Microsoft’s plan is to equip a billion OS with Windows 10 within three years. Naysayers claim the giant isn’t taking user needs into account. Like Windows 8.1, Windows 10 offers a smooth user experience.
The story might be a little different for Windows 7 fans. Older apps work better with older versions, that’s just how it is. Any new PC you buy now will probably come with Windows 10 preinstalled. Then, you’d want to downgrade.
Please note: this isn’t the same as rolling your Windows 10 upgrade back to the older version. You have a month, during which you can roll back to the previous version without losing data.
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There are a few things you need before you get started because downgrading is quite a complicated process. First, you need the Windows 7 copy you want to downgrade to. You’ll need to buy a Windows 7 license if you don’t have one. You will have to borrow or download a Windows 7 Pro disc if the computer you bought came with Windows 10 Pro installed.
You also need a product key – full version, System Builder, preinstalled OEM, or a retail upgrade. You will get it from a device that is running Windows 7 Pro. Of course, you’ll also need the respective hardware drivers for Windows 7.
For OEM Windows 10 Pro, you need a copy of the product key. During activation, Microsoft support might need to have it verified.
Getting the Product Key
To get the key, press Windows key + X. After that, press Command Prompt and type in “get OA3xOriginalProductKey”, then enter.
You might want to reinstall Windows 10 at one point. If more than a month has passed since the downgrade, you’ll need to do this manually. Look at your instructions if your computer came with recovery media.
Return Your Computer
Keep in mind that downgrading is a bit of a hassle. If you’re not the technical type, it might be a good idea to return the PC you recently purchased, especially if you really, really hate Windows 10 or it’s incompatible with your software or hardware.
Lenovo, HP, Dell, and other OEM vendors sell new model systems with Windows 7. You could take advantage of such offers if your computer is still in the warranty period.
Recently, Microsoft reported plans to limit support for Windows 7 for future developments of Skylake, Intel’s most recent CPU architecture. This means now is a good time to upgrade. The software giant will support only 10 on future processor tech within a year’s time.
Your warranty term has expired? The only option is downgrading from 10 to 7 manually as long as system support is available for this. To see if it’s possible, see if the manufacturer has native Windows 7 drivers for hardware. There’s no guarantee they will, it depends on the model system. For ensuring a working system, you will need a Chipset, Video, Storage, Network, Audio, or another important driver.
We mentioned a Windows 7 license already. You’re automatically allowed to downgrade to 7 Pro if the computer you bought came preinstalled with Windows 10 Pro. Enter the model number on the manufacturer’s website. If drivers are available, they’ll be in the downloads section.
Windows 7 Downgrade: Not Readily Recommended
Opponents of the system claim it’s dying and downgrading to Windows 7 is not smart. No game will run slowly on 10. The vast majority of the programs that worked on 7 also work on 10.
As long as you hold on to your serial number, you can always reinstall Windows 10 using a DVD disc or Flash Drive. Most laptops have a sticker on the bottom with the serial number. If you’re using one that doesn’t use ShowKeyPlus or another program to get this number. Use Windows Media Creation to make a bootable USB/DVD drive for reinstalling once you have your serial number. It’s a good idea to make one before doing anything else.
Try eBay or another such site for a valid Windows 7 license if all else fails. People have actually had some success with that.
Dual-boot and Reboot
It’s possible to dual-boot Windows as well. this way, you have both Windows 7 and Windows 10. Experts suggest starting over and making two partitions, one for the newer and one for the older version. Install 10 before installing 7. You can use virtual software to run the operating system if you have a Full Retail, unused license for Windows 7 available.
If your system is Pro, Hyper-V is the best option for virtual machine software. If not, try the VMware Workstation Player, it’s also free. The Windows Store sells Pro Packs if needed. The Player is preferable because it can run on practically every OS. What’s more, it’s much easier and faster to configure than Hyper-V.
Make Sure You Back up all Settings and Data
As installing 7 will replace and eliminate your existing OS, make sure you back up all your data and settings. If you’re absolutely positive you need 7, you shouldn’t downgrade your PC. Second of all, all of your computers should have Windows 7 devices. Download every device you need and save them all on a USB. You should be prepared because when you install Windows 7, your network could disappear. Do not install 7 if any of the devices in your computer aren’t equipped with the right drivers.
The next step is to reboot your computer and boot from the medium for Windows 7 install, which is usually a DVD or a CD. For a clean, full install, follow the install steps. This means that you should consider the default install.
The final step is to install updates and reboot. Of course, the system will have installed all device drivers before that. If you have an HP computer, it will probably be possible to utilize the W7 x64 software and drivers from the 15t-ay000 on your PC with the exception of firmware files and BIOS.