How to downgrade your Windows 11 PC to Windows 10

Shaun
Jan 1, 2023
Updated • Dec 31, 2022
Tutorials, Windows 10
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12

Windows 11 is Microsoft’s latest foray in personal computing operating systems. While the young OS comes with significant improvements over Windows 10, not everyone is a fan of the new UI and the operating system’s utilities. If you’re one of the people who prefer Windows 10 over Windows 11, here’s how to downgrade back to your favorite OS

But wait! You didn’t upgrade to Windows 11 in the first place. All you did was buy a new PC and boom, Windows 11 was already installed. Surely you’re stuck now. Surely there’s no way to get Windows 10 if your PC shipped with Windows 11. If this sounds familiar, this article is for you. Below, we’ll show you how to switch out Windows 11 for Windows on any compatible PC. It’s easier than you think. 

How to downgrade to Windows 10

This process is really quite easy, but it does have more steps than desired. However, we’ve sorted all the steps into sections so that they’re easier to keep track of. 

 

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Getting started

How to install Windows 10 on a Windows 11 PC

Essentially what you’re doing here is a full installation of Windows 10 on a system that natively runs Windows 11. This firs section is all the preparation you’ll need for the rest of the process. 

First you’ll need to open your browser of choice and head to Microsoft’s support website

Next, head to where you see Create Windows 10 installation media and click Download tool now. You’ll be prompted to save the tool to your downloads folder. 

Now, you’ll see a file in the downloads bar at the bottom of your browser named MediaCreationToolXXXX.exe. Click on this file to launch the utility. 

You’ll need to accept the EULA before you are allowed to install the tool, but this is standard operating procedure for all software, and this product is backed and created by Microsoft. 

Using the upgrade tool 

How to install Windows 10 on a Windows 11 PC

Once you’ve got the tool installed, open it, and you’ll see a question; What do you want to do? At this point, what you want to do is hit the first option, Upgrade this PC now

You’ll need to hit the Accept button again, and then, on the next screen, you’ll want to click on Change what to keep underneath the two checkmarked items. 

On the next screen, click Nothing. You don’t want to retain any files because you’re resetting your computer to an entirely new version of Windows, not rolling back as you would if you had initially upgraded to Windows 11. 

You’ll be prompted to click Next, and then you’ll need to click Install so that the tool installs Windows 10 to your PC. 

That’s it. All that’s left to do is wait for Windows 10 to install to your PC, and then you’ll be greeted with the OOBE (Out of Box Experience). 

How to install Windows 10 on a Windows 11 PC

Super simple

You’d think that it would be criminally difficult to get Windows 10 on a PC that natively comes with Windows 11. However, as you can see, it’s really simple. From here, you’ll be able to set up your brand new, out-of-the-box Windows 10 OS exactly as you’d like it. If you activate Windows 10, you’ll be able to use the limitless potential of Microsoft’s aging but still capable OS. However, if you want to use the product without activating it because you don’t have a product key, you can follow our guide here. You should also check out our article on how to change your Windows 10 wallpaper without activating the product, as you won’t be able to do this through conventional means.

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Comments

  1. Chris said on January 1, 2023 at 10:32 am
    Reply

    Possibly the first useful article from Shaun?

    1. Chris said on January 1, 2023 at 2:23 pm
      Reply

      Many previous articles have described how to install an earlier version of Windows, right back to Windows 7, using a download from the MS website.

      What is perhaps significant here is that there is seemingly no barrier to installing Windows 10 on a brand new computer shipped with Windows 11: no block set by MS if one could be set.

      The first screenshot does, though, show an image that include a reference to the need for a Windows 10 licence: maybe not reflecting the current situation, or maybe the licence is deemed the same?

  2. The Kentucky Tech said on January 1, 2023 at 11:04 am
    Reply

    I have tried win10/11 .. I like the new win11 UI, BUT everything’s in the wrong spot. It should be like windows 7, with the UI of 11. You know how a man can have the most beautiful woman ever, and mess it all up, and wake up and she’s GONE!? Well this very thing MicroSoft has done to windows.
    Windows 7, WOW she’s a sexy doll. And MicroSoft turns right around and mess’s everything up.
    I know a lot of people online, and they are leaving win10/11 and going back to 7. They say
    ” I don’t care if Microsoft don’t support windows 7 any more, I’m going to use it”

  3. Chris said on January 1, 2023 at 11:59 am
    Reply

    Am I right that a clean W10 install would wipe the partition on which it is installed?

    That would remove all ‘bloatware’ but also any possibly useful device manufacturer’s utilities, so anything wanted would have to be backed up in some way before going ahead?

  4. John G. said on January 1, 2023 at 12:41 pm
    Reply

    Best useful article of 2023 just the first day. Thanks @Shaun, keep going on!

  5. John said on January 1, 2023 at 2:48 pm
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    It would also probably wipe your OEM partitions as well FYI. In case you decided you wanted to actually go back to Windows 11. Although you could also make a Windows 11 install with the Microsoft creator tool for Win 11. I like both Win 10 & 11 I have no issues with either OS. On a new PC especially some CPU’s with the Intel P& E cores Windows 11 works better with those new CPU’s.

  6. Someone said on January 1, 2023 at 5:39 pm
    Reply

    Happy new year. But why to go on windows 11 ? Wait for that, we have almost 3 years to the retirement of win 10 on 2025. Wait and see. If microsoft continues to destroy their os, we have to stay on older versions.

  7. VioletMoon said on January 1, 2023 at 8:10 pm
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    Note: “Only the Professional versions of Windows desktop operating systems include downgrade rights.”

    It not quite so simple.

    Before attempting a downgrade, I would recommend reading more about “downgrade” rights. Not all OEM licenses from manufacturers will allow the process.

    In theory, though, the embedded license is interchangeable. Back to Windows 10 with an ISO, forward to Windows 11 with an ISO at some future date. Like downgrading is going to solve all of one’s problems . . . .

    Is Windows 11 THAT bad? Not having issues here; it would be a pointless exercise unless one had an essential program that didn’t run on Windows 11, which would be next to impossible.

    A number of factors could be involved that wouldn’t result in a Blue Screen Boot.

    Don’t know–drivers, BIOS?. Rather spend time on learning the new system and dealing with difficulties as as they present themselves.

    Wouldn’t go there; it’s like upgrading to Windows 11 on a computer that isn’t supported. Possible, but why would one do it?

    More screenshots for the courageous with lots of time on their hands:

    https://pureinfotech.com/downgrade-windows-11-10/

    Move forward.

  8. GoodMeasure said on January 1, 2023 at 8:49 pm
    Reply

    Thanks for this article.

    As the method in this article would wipe/remove user data on the PC, could we also have an article to restore a Windows PC back to Windows 10 while RETAINING data after a user has accidentally updated to Window 11? Forgive me if that has already been posted or I am misunderstanding this.

    Also, I suppose it may be useful to make it even clearer that the article is about totally starting over and losing any data on the PC. Yes, it does say it in the article, but… just to be safe in case someone is reading it fast.

    1. Chris said on January 1, 2023 at 11:05 pm
      Reply

      >As the method in this article would wipe/remove user data on the PC, could we also have an article to restore a Windows PC back to Windows 10 while RETAINING data after a user has accidentally updated to Window 11?

      If a user inadvertently accepts a MS offer to upgrade their Windows version from 10 to 11, or accepts an offer and then regrets having done so, I think that we can assume that *only* Windows itself will be been updated: the disk will not have been wiped, and any user, OEM or other data or partition will be completely unchanged.

      However, if a user plans to use the above method to replace Windows 11 by Windows 10, they would be very well advised, in accordance with normal advice, to image their complete drive before before starting, to enable anything that might be required later to be reinstalled..

  9. Microdumbos said on January 2, 2023 at 2:23 am
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    One does not desire Windows 11. It’s becoming obvious that Microsoft is making an incredibly vain effort to make Windows 11 seem successful. Even while Windows 10 is still fully supported, they stopped licensing OEMs with the ability to downgrade to Windows 10 in October of last year. Consequently, Windows 11 is installed on all recently purchased machines. Because we remove the Windows 11 image and replace it with our Windows 10 image, this is not a major issue. Microsoft place their horrible Windows 11 where the sun doesn’t shine.

  10. sal said on January 7, 2023 at 11:40 am
    Reply

    This site has become a mass advertisement of windows 11! Daily promotional articles for this OS! Why don’t you post an article about AtlasOS?! Oh yeah, you’re going to delete my opinion again – you’re censoring people’s free expression!

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