How to download and install an earlier version of Windows 10 - gHacks Tech News


How to download and install an earlier version of Windows 10

Microsoft maintains support for several versions of its Windows 10 operating system for Home users and even more versions for Enterprise customers.

While it is often a good idea to upgrade or install the latest version that Microsoft released, e.g. Windows 10 version 1903 at the time of writing, there may be times where you may want to install an earlier version.

One situation where this may be desirable is if major issues in the latest version make you want to sit it out or upgrade to it at a later point in time.

The downside to installing an earlier version of Windows 10 is that it is not supported for as long as the current version of the operating system. Home editions of Windows 10 are supported for 18 months in total whereas Enterprise September releases for 30 months.

The guide provides guidance on downloading and installing earlier versions of Windows 10 or using the download to upgrade to an older version of Windows 10.

Part 1: the download

download old version windows 10

Many users use Windows Update or the Microsoft Update Assistant tool to upgrade; the options are not available in this situation as the latest version of Windows is offered when these services are used.

One of the easiest options available is to use the free tool Rufus to download the ISO image. Download the portable version of Rufus and run it after the download finishes. Note that you need to allow the program to check for updates as you won't get the download option otherwise.

rufus download windows

You should see an arrow next to Select in the interface. Click on the arrow and select Download to enable the download options.

Click on the boot selection menu afterwards and select Disc or Iso image (please select) from the items that are presented to you. A click on the download button downloads a small script and displays the download ISO image dialog to you.

Select Windows 10 as the version, click continue, and under Release the version of Windows that you want to download. You will notice that all previous versions of Windows are offered in the menu even those that are no longer supported. Select continue after you have made the selection and select the Edition in the next step and the desired language as well as the architecture (32-bit or 64-bit) in the two final steps.

download windows 10 iso image

You may select to download using a browser to run the download in the system's default browser. The Windows 10 ISO image should get downloaded to the local system once you have made the final selection.

Installing the upgrade

You may use Rufus to copy the Windows 10 ISO image to an USB device for installation or burn the ISO to DVD.

It is just a matter of booting the DVD or USB device to start the installation or upgrade process.

You can check out our guide on upgrading Windows 10 for detailed instructions.

Closing Words

Home users may use the method described above to upgrade to earlier supported versions of Windows 10 or install an earlier version of the operating system from scratch. Currently, that would mean upgrade from Windows 10 version 1803 to 1809, and in the future to 1903 when 1909 gets installed or to 1909 when 20H1 gets installed.

Now You: Which version of Windows 10 do you run and what is your experience with that version?

How to download and install an earlier version of Windows 10
Article Name
How to download and install an earlier version of Windows 10
The guide provides guidance on downloading and installing earlier versions of Windows 10 or using the download to upgrade to an older version of Windows 10.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. Yuliya said on September 15, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    LTSC 1809 🤗

    1. m4dsurg3on said on September 16, 2019 at 7:51 am

      Happy camper here as well :)

    2. Croatoan said on September 18, 2019 at 6:27 pm

      How can you get LTSC version?

  2. BC Resident said on September 15, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    After I installed an older release of Windows 10, from media that I created more than a year ago, I enabled the Internet connection. Windows Update automatically downloaded & installed the current release of Windows 10.
    Obviously, the total elapsed-time for download-and-upgrade exceeded that of an install of the current release.

    1. justaned said on September 16, 2019 at 12:02 am

      If you are going to download and install an earlier version, why would you open an internet connection without disabling Windows Update?

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 17, 2019 at 4:16 pm

        It is important to control Windows Updates. Less important once you land on a version that lists feature updates as optional and does not install them automatically anymore.

  3. Cor said on September 16, 2019 at 10:48 am

    1709 N Pro + simplewall. Couldn’t be happier.

    1. EP said on September 16, 2019 at 5:41 pm

      1790 N Pro went EOL on April 2019, Cor. no more updates 4 u then.

      1709 enterprise & education, on the other hand, get new security updates until April 2020

      1. Anonymous said on September 17, 2019 at 3:14 am

        Pfftt. Security updates? Haven’t updated 7 or 10 in years. When a worthwhile update finally comes out I’ll update. It looks like Win 10 isn’t completed yet.

  4. OldNavyGuy said on September 17, 2019 at 1:58 am

    One potential problem with that strategy is Microsoft is now force-updating 1803 to 1903.

    1. EP said on September 17, 2019 at 6:09 pm

      that does not happen when using tools like WuMgr, WUMT (aka windows update minitool) or even WUB (aka windows update blocker) to disable auto updates

      never use win10 without using any one of those tools like Wumgr/WUMT/WUB

  5. DJC said on October 9, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    Could I get a sanity check on aisle 10? I ran into a deadend that sort of makes sense, but it didn’t get mentioned in this (otherwise great) post. Apparently, falling back from 1903 to 1809 (or to any earlier version of Windows) will wipe the entire contents of the drive.

    I was beginning to reinstall 1809 (which I obtained using Rufus) on top of 1903, and got to the setup screen that says “Choose what to Keep”. But the options for “Keep Personal Files and Apps” and “Keep Personal Files” where both disabled, leaving “Delete Everything” as the only choice. An information message at the bottom of the panel says “Your files, apps, and settings can’t be kept because … you’re trying to install an older version of Windows.”

    Is this right? It sounds like a lot of posters were able to downgrade from 1903 successfully. Did you have to sacrifice everything to get there? Or did I (hopefully) miss a step along the way?

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