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Recovering from WIndows Update to New Version

Neal - K3NC
Neal - K3NC Inactive Employee ✭✭
edited October 2018 in New Ideas
Occasionally, Microsoft can release major versions of Windows 10 that can break existing applications as well as introduce bugs that you do not want to live with. The solution is to revert to the previous version.

How do you do this?

First of all, there is a time limit! Microsoft only gives you this option for 11 days after the major release is installed. If you try it after 10 days, you will find its no longer possible.

Assuming you are within your window of time, we will repeat the old adage, back up your system! Its likely that Windows will not destroy our data when reverting to the previous version, but it has happened. Its also nice to take a breather while the backup is processing, so you do not destroy your computer!

Once you are fully backed up, go to the Windows Settings. In the Settings window, click on Recovery on the left side of the window. On the right side you will see 'Go Back to a Previous Version of Windows'. Below that is a button labeled Get Started.

Press that to begin!

What if its been longer than 10 days since the update?

If you see a message below the heading 'Go Back to a Previous Version of Windows' that says its been longer than 10 days since your system was updated, the next best option for you is to look at the top of the screen where it says 'Reset this PC'.  Click the Get Started Button. You will be presented with two options, one is to keep your programs and data, the second is to remove everything. I would suggest trying the least destructive method first, which is to keep your applications and data. Of course, if that doesn't work, you can return to this page and try the full reset, which basically restores your system to its state when you got it.

If you would prefer an even cleaner reset of your system, in the Recovery window we were on, look at the link under More Recovery Options. This will take you to the Clean Install section of WIndows Defender and it will also re-install a new system on your hard drive. It will destroy any certificates, registrations, etc that were already on your system but it likely is the last defense before searching for the Windows DVD that came with your computer!

We sincerely hope you never need these options and that your computer is an instrument of joy for you, but its nice to know you have options!


  • K5CG
    K5CG Member ✭✭
    edited October 2018
    And don't forget that the previous version of windows is now in C:Windows.old, and the proper way to recover all that wasted disk space (provided you are not going back to the previous version) is to do a disk cleanup. Do not attempt to delete the C:Windows.old folder directly. It makes a mess, rather:

    Right click on the OS Drive (C:) and select "Properties".
    Click the "Disk Cleanup" button.
    Click "Clean up system files" (requires admin privileges).
    Select at least "Previous Windows installation(s)". Mine is 37.5 GB after this latest update but I usually select all items in this list anyway.

    Also on this dialog is a "More Options" tab where in the "System restore and Shadow Copies" section you can delete old restore points that are no longer valid under the new version.

    Making a complete image of your hard drive for a backup is also a good thing to do and I highly recommend Clonezilla. It can take a bit by bit image of your hard drive and save it to a local USB disk, NAS (CIFS or SSH), or another physical disk locally connected. Better safe than Whoopsie!
  • Ben N6MUF
    Ben N6MUF Member
    edited May 2018
    I am so happy I never went to W10
  • Wayne
    Wayne Member ✭✭
    edited June 2018
    Just another reason along with all the wasted man hours and cost and degraded flex customer service response to move to a linux platform for ssdr.

    Crazy is doing the same thing over and over the same way and expecting a different result.

    You want to see a real disaster just wait for the next version of windows that will be 100 percent cloud based if you dont have internet then you cant even boot your computer. Its the microsoft way or the highway. I like the highway ... shades of vista run rampant again and again!

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