Skip to content

How to return to Windows 8

Rate this post

How to return to Windows 8: You recently updated your Windows OS computer to the latest version: Windows 10 . However, since you performed the update, you realize that you have some difficulty in being able to use it, as you have become accustomed to the Windows 8 user interface . So how can you go back to the previous version of the Microsoft operating system? Nothing could be easier! I’m here to explain it to you.

In today’s guide, I will show you how to return to Windows 8 using the integrated functionality present within Windows 10. In fact, if it has not been too many days since the update, you can safely return to the previous version in the blink of an eye without losing your data. In addition, I will point out other methods to use to restore Windows 8 on your computer, which could however result in data loss.

Having said that, what do you think you can start reading my guide? Take a few minutes of time to devote myself and sit comfortably in front of the computer: I am sure that in the end you will succeed in restoring Windows 8 on your PC. Are you ready? So what are you waiting for ?! Let’s get started right away! I wish you a good read!

Preliminary operations

If you want to return to Windows 8 , you must first carry out some preliminary operations that can help you during the procedures indicated in the following paragraphs.

A fundamental requirement is to backup the data on the PC. Even if some of the procedures indicated in this tutorial of mine are not risky, it is still better to be cautious, in case unexpected events should occur. In this regard, I recommend you read my guide on how to backup your data .

Also, during the recovery of the operating system, you may be asked for the Windows 8 product key . This is a code that is used to activate the operating system and be able to take advantage of all its features. You can read it on the Windows packaging, in case you bought it in the shop, or on the sticker that you find glued on the computer case. If you can’t find it, you can read my guide on how to recover it .

In addition to the indications I have shown you in the previous lines, it is useful to check the activation of Windows 10 . Because? If you did not activate Windows 10 when you made the switch from Windows 8, you may not be able to, if you decide again that you want to go back to the new version of the Microsoft operating system.

In this case, the product key may not be recognized and therefore you will be forced to purchase a new Windows 10 license . What I recommend is therefore to activate the operating system, which I told you in detail about the procedure to follow in my guide on how to activate Windows 10 .

Return to Windows 8 via Windows 10 functionality

If 30 days have not passed since the upgrade of Windows 8 to Windows 10, you can perform the downgrade procedure without losing any data. What I recommend, however, in any case, is to make a backup as I indicated in the previous paragraph , to prevent you from losing your personal data, in the event that something unexpected happens.

To do this, access Windows Settings , using the Windows + [i] key combination or by pressing the Start key and clicking on the icon with a gear symbol .

In the screen that is shown to you, press the Update and security icon and then select the Restore item , located in the sidebar on the left. At this point, under the heading Back to Windows 8.1 (or Go back to the previous version of Windows 10 ), press the button To start .

Through this option, all your personal data will be kept, removing only the apps and all the drivers that have been installed after the update. If you are asked for the reason why you want to downgrade, specify it among the options that you see on the screen. At this point, press the Next button three times in succession and confirm, using the Back to Windows 8.1 button , to start the recovery process.

Your computer will restart by performing the necessary steps to reinstall Windows 8. Before accessing the desktop, you may be asked for the product key and user account login credentials.

What if the period to downgrade has already passed? In this case, there are two alternatives: rename the recovery folder in advance, so that it is not deleted from Windows, or perform a clean installation or restore from a backup, which I will tell you about in the following paragraphs.

If you want to know how to rename the Windows 8 recovery folder, start File Explorer through its icon with the symbol of a folder , which you can find in the taskbar at the bottom. In the left sidebar, then select the item This PC and double-click on the Local Disk icon (C 🙂 .

Now, press on the View tab and put a check mark on the box next to the word Hidden items , in order to view all the hidden Windows files and folders. Then locate the folder named Windows.old , $ Windows. ~ BT , or $ Windows. ~ WS and rename it as you prefer.

In this way, Windows will not be able to delete the Windows 8 recovery folder, being able to perform this procedure at any time. When you want to restore the previous version of Windows, just carry out the procedure I indicated in the lines above and rename the folder with its original name.

Return to Windows 8 via backup

If, on the other hand, you have a backup image of Windows 8  (I explained how to create it in my guide ), you can restore it easily. When you perform the system image creation procedure, you are asked whether to burn it to a DVD (recommended) or save it on the hard disk. The latter option is not recommended in case you own only one system partition.

First, access the Windows Settings , through the combination of Windows + [i] keys , and then press on Update and security , in the screen you see on the screen. In the left sidebar, then select the word Recovery and press the Restart now button , which is under the item Start advanced , to restart the computer, which will enter UEFI mode .

In the screen that appears after restarting the PC, click on the item Troubleshoot and choose to display the  Advanced Options . Among the choices you see on the screen, press on the one called System image recovery and wait for the system image recovery tool to run.

Once this is done, select the Windows login and run the wizard that you see on the screen, which will ask you to select the image from a DVD disc or from a file on the hard disk. When the procedure has started, the computer will perform all the necessary operations to restore Windows 8.

Go back to Windows 8 with a clean install

A last method you can perform is that which consists in the clean installation of Windows 8  which, in case you have not made a backup (I told you about it in a previous paragraph ), involves the cancellation of all the data.

If you decide to go this route, the first thing you need to do is get a Windows 8 installation disc. If you don’t already have it, you can create one, by downloading the ISO image directly from the Microsoft website . Then access the link I provided and scroll down the page until you find the Select edition section .

Now, use the drop-down menu to select Windows 8.1 and press on the word Confirm . Now, choose the Italian language and continue again via the Confirm button . At this point, you will be shown the two 32-bit download and 64-bit download buttons , respectively to download the 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 8.1 ISO image.

Once the download is complete, burn the ISO image on a DVD (if you don’t know how to do it, I recommend one of the tools that I have indicated in this guide ) and, when the operation is complete, insert the DVD in the computer player and restart the PC . The disc will automatically start to begin the Windows 8 installation process.

In case the disk doesn’t boot, you have to change the boot priority order from BIOS . If you don’t know how to do this, I recommend you read my guide on how to enter the BIOS and how to configure it .

If you have followed the steps I have indicated to you, you will see screens for configuring the installation of Windows 8. If you want to know in detail how to install this version of Windows, I recommend you read my guide dedicated to ‘topic.