disadvantages, while also ensuring some advantages.

In the disadvantages set of elements, you don’t get access to the polished design that Windows 11 has to offer, and you would be missing out on observing how the OS gradually evolves to become a full-fledged operating system.

Additionally, the level of security your Windows 10 OS has to offer would not be at the same standards.

On the other hand, objectively speaking, rolling back to Windows 10 offers the insurance of relative stability and a fully-featured operating system that you already got accustomed to.

In our view, after using Windows 11 while performing our everyday PC tasks, the issues found are not enough for us to perform the rollback.

However, it can be different entirely in your case, so it all comes down to answering one simple question: Is relative system stability more important for you than that of a streamlined PC experience?

If you want to know more about Windows 11 and how it compares to Windows 10, we’ve covered all the elements that are worth considering, with features, a direct comparison, and even update tips.

Do you think you’ll upgrade to Windows 11 again? Tell us in the comments section below and let’s start a discussion.

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