How to Downgrade to Windows 10: A Step-by-Step Guide

Downgrading from a newer version of Windows to Windows 10 can seem daunting, but it’s actually a straightforward process. Essentially, you’ll need to back up your data, create installation media, boot from that media, and then perform a clean install of Windows 10. After reading this article, you’ll know exactly how to downgrade to Windows 10.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Downgrade to Windows 10

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to know that downgrading will erase all your existing data. So, you need to back up anything important before you start. The following steps will help you safely transition back to Windows 10.

Step 1: Back Up Your Data

Before you do anything, back up your files.

If you haven’t backed up your data, you could lose important documents, photos, and other files. Use an external hard drive or cloud storage to save everything you need.

Step 2: Get Windows 10 Installation Media

Download the Windows 10 installation media from Microsoft’s website.

Microsoft provides a tool that will download the necessary files and create a bootable USB or DVD for you. Make sure you have a stable internet connection for the download.

Step 3: Boot From the Installation Media

Restart your computer and boot from the USB or DVD you just created.

You might need to enter your computer’s BIOS to change the boot order or press a key during startup to select a boot device.

Step 4: Install Windows 10

Follow the prompts to install Windows 10.

Remember that this will erase your existing data, so only continue if you’ve backed up everything you need. The installation process may take some time, so be patient.

After the installation is complete, you will have a fresh start with Windows 10. You’ll need to restore your files from the backup you made and reinstall any applications you need.

Tips: Making the Downgrade to Windows 10 Easier

  • Back up more than you think you need; it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Make sure you have all the necessary product keys for your software before you start.
  • Check your device drivers after the installation, as you may need to reinstall some of them.
  • Consider whether any hardware you have is compatible with Windows 10.
  • Remember that downgrading means you’ll lose some features that may be available in newer versions of Windows.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I downgrade to Windows 10 without losing my files?

If you perform an in-place downgrade (which isn’t always possible), you might keep your files, but it’s not guaranteed. It’s always best to back up your files first.

How long will the downgrade process take?

The whole process can take a couple of hours, depending on your computer’s performance and your internet speed for the download.

Will I need a Windows 10 product key?

Yes, you’ll need a valid Windows 10 product key to activate the OS after installation.

Can I downgrade from Windows 11 to Windows 10?

Yes, the process is the same regardless of which newer version you’re downgrading from.

Is it possible to downgrade after a month of using a new Windows version?

Yes, but only if you have the Windows.old folder still on your system. Otherwise, you’ll need to follow the clean install process outlined above.


  1. Back up your data.
  2. Get Windows 10 installation media.
  3. Boot from the installation media.
  4. Install Windows 10.


Downgrading to Windows 10 is a process that, while straightforward, requires attention to detail and careful preparation. The importance of backing up your data cannot be overstated – it is the safety net that ensures your personal files stay safe through the transition. The journey back to Windows 10 involves creating installation media, booting from it, and navigating through the installation process. Once the downgrade is complete, you get to enjoy the familiarity and stability of Windows 10, knowing that you have successfully taken control of your operating system environment. Whether it’s due to preference, compatibility, or performance issues with newer versions, downgrading to Windows 10 is a viable option that puts you in the driver’s seat of your computing experience. Remember, it’s your computer, and you get to decide which version of Windows works best for you.

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