Can I downgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 7

I buying a new laptop and it comes with Windows 8 - can I downgrade it to Windows 7?  I searched online and got mixed responses.

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Frosty555Connect With a Mentor Commented:
There's two important points that you need to be aware of:

From a technical point of view:

1) Laptops which are designed to run Windows 8 may be crippled if you run Windows 7 on them. Many manufacturers may not provide Windows 7 drivers for the laptop. Certain hardware might not work, etc. Your mileage may vary.

SOME laptops are specifically designed to run Windows 7 (e.g. Lenovo Thinkpads), but most of the cheaper, fancy ones (e.g. ones that have ExpressCache, touchscreens, capacitive buttons etc.) are designed solely for Windows 8.

You will have to research your particular model of laptop and doublecheck that the manufacturer provides a comprehensive set of Windows 7 drivers.

From a licensing / financial point of view:

2) If you have Windows 8 Pro, you are allowed to license and install Windows 7 Professional on the computer instead, although the process for doing this is messy: When you install Windows 7 Professional, you'll need to obtain and enter a valid Windows 7 key at installation time (even if that key will fail activation later), and then later you activate over telephone, talk to a Microsoft Rep, explain your downgrade rights, and they'll give you the necessary code to activate Windows manually.

Otherwise, you need to purchase a new key for Windows 7.
Jaroslav LatalMSPCommented:
Hello amacfarl,
witch version of Windwos 8 do you have (standard or pro)? Is it OEM?

PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
ONLY if it comes with Windows 8 Pro.  Windows 8 (non-Pro) has no downgrade rights, and you would have to purchase a Windows 7 license to run Windows 7 on that machine.
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Jaroslav LatalMSPCommented:
Why downgrade?  And go through spending time, hassles, problem issues, etc.

Why not install Classic Shell ( and use Windows 8 as Windows 7 (look and feel).

That's is the easiest and the best solution.  <An opinion only, of course >.
In addition to aadih,

Classic Shell is free and takes only minutes to figure out if it's the right solution for you.   Switching the OS is whole bunch more work than simply trying Classic Shell.

With Classic Shell you can add a Start Menu and completely customize it.    The Windows 8 Apps are still available in menu within the Start Menu.

I definitely like 7 more than 8, but 8 can be adjusted to function like 7.
In Classic Shell configuration, click on Windows 8 Settings and check Skip Metro Screen.  This'd boot up your PC directly to the Classic Desktop (Windows 7 like with Start Button).  

Other settings you can work at your leisure.
No matter what is popular (and, therefore, agreeable to hear) Windows 8 is better than Windows 7.  Aside from the Metro interface [which is "hated"' so much, even by people who have never used Windows 8  ;-)] Windows 8 is more secure, stable, faster to boot and shutdown, uses less RAM, and works smoothly.  < An opinion only, of course >.
amacfarlAuthor Commented:
thanks all for your help.
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