How to Downgrade from Windows 10

Don’t find your new OS appealing and want to downgrade from Windows 11?

Windows 11 is the latest version of Microsoft’s popular operating system for desktop computers. After years of waiting, fans can now enjoy the revamped version of Windows, which not only include aesthetic changes but also performance improvements. 

However, change is not easy. Some people prefer using Windows 10 since that’s what they’ve grown accustomed to. 

If you are among these users, we’re assuming you want to downgrade from Windows 11 to Windows 10. 

Fortunately, the process is not as complicated as you might think. 

Things To Consider 

Before proceeding with the process, there are things you should know. First, Windows 10 will slowly be replaced by Windows 11 entirely and you might not receive security updates in the future. This can leave you and your data vulnerable to hackers and other harmful entities online. 

Also, you will need to perform a backup of all your files since this process will completely wipe your storage drive. 

Now, if you’ve purchased your computer with Windows 11 preinstalled, downgrading to Windows 10 isn’t something we recommend. Since your device comes with Windows 11 from the factory, you might encounter incompatibility issues when installing Windows 10 such as driver problems. 

On the other hand, you should not face any issues besides performing a backup if your computer initially came with Windows 10 and you’ve updated it to 11. 

Downgrading from Windows 11 to 10

Some recommend restoring Windows 10 backups from your computer if you’ve just updated it to Windows 11. However, we don’t advise doing this since you can encounter problems with drivers and packages. 

Instead, we suggest performing a clean install of Windows 10 and simply backup your files manually. 

Creating A Bootable Image

If you don’t have an installation disc of Windows 10, you’ll have to create a bootable image using a flash drive. For this process, you’ll need a USB flash drive with at least 8GB capacity, download Microsoft Media Creation Tool, and get a copy of Windows 10. 

See the steps below to guide you through the entire process: 

  1. First, head to Microsoft’s Windows Download page
  2. Look for the ‘Create Windows 10 Installation Media’ section and click on Download Now
Download Windows 10
  1. After that, head to your Downloads folder and launch the MediaCreationTool22H2.exe app. 
  2. When a prompt appears, click Yes to launch the tool. Wait for the Media Creation Tool to initialize and hit Next
  3. Read the Applicable Notices and Licenses Terms and click Accept
License Agreement
  1. On the next page, choose Create Installation Media for Another PC and hit Next.
Create Installation Media
  1. In the ‘Select language etc..’ page, leave everything to default and click Next
Downgrade from Windows 11
  1. Choose the USB Flash option and hit Next
  2. Insert your flash drive afterward and follow the on-screen prompts to create a Windows 10 installation media. 
Downgrade from Windows 11

Once done, you are now ready to downgrade your PC from Windows 11 to Windows 10. 

Installing Windows 10

Before anything else, we’d like to remind you once again that you must back up your files before doing this process since this will wipe your storage and delete all photos, videos, documents, and files on your computer. 

Once you’ve backed up your data, follow the guide below to install Windows 10: 

  1. The first thing you need to do is boot your computer using the flash drive you’ve created. To do this, you’ll need to restart your computer and start pressing the Boot Option key for your motherboard. For most manufacturers, it should be the F8 key. Refer to your user manual to be sure.
  2. Next, select the USB drive that you’ve created using the Media Creation Tool and hit Enter
Downgrade from Windows 11
  1. Once your computer booted to Windows Setup, select the language you want to install, the time and currency format, and the keyboard input method. Hit Next to continue. 
Downgrade from Windows 11
  1. After that, choose Install Now. When prompted, enter the product key for Windows or choose I don’t have a product key if you want to deal with product activation later. 
  2. On the next page, select the version of Windows 10 you want to install and click Next
  3. Read the terms and agreement on the next page, check the I accept the license terms option and hit Next
  4. Now, you’ll need to click on the Custom: Install Windows Only option on the next page. 
Downgrade from Windows 11
  1. Finally, select the drive partition where you want to install Windows 10. Follow the prompts to continue with the process. 

During this process, your computer might restart several times. Once ready, you’ll be greeted with a first-time setup page. From here, you can configure your system based on your preferences. 

Once done, your computer is now ready for use and you are back with the good old Windows 10. 

Can’t Install Windows 10? Here Are Some Tips!

If you happen to receive a “Windows could not complete the installation” error during installation, don’t panic. This is a common issue when installing Windows and troubleshooting it should only take a few minutes. 

1. Restart the Installation. 

When you encounter issues installing Windows 10 on your computer, the first thing you should do is reboot your device and repeat the installation process. Something may have occurred during your installation that caused it to stop, explaining the error. 

Just to be sure, try installing Windows 10 again. 

  1. First, hold the Power button on your computer until it shuts off. 
  2. After that, unplug your computer from the outlet and press the Power button for a few seconds to ensure that the current from the capacitors is discharged. 
  3. Now, wait for at least a minute before turning on your computer. 

Once done, repeat the installation process and see if you’ll still encounter problems.


2. Remove the Installation Media. 

If your computer is on a boot loop after installing Windows 10, it’s possible that it’s still reading from the media drive you’ve used for installation. To solve this issue, simply remove the flash drive from your computer and restart it. 

Now, your computer should boot from your hard drive and initialize Windows 10 to get you started. 

3. Repair Your Installation Drive. 

If you still encounter problems installing Windows 10, the last thing you can do is repair the installation drive you’ve created. There’s a good chance that some Windows resources are missing from the bootable flash drive you’ve created, causing the installation to fail. 

Since you can no longer use your computer to repair the installation media drive, you’ll need a second computer to redownload Windows 10 ISO file. 

That ends our guide on how to downgrade from Windows 11 to Windows 10. If you have questions or clarifications about the process, please leave a comment below, and we’ll do our best to respond. 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


  • Jake Kovoor

    Jake is the Editor-in-Chief of Saint and an independent software developer, with a Bachelors in Computer Science from Lancaster University, UK. He loves trying out various tech from the Flipper Zero to coding Raspberry Pis for automation. He started Saint back in 2016, having written over 100 posts, with the sole purpose of creating guides for software that had yet to exist back then to help users navigate around their technical problems.

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  1. This was the best, easiest, clear and direct information on reinstalling with just the.8.1 key. Thanks so much. After 2 days and 45 other tries yours was best. Not sure it’ll work yet lol but nonetheless.


  2. I agree, these were by far the easiest and clearly worded instructions for reverting back to an earlier version of windows from Windows 10. I’m back up and running with Windows 8.1 Pro. Thank you.


    1. INTEL engineered the new bioses so, that if Windows 7 is detected it will disable mouse and keyboard by default. The new world order does not want you to use windows 7 because there the user IS IN CONTROL. With windows 10 the users gives up ALL PRIVACY.

  3. I have windows 10 on a desktop. I would like to go back to windows 7 to be able to use publisher 7. Can I get back to windows 7 with a windows 7 “upgrade” package?


  4. I have an odd problem, the original OS was Vista this was installed by the manufacturer, Dell, who also provided a windows 7 upgrade disc with the package (yes it was a few years ago) since the upgrade to win 7 I have further upgraded to win 10, (horrible horrible horrible) I’ve had enough now especially since the Fall update 1709 screw up and I want to revert back to win 7, but, I can’t download an ISO copy of win 7 from MS because “the key is from Dell and I have to contact them for recovery options”. Is there any work around for this?

  5. oh no!!!!!!! if i understand correct i have to buy windows 8.1 as my laptop came with windows 10..i cannot find a single thing not even my computor to see my docs

  6. hi,
    I’m not sure if this is the right place to clear my doubts but let me try. I have recently bought Dell Server 5820 came with installed Windows 10 pro x64 in it. Now i’m planning to downgrade OS to windows 7 pro x64. I can see win 7 pro is still available online for sale . shall i buy it and if i do how about the activation? Can i still be able to downgrade to win 7 and activate it online? I heard MS is gonna stop support for win 7. any idea would be helpful. thanks

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