So you’ve taken up Microsoft on its offer to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. How’s that working out for you?
For the most part Windows 10 should be able to run on just about any hardware that could run Windows 7 or later. But if you’re running into problems, Microsoft included an escape chute: You can easily roll back to an earlier version of Windows within 30 days of installing Windows 10.
If you upgraded from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, Microsoft will save all of your files in a folder called Windows.old. It’ll stick around for about a month before Windows 10 deletes the folder to free up gigabytes of disk space.
In order to go back to your previous version of Windows, all you have to do is open the Windows 10 Settings app, choose the “Update & Security” option, and then select the “Recovery” tab.
You should see an option that says “Go back to Windows 8.1” or “Go Back to Windows 7.”
Since this option will disappear in 30 days, it’s not a bad idea to create a backup of your previous operating system before upgrading. If you’re using Windows 8.1, you can create a USB recovery drive. Windows 7 users can use the backup and restore utility to create a backup and a system repair disc.
On the other hand, if you stick with Windows 10 for more than 30 days, you can still use the built-in recovery tool. But instead of letting you roll back to an earlier version of Windows, it’ll let you restore Windows 10 to an earlier state.