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how can I revert to Windows 7 from Windows 10 without loosing data?

Posted on 2016-10-04
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Last Modified: 2016-10-11
Hello and Good Evening Everyone,

          I have a friend who has Windows 10 and wishes to revert to Windows 7 without loosing her data.  If that is possible, could someone provide the step by step procedures for accomplishing this goal?

          Thank you

          George
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Question by:GMartin
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5 Comments
 
LVL 24

Assisted Solution

by:Eirman
Eirman earned 83 total points
ID: 41829062
If you upgraded within the last few weeks, there may be a step back option, otherwise ......

It's simply a matter of copying all the data off the Win 10 PC on to some backup device (do 2 backups for safety)
and formatting the drive (wiping windows 10) then doing a fresh install of Windows 7 (and your software)

Use your old license key to download the latest version of windows 7.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows7
Then create a DVD or bootable Flash drive to install Windows 7.


There is no simpler way of doing this, unless you created a Windows 7 image prior to upgrading to windows 10.
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If you were ever considering installing a SSD to speed up the PC, this would be an ideal time.
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LVL 4

Accepted Solution

by:
Uttam Kumar earned 251 total points
ID: 41829124
Depending on the version/build of Windows 10 and how many days have elapsed, you can use the Recovery option as mentioned in the link https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/instantanswers/1235b5b0-bf94-4b77-9cbd-1c1a8337070c/going-back-to-windows-7-or-windows-8.1 , its easy and data is safe but still as a precaution, you need to backup your important data to an external drive.

Keep in mind that downgrading to your older OS requires that you still have your Windows.old folder at C:\Windows.old. If you typically delete that after upgrading, or you’ve done a post-upgrade clean install of Windows 10, you’re out of luck. You may need the product key for Windows 7 so keep it handy. If you have run out of days or deleted the 'winodws.old' folder, you will require 'system image backup' or 'recovery disk' of Windows 7.

If its post recovery days and by chance you have taken a backup of the 2 folders named 1. Windows.Old and 2. $Windows.~BT or $Windows.~WS or renamed it, you still have chance, lemme know whats the status.
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LVL 92

Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 83 total points
ID: 41829280
George, while it is techically possible to retain your data, and revert to win 7, i have seen several cases where it did not work, and even where the client lost his data.

so - before starting the process, i find it wise to tell you to make a BACKUP first !
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LVL 55

Assisted Solution

by:McKnife
McKnife earned 83 total points
ID: 41829370
The recovery option that was mentioned is available for the first 30 days after the upgrade to windows 10. If however, you already did another major win10 upgrade by now, you will only be offered to revert to the previous win10 build, not revert to win7, so please check for yourself: enter "recovery" into the search field and you'll be able to click on recovery options and see.

If win7 is still available please note, that you will rollback right to that state, so any data that was created on the system drive after the upgrade will be lost and needs to be backed up before you do it. If you are unsure, do a system image backup to external media, first (that option is always recommended, no matter when).
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 41838992
Hello and Good Afternoon Everyone,

          I apologize for my delay in closing this question.  Using the link provided by Uttam, my friend was able to use the recovery option to revert back to Windows 7 from Windows 10 while simultaneously maintaining the integrity of the pre-existing programs and end user files such as text documents, pics, videos, music, etc.

          Thanks everyone for your shared input.

          George
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