Rollback to Previous Version of Windows Without Losing Data

Uninstall Windows 10 Version 1607 Without Losing Data!!

There was a lot of hype and expectations from Windows 10 Anniversary Update before its release. And user’s particularly hoping that this time they do not to face any issues as what they did when November Update was released. Obviously, Microsoft too didn’t want any backlashes and was confident that the Anniversary Update will bring cheer on user’s face as they worked along with the feedback from Insider’s Program.

And then arrives the big release – The Anniversary Update, which was available for its 350 million devices on 2 August not for everyone but most of them. As managing such a huge number of devices was quite a task. And users who were among the first to get Anniversary Update installed on their PC were gaga over the new features like Windows Ink, syncing PC to their phones to improved personal digital assistant Cortana to Xbox. Users definitely had a lot to cheer about.

But the joy soon fizzled out with reports of the system crash, BSoD PC freezing and more. Almost 20 issues were reported in just a few days after Anniversary Update. Users started pouring in with issues in blogs and discussion forum looking for a solution. To their bad luck, nothing seemed to work. And for better or worse rollback was the only option which Microsoft themselves suggested as a temporary solution until they investigate the issue thoroughly to come up with a final solution.

Now, let’s look at some issues and rollback methods

Rollback to Previous Versions of Windows 10

If Windows 10 freezes after Anniversary update installed on your PC with the OS stored on SSD (solid-state drive) and data & apps stored on a different drive. And this problem arises when you start Windows 10 in Safe Mode.

If you are facing this issue and still in within 10 days’ period, then you can log in to Windows 10 using Safe Mode, and move data and apps to the same drive as the OS. After this, you can go back to the previous version of Windows running on the system.

Can't login into your PC? You can still rollback

If you want to go back to the previous version of Windows 10, but can’t log into your PC, then you can use these two methods:

Method 1: With Recovery Console

  1. Restart your computer, once you reach the sign-in screen, hold the Shift key and select Power > Restart.
  2. Once your PC restarts, it will open to the Choose an Option screen, select Troubleshoot, Advanced Options and Go back to the previous build.

If this option is unavailable, use Method 2.

Method 2: Using Safe Mode

  1. Restart your computer, once you reach the sign-in screen, hold the Shift key and select Power > Restart.
  2. Once your PC restarts, it will open to the Choose an Option screen, select Troubleshoot --> Advanced Options --> Startup Settings and select Restart.
  3. Once your computer restarts, a list of options are seen. Select F4 or 4 to start your computer in Safe Mode.
  4. Open Settings
  5. Choose Update & security and then select Recovery.
  6. In “Go back to an earlier build”, click on Get started and follow the instructions.

Rollback to Windows 7 or 8.1

If you don’t want Windows 10 at all and want to uninstall it and assuming that you have upgraded your computer from Windows 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10. Then you need to perform a clean install to get back to older versions of Windows.

To make it easy for you, Microsoft provides ISO files from where you can download Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. First download official installation media from Microsoft and then copy it to a USB drive or you can burn the ISO file to a disc using Windows USB/DVD Download Tool. Then, boot from it and re-install Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 again. This will rewrite the Windows 10 which is there on your computer’s hard drive. Most importantly do take a backup of all important files from your Windows 10 PC before the clean install.

To re-install, you need product key of your PC. For Windows 7, check your computer for “Certificate of authenticity” sticker which has a key on it. The sticker can be under the removable battery compartment, underside the laptop or may be on laptops’ power brick. And for Windows 8.1 PC you don’t have to do all this. The key would be embedded in the firmware of your computer, which Windows 8.1 will detect automatically, and permit you to re-install Windows 8.1 without needing you to enter the key.

My PC Came with Windows 10. How Do I Get the Previous Version?

If you have a new computer that came with Windows 10, it's quite tough to go back to previous versions of Windows. You’ll have to buy a Windows 7 or 8.1 license and install it from the start and enter the product key during the installation process.

Just in Case You Lost Data During Rollback to Previous Versions of Windows

To have a backup of important files before performing clean install is very - very important as it wipes out your hard drive completely. If you forgot to backup your files, using a reliable hard drive data recovery for Windows is the only solution. The data recovery software is capable of retrieving and restoring all your files after performing the clean install.

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John Harris

Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.

As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.

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