This article provides information about Microsoft Windows Downgrade Rights and how to go about downgrading from Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 on a Dell PC.
Downgrade Rights are where end users who have acquired the Latest Version of some kind of software can use an earlier version of that same software, until they are ready to migrate to the later version of the Software/Technology.
In most new versions of Windows Operating Systems (OS), there is no option to Rollback to an earlier version. So knowing your rights in these matters can be of use.
Downgrade rights are an end-user right that Microsoft offers to customers for certain OEM products which meet the technical requirements for a Windows software downgrade. Downgrade rights are documented in the Microsoft Software License Terms that customers accept upon first running Windows and Windows Server software. Thanks to downgrade rights, if you have acquired a later version of the software (such as Windows 10 Pro) you can use an earlier version of the software (such as Windows 8.1 Pro) until they are ready to migrate to a later version.
If a product includes downgrade rights, the license terms for that product will indicate which earlier versions of the software may be used.
The following OEM versions of Windows software are eligible for downgrade rights.
|Windows 10||Windows 8.1||Windows 7|
|Windows 10 Pro Includes downgrade rights to :
||Windows 8.1 Pro includes downgrade rights to :
||Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate include downgrade rights to :
Note: Other OEM Windows 7 versions (for example, Windows 7 Home Basic and Windows 7 Home Premium) do not include downgrade rights.
To downgrade Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 software, you must :
Purchase a PC installed with Windows software.
Accept the Microsoft Software License Terms.
Perform the downgrade process to the eligible downgrade product using the media/key from a genuine, previously licensed OEM or retail product.
Follow these steps to downgrade to an earlier version of Windows software:
Use genuine Windows media and a corresponding product key for the version of Windows that is eligible for downgrade. The media/key should come from a previously licensed product from the OEM or retail channel.
If you are licensed separately through Microsoft Volume Licensing (VL) you may provide your VL media and key to a system builder to facilitate the downgrade on your own systems.
Insert the downgrade-eligible version of Windows media and follow the installation instructions.
Enter the product key (If using Non-OEM Media.).
If the software was previously activated, it cannot be activated online. In this case, the appropriate local Activation Support phone number will be displayed. Call the number and explain the circumstances. When it is determined that you have an eligible Windows license, the customer service representative will provide a single-use activation code to activate the software. Please note that Microsoft does not provide a full product key in this scenario.
Activate the software.
For scenarios involving large volume downgrades, it's recommended that you consider VL which provides the benefits of reimaging rights and volume activation, which can make the process of downgrading much easier.
Because downgrade rights apply to end users, they are not designed for third-party facilitation, which has many complications. Also, such facilitation is not suitable for carrying out on a large scale.
If you haven't deleted the temporary files that were created when you upgraded to Windows 10 on your PC, you can essentially just rollback your PC to your older version of Windows.
Go to the Main Settings menu in Windows 10 :
Choose Recovery from the main menu
Click on the option Go Back to Windows 8.1
You can follow the on-screen instructions from this point
If you no longer have the temporary files created during the upgrade process or it's longer than a month since the upgrade occurred, then this option will not work for you. Instead please follow the guide below for downgrading from a machine purchased with Windows 10.
You will have to replace Windows 10 with a fresh installation of Windows 8.1 using original installation media.
Boot from your installation media (DVD or USB.).
Once you've selected your Language, Location and Keyboard Locality, click on Install Now.
You need to select the option Custom from the two on the screen.
Format and install on your selected partition.
Once the installation has completed, click on Finish.
At this point you need to configure your system by installing your backups and software and ensuring the correct drivers are installed.
You can’t use your Windows 8 system image on Windows 8.1. This is because it’s effectively a different operating system, once it's been upgraded.
So this is not a downgrade at all, but rather a long system restore.
First, you have to replace Windows 8.1 with a fresh installation of Windows 8 using your original installation media or the ones you were asked to create prior to upgrading.
Once you’re back in Windows 8, either use your Windows 8 recovery disk or restart to the recovery options from the Power menu.
Hold down the left SHIFT key and select Restart to select the recovery environment.
Within the recovery environment, go to Troubleshoot, Advanced Options, and finally System Image Recovery.
You need to choose your target operating system; select Windows 8.
Make sure the drive containing the appropriate system recovery image you were prompted to create before the upgrade is connected, select the image you want to restore, proceed to the Next window to click Finish and then confirm that you want to continue.
Windows should now re-image your computer. This may take some time.
Microsoft does not support going from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8. Windows 8.1 is seen as an update/upgrade to Windows 8, rather than a new OS.
They do support going to Windows 7 or Windows Vista following the downgrade process in the section above.
If you have a legal copy of Windows 8 Installation media and Key, then you can perform a clean install on the system instead. However please be aware that if you have updates turned on, you will be asked to update to Windows 8.1 at some point.
The first step is to enter your computer’s UEFI settings screen in the BIOS and enable the Legacy boot option, not the UEFI boot option. Tap rapidly at the F2 key as your system boots to enter the BIOS.
You will need a Windows 7 Professional installation disc and a valid license key for it.
Insert the media into your computer and restart into the Windows 7 installer. Tap rapidly on F12 as your system boots and select the correct media option from the onscreen menu to boot to the installer.
Install Windows 7 Professional as you normally would, providing the legitimate Windows 7 Pro key during the installation process.
After Windows 7 finishes installing, the online activation will fail because your product key is already in use. If you don’t see an activation failed message, you can press Start, type Activate, and click Activate Windows. You’ll need to activate by phone. Call up the phone number displayed in the activation window and explain that you’re exercising your Windows 8 Pro downgrade rights. Have your Windows 8 Pro key ready; you’ll need it to prove your PC has downgrade rights.
You will be given a single-use activation code. Enter that activation code into the window and your Windows 7 Professional installation will be activated.
To downgrade multiple computers, you can use the same installation disc and Windows 7 product key. However, you’ll need to call up Microsoft each time to receive an activation key.
Article ID: SLN294589
Last Date Modified: 09/20/2019 11:24 PM
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