5 Last Things to Try Before Downgrading from Windows 10

Joe Keeley 18-03-2016

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 How to Downgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 7 or 8.1 Windows 10 is here and maybe it's not what you expected. If you already upgraded, you can perform a rollback. And if you haven't yet, create a system backup first. We show you how. Read More , 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 10 Compelling Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10 Windows 10 is coming on July 29. Is it worth upgrading for free? If you are looking forward to Cortana, state of the art gaming, or better support for hybrid devices - yes, definitely! And... Read More 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 How to Fix Screen Flickering and Flashing on Windows 10 Is your Windows 10 screen flashing or flickering? Here's how to troubleshoot your computer and find the cause. Read More , 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On one hand, it might be that you need to update your drivers to the latest versions How to Find & Replace Outdated Windows Drivers Your drivers might be outdated and need updating, but how are you to know? Here's what you need to know and how to go about it. Read More . 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.


device manager update software

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 Pros & Cons of Forced Updates in Windows 10 Updates will change in Windows 10. Right now you can pick and choose. Windows 10, however, will force updates onto you. It has advantages, like improved security, but it can also go wrong. What's more... Read More 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 Take Back Control Over Driver Updates in Windows 10 A bad Windows driver can ruin your day. In Windows 10, Windows Update automatically updates hardware drivers. If you suffer the consequences, let us show you how to roll back your driver and block future... Read More . 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 How to Make Cortana Organize Your Life Your life is so complex, you deserve a personal assistant. Meet Cortana, your virtual assistant ready to serve at the tip of your tongue. We'll show you how to effectively delegate tasks to Cortana. Read More – 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.

5 Last Things to Try Before Downgrading from Windows 10 classic shell settings


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 How to Make Windows 10 Look More Like Windows 7 Windows 10 introduced many updated and the visual design wasn't spared. If you prefer the aesthetics of Windows 7, we'll show you the steps to take to mimic its user interface. Read More .

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 5 Alternatives to Windows Media Center for Windows 10 Windows 10 will offer many new features, but some old favorites will be deprecated. The Windows Media Center will no longer be supported. Here are alternative media center application compatible with Windows 10 to take... Read More . If these are not good enough, you can try and install Windows Media Center on Windows 10 How to Get Windows Media Center in Windows 10 & Its Limitations Windows 10 can run Windows Media Center after all. However, it is not officially supported, creating limitations, which might not make you want it in the end. Let us save you the time and explain... Read More . You’ll also find that DVD playback isn’t supported by default, but this can be easily remedied by using VLC media player.


minesweeper windows 10

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 How to Get Windows 10 Gadgets for Your Desktop Desktop gadgets were taken away in Windows 8. Here's how you can bring widgets back to your Windows 10 desktop. Read More . 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 How to Configure Windows 10 Privacy Settings During Setup If you're installing Windows 10 for the first time, you may be unhappy with the assumptions Microsoft makes when selecting their Express Settings presets during installation. What liberties are Microsoft are taking with your privacy? Read More , 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 Everything You Need to Know About Windows 10's Privacy Issues While Windows 10 has some issues that users need to be aware of, many claims have been blown out of proportion. Here's our guide to everything you need to know about Windows 10's privacy issues. Read More , as well as our list of default Windows 10 settings you should double-check 7 Default Windows 10 Settings You Should Check Immediately Microsoft made some questionable decisions with Windows 10. Some of its default settings should not be left alone. We show you how to improve privacy, conserve bandwidth, reduce distraction, and lots more. Read More .

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 feedback

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 Microsoft Are Crowd Sourcing Ideas - Top Requests For Windows 10 Microsoft have been taking requests from users on what they want to see in Windows 10 and we've compiled some of the top suggestions they've received. Read More . 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 7 Features I Wish Windows 10 Had (Done Right) Windows 10 is a controversial beast. Many love it, others can't find anything but faults. We have summarized features that could have been done better or are missing in the first place. Read More . And while it’s supposedly Microsoft’s last operating system The Latest Windows 10 Version Won't Be the Last One What is the latest Windows 10 version? How long is it supported? And why did Microsoft switch to a service model? Answers within! Read More , you can stick with Windows 7 or 8 and still be just fine, though you won’t get exclusive features like DirectX 12 Windows 10 Is for Gamers: 6 Features You Will Love You will want to use Windows 10 for gaming! Whether it's streaming your Xbox One games to your PC, using the Xbox app, or enjoying high performance gaming with DirectX 12, Windows 10 enhances your... Read More .

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

Related topics: Drivers, Start Menu, Windows 10, Windows Upgrade.

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  1. mike field
    May 20, 2016 at 10:19 am

    I hate win 10 offers me nothing hate the look hate the menus hate them taking control of my workspace and gathering data that picnhes my cpu cycles, and the downgrade riuned my index files on hard disk and had to do a clean install of 7.

  2. mike field
    May 20, 2016 at 10:16 am

    I hate win 10 offers me nothing hate the look hate the menus hate them taking control of my workspace.

    • Hijfoezer
      September 9, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      Feel the love ! LOL

  3. ben
    March 19, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    I tried to update my laptop to Win10. After wasting most of a day (lost productivity) I tried to go back to the Win7 X64 pro I had been using - It failed (more lost productivity, but I do have backups) I went as far as actually digging out the original DVD to reinstall the Win7, then decided to try Linux on my now completely borked laptop. ( It was trashed already so nothing to lose here) On a friend's recommendation I installed Ubuntu. It installed quicker than Windows, It automatically detected all of the hardware and installed the proper drivers. and it did everything I needed - essentially, a lite Word processor & Spreadsheet that could work with the MS Office formats, (both provided by the recommended LibreOffice) A web browser, firefox was installed during the setup, DropBox access to my already existing DropBox. All of my FF addons either just worked or there was a Linux alternative. The laptop is faster and seemingly more secure from drive by virus installs. There is very little difference in the way it looks and works

  4. Anonymous
    March 19, 2016 at 8:23 am

    They removed Spotify from my machine, they changed all my privacy settings after an update and even the windows store stopped working! All this aggrevation and Windows 10 offered me nothing new over windows 8.

    Unfortunately I had gone over the month rollback feature but luckily my Packard Bell has a restore partition so I reset the factory settings and wonder of wonders windows 8.1 returned!

    I used 3rd party software to remove the nag screen to upgrade, and if needed I still have the rescue disk with Windows 10 on it should I ever have to use it again.

    Everything is now normal and just works!

  5. Anonymous
    March 18, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    I was forced into downgrading by Micrsoft's Online Support. I kept getting errors when trying to add a Windows User. They tinkered with the computer up until a point where they said my computer wasn't supported/ tested. After that, restore, reset, and all else failed.

  6. Doc
    March 18, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Don't forget the UXTheme Patcher, which will allow you to install unsigned themes (like those from DeviantArt), so you can get away from the ugly Win 8.x/Win 10 flat, drab theme.

  7. Anonymous
    March 18, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Yes I downgraded. I cannot stand the nonsense bells and whistles and all the unnecessarily changed crap. Windows 7 is for me.