How to uninstall the Windows 10 preview and restore your previous version of Windows

Technical Level : Basic

Summary

If you installed the Windows 10 Preview when using Windows update on your Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 computer which you depend on and use for everyday tasks here is how you can restore your previous version of Windows.

The Windows 10 Preview has a “Rollback” feature that allows you to go back to (recover) the version of Windows installed on your PC prior to installing the preview.


Details

If you were running an earlier version of Windows (Windows 7 or 8.0 / 8.1) then you can use this option to uninstall Windows 10 and restore your previous version of Windows without losing your earlier version’s applications, documents, photos and other personal files.

Note: Applications you installed and personal settings changes made while using Windows 10 will not be saved, however existing applications installed within your earlier version of Windows (Windows 7 or 8.0 / 8.1) prior to newly created Windows 10 documents, photos and other personal files will be migrated back to your earlier version of Windows.

Let’s Start:

You have three easy ways to access the ‘Recovery’ option:

Option #1) Click on Settings > Update & Recovery.

Option #2) In the ‘Search’ box enter:   recovery options

Then click on ‘Recovery Options’ displayed at the top of the list.

Now click on the ‘Get started’ button in the ‘Go back to a previous version of Windows’ option to start the recovery process.

Note: If you see the following error message: “We’re sorry, but you can’t go back”, skip to the last part of this Wiki article for more information.

Read the fine print and if you still want to recover / rollback then click on the ‘Go back’ button.

Option #3) You also have a third method to rollback which is to click on the ‘Windows Rollback’ option displayed on the ‘Choose an operating System’ screen when you power on your PC or ‘Restart’ your PC.

When upgrading from a previous version of Windows (Windows 7, 8.0/8.1), you should see the following options. Click on the Windows Rollback option to start the process.

Now sit back and watch the action.

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You receive the following error message when you click on the ‘Get started’ button:

“We’re sorry, but you can’t go back”

This error is the result of deleting the C:\Windows.old folder.

How did this folder get deleted?

A) You deleted the folder using Windows File Explorer. Typically this file is deleted because of the large amount of disk space it can consume as it contains the entire contents of your previous version of Windows or an earlier build.

Example: If your Windows 7 installation consumed 250GB of disk space due to a large amount of data files (Photos, Music, Streaming video, documents) then the Windows/old folder will be approximately 250GB in size. Depending on the size of your disk drive you may find that after installing the Windows 10 Technical Preview there is not much free space on your drive, therefor in an attempt to gain more free space the user deletes the C:\Windows.old folder.

More than likely the file will be too large to be contained in the Recycle Bin but you can always check if it’s there and if so restore it.

B) You ran Disk Cleanup and selected/clicked on the ‘Clean up system files’.

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Does this process work equally well for Vista Home Premium 32 bit ?

Does this process work equally well for Vista Home Premium 32 bit ?

I don't know, it's something I'll need to try.
Never be afraid to ask. This forum has some of the best people in the world available to help.

Hi!

Can you help me? I wanted to rollback to win7, but win10 says that the files needed were removed, although I didn't delete or modified Windows.old folder. Is there a registry key I could edit, that tells windows whether Win.old was deleted or not?

Here are the two registry keys I found on a working roll back option.

1) HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Local Settings\MuiCache\1\52C64B7E
Value name:
@%systemroot%\system32\setupcln.dll,-1003

Value data:
Files from a previous Windows installation.  Files and folders that may conflict with the installation of Windows have been moved to folders named Windows.old.  You can access data from the previous Windows installations in this folder.


2) HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\MuiCache\1\52C64B7E
Value name:
@%systemroot%\system32\setupcln.dll,-1003

Value data:
You can access data from the previous Windows installations in this folder.

Never be afraid to ask. This forum has some of the best people in the world available to help.

Thank you for your assistance, but these aren't the keys I was looking for. =) I have the same keys and values.

I've also tried to find something on my own but I didn't succeed. I'm tired of looking for a solution, so I'll just back up everything, install win7 and reinstall all the programs.

P.S.: A month before the release and there are bugs in features that really matter. Right now the start menu refuses to open (restart doen't help). Sometimes I can't change volume level using ui volume control. I've spotted at least 2 other major ui bugs (also related to start menu and taskbar).

i have istalled windows 10 insider preview and thats helpful but he says go to setting and remove account and i cant remove its user account please help me

Who is telling you to remove your account?

Never be afraid to ask. This forum has some of the best people in the world available to help.
I have the windows 10 insider, but I can't find the Disk Cleanup?

Hi!

Can you help me? I wanted to rollback to win7, but win10 says that the files needed were removed, although I didn't delete or modified Windows.old folder. Is there a registry key I could edit, that tells windows whether Win.old was deleted or not?

I'm having exactly the same problem. Is there any way to fix it?

Run the  SFC   /SCANNOW    command. This will check and repair if necessary any critical Windows system files.



Click on Command Prompt option and select 'Run as administrator'.
(or "Safe Mode" open a Command prompt)
At the command prompt enter:  SFC  /SCANNOW

Never be afraid to ask. This forum has some of the best people in the world available to help.

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Last updated September 15, 2020 Views 16,192 Applies to: