Microsoft has been pushing everyone to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 with one persistent (and annoying) message after another.
OK, so maybe you took the bait and ran the upgrade. But now you decide you liked Windows 10 better than 11 and want to go back to your previous system. Is that doable?
It is, but there are bumps in the road depending on how quickly you pull the plug on Windows 11.
By default, Microsoft grants you 10 days to revert to your previous operating system if you choose.
After those 10 days, you’re seemingly stuck with your new OS.
Also: How to change your username in Windows 11
But even then, there are a couple of tricks to help you put the kibosh on Windows 11 and get back to 10. Let’s look at your options.
How to uninstall Windows 11 on your PC
Extend the deadline
That pesky 10-day deadline for uninstalling Windows 11 seems pretty tight. What if you want more time to evaluate the new version? Well, you can extend that deadline via a handy command.
In Windows 11, click the Search button or field and type cmd. From the search results, select Run as administrator to open a command prompt with administrative rights.
Also: How to factory-reset your Windows 10 PC
At the command prompt, type the following string: DISM /Online /Get-OSUninstallWindow. The number after the phrase Uninstall Window tells you how many days are left on the deadline.
To extend the deadline, type the following string: DISM /Online /Set-OSUninstallWindow /Value:<days>, replacing <days> with the number of days you wish to apply. For example, to set the deadline for downgrading to 30 days, type DISM /Online /Set-OSUninstallWindow /Value:30. You can set the deadline to as few as two and as many as 60 days.
Press the up arrow key to display the DISM /Online /Get-OSUninstallWindow command. Press Enter to run the command again and confirm that the new number of days you set is now in effect.
How to uninstall Windows 11 after the deadline
Okay, but what if the deadline has already passed and you’re set on jettisoning Windows 11? The good news is that you can still do it. The bad news is that you’ll have to install Windows 10 as a clean environment, which means all your apps, files, and settings will be lost.
Also: Yes, you can still get a free Windows 10 upgrade. Here’s how
Make sure you have the installation files for your applications and the backups for all your documents and other files. To proceed, browse the Microsoft’s Download Windows 10 site. In the section for Create Windows 10 installation media, click the Download Now button.
Run the downloaded MediaCreationTool exe file. On the screen that is asking what you want to do, select the first option for Upgrade this PC now. Click Next.
The Windows 10 download kicks off. At some point, you’ll need to accept the license terms. Then a window pops up asking you to choose what to keep.
Unfortunately, because you’re trying to install an older version of Windows, the options for Keep personal files and apps and Keep personal files only are both grayed out, which means nothing will be retained. Click Next and then confirm that you want to continue.
At the Ready to Install window, click Install.
Allow the installation to proceed. After Windows 10 is installed, go through the usual setup process to select the right options, connect to Wi-Fi, and establish your account.
Also: How to improve your Windows laptop’s battery life
You’ll then be deposited at the Windows 10 desktop where you’ll need to reinstall your applications, restore files from a backup, tweak any settings you want to customize, and run the latest updates.