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Windows 10 has been generally well received, but there are those users who upgraded from Windows 7 or 8 and haven’t found Microsoft’s latest to be much cop. While it’s simple to downgrade from Windows 10, hold off doing so just yet – we’ve rounded up some last things to try before rolling back.
You probably already know about all the new features Windows 10 offers and perhaps that isn’t enough to convince you to stick with Windows 10. But if you’ve been troubled by privacy, dislike the aesthetics, or just miss Minesweeper, check out our list of some final features to explore.
If you were thinking of downgrading from Windows 10 and then stuck with it, please let us know in the comments section as to what changed your mind.
1. Control Your Drivers
If you’re having issues with your hardware, it might be that you need to look at the drivers. Whether it’s a keyboard that refuses to connect, a screen that flickers, or a controller that is incompatible, there are so many problems that can be resolved by adjusting the drivers. This is especially true if the hardware was working fine on your previous operating system.
On one hand, it might be that you need to update your drivers to the latest versions. Windows Update will automatically grab the latest drivers, but it won’t always get everything. To ensure you’re up-to-date, it’s always best to go to the manufacturer’s website and download the driver directly.
Once you fetched a working driver, do a system search for device manager and select the relevant result. Right-click the hardware you wish to update, select Update Driver Software… and then choose Browse my computer for driver software. Find the driver and select it, working through the wizard to install it.
On the other hand, it might be that it’s actually the latest driver which is causing the issue and Windows 10’s desire to force updates on you is proving troublesome. You can move back to an older driver version using Device Manager.
Right-click the device, select Properties, change to the Driver tab, then click Roll Back Driver. If this option isn’t available, instead of selecting Properties you should select Uninstall. Then follow the steps in the paragraph above to manually install your desired version.
For more information, check out our guide on how to take back control over driver updates. Here you will find how to prevent Windows 10 from automatically updating your drivers, which is essential if you’ve rolled back from the recent version and don’t want it to be reinstalled without your permission.
2. Bring Back Old Visual Elements
Windows 10 has a load of great, exclusive features – like Cortana, the virtual assistant – but the visual design of the system isn’t for everyone. If you were a fan of how things looked beforehand, have no fear. It’s quick and easy to bring back a number of visual elements.
For example, you can get the notification area’s clock looking like it did in Windows 7. For this, press Win + R, input regedit, then click OK. Then navigate to this registry path:
Select Edit > New > DWORD (32-bit) Value and name it UseWin32TrayClockExperience. Now, double-click the DWORD, set the Value Data to 1, and then click OK.
Windows 10 also saw the return of the Start menu, this time combining the traditional look with the tiles introduced in Windows 8. But if this still isn’t for you, check out a program called Classic Shell which allows you to fully customize the Start menu and return it to former glory.
For more tips on how to bring back older aesthetics, like removing the lock screen and changing the volume slider, check out our guide on how to make Windows 10 look like Windows 7.
3. Find Replacement Programs
You may have found that some of the default Windows programs you often used have vanished when upgrading to Windows 10. It’s true, Microsoft has pulled things like Windows Media Center, desktop gadgets and pre-installed games. But you can bring them back, albeit some with the support of third-party developers.
Firstly, Windows Media Center may be gone, but there are loads of programs available online that will offer you the same functionality (and more.) We’ve rounded these up in our alternatives to Windows Media Center. If these are not good enough, you can try and install Windows Media Center on Windows 10. You’ll also find that DVD playback isn’t supported by default, but this can be easily remedied by using VLC media player.
Secondly, gadgets were dropped in Windows 8 in favor of live tiles, but they still have their use for displaying information like the weather or CPU usage on the desktop. If you want gadgets in Windows 10, check our guide on how to bring desktop gadgets back. If it’s just the notes you’re after, this is still available – just do a system search for sticky notes.
Finally, if you were a fan of the simple yet time-consuming games like Minesweeper and Solitaire, you may have been shocked to see that the only pre-installed game on Windows 10 is Candy Crush. These gaming favorites are still available, you just have to download them for free from the Store. Microsoft Solitaire Collection and Microsoft Minesweeper can be quickly installed, along with a variety of other apps and games.
4. Go Offline and Local
Windows 10 was a successful launch for Microsoft, but one of the biggest concerns users had was over privacy. It’s true that Windows 10 will collect a lot of data by default, especially when compared to the preceding operating systems. If you didn’t configure your privacy settings during setup, it’s still possible to do so now.
The first step you can take is to switch your user account from a Windows account, which syncs your settings and files, to a local account. To do so, press Windows Key + I to launch Settings and click Accounts. You’ll see Sign in with a local account instead at the top of the window, if you’re currently using a Windows account. Click the link, verify the password, and follow the wizard through to the end to make the switch.
One of the main areas to explore is your privacy settings. To access this area, press Windows Key + I to launch Settings, then select Privacy. Go through each of the left-hand menu items in turn and switch off the features that concern you. For example, under General you might want to turn the advertising ID tracking off. You might also want to go to Camera and disable particular apps from accessing your camera.
For more information on how to reclaim your privacy, read our guide on everything you need to know about Windows 10’s privacy, as well as our list of default Windows 10 settings you should double-check.
5. Suggest Improvements
If Windows 10 isn’t quite there for you, try suggesting features directly to Microsoft. To do this, do a system search for Windows Feedback and select the relevant result. Though you’ll have to use a Microsoft account to participate, this application allows you to suggest new features and vote on those that other users have raised.
Windows 10 is an ever-evolving operating system, with new features and bugs being fixed often. And Microsoft pays attention to the feedback that is suggested within the app. Before Windows 10 launched to the general public, we looked at the most requested features from the public. While not all of these were implemented, a fair number of them were. And some, like better local language support for Cortana, are being added through updates.
Sure, your suggestion isn’t guaranteed to turn into reality, nor will there be a quick resolution to it (unless by coincidence!), but it’s good that you can have a direct impact on the future enhancements of the operating system you’re using.
Did You Downgrade?
Windows 10 isn’t for everyone. It definitely still has some features that need to be improved. And while it’s supposedly Microsoft’s last operating system, you can stick with Windows 7 or 8 and still be just fine, though you won’t get exclusive features like DirectX 12.
But perhaps we’ve convinced you to stick with it. After customizing settings or resolving technical issues, you could find that Windows 10 is just what you wanted from an operating system.
Did you consider downgrading from Windows 10? What was the tipping point? Or, what convinced you to stick with it?
Image Credits:down the stairs by Dream_master via Shutterstock