Microsoft presented the Windows 11 upgrade a few weeks ago. The operating system update brings a slight design makeover, but also several new features. The new software will be available as a a free upgrade for Windows 10 usersalthough there is one major caveat. Microsoft has hardware requirements that not all PCs meet. At least not at first.

Microsoft wants to make Windows 11 the most secure release so far, hence the security-relevant chip requirements. Microsoft has a tool that you can use Check if your system is upgradeable. The good news about this extra step in the upgrade process is that it has a silver lining: Microsoft is not going to force Windows 11 on usersas was the case with Windows 10. And if you’re upgrading and looking for a way to downgrade from Windows 11 to Windows 10, Microsoft is there for you.

As every longtime Windows user knows – and fears – downgrading or upgrading Windows is not always easy. You need the installation kit and a lot of patience. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be running the latest version of Windows 10 that is currently available. But if you hate installing Windows 11, you can always go back to Windows 10.

Here’s how to downgrade Windows 11 to Windows 10

Microsoft will continue to support Windows 10 for more than four years. So downgrading shouldn’t be a problem. “Windows 10 continues to be a great version of Windows. We have committed to support Windows 10 until October 14, 2025, “explains Microsoft in the FAQ section of its on Windows 11 side.

Full Microsoft support behind Windows 10 is vital. It ensures that the operating system continues to receive critical security updates even after the introduction of Windows 11.

In the same FAQ section, the company explains that Windows 11 will support seamless Windows 10 downgrades with a twist. And it’s a big twist that you really need to keep an eye on. You only have 10 days to revert to the old operating system:

Yes. After you’ve installed the Windows 11 upgrade, there is a 10-day period to go back to Windows 10 while keeping the files and data that you brought with you. After the 10 days, you’ll need to back up your data and do a “clean install” to get back to Windows 10.

As you can see, you have 10 days for a quick, painless downgrade. Make the decision to switch back to Windows 10 and you can keep everything in place. This is how it should work, at least in theory. As always, it is recommended that you back up your data before upgrading or downgrading.

Downgrading Windows 11 at any point after the 10-day trial will be more annoying. It is mandatory that you back up your Windows data first. That’s because you need to do a clean reinstall of Windows 10 which will erase everything including your files and settings. You’ll also need to reinstall the apps you use regularly and copy all of your data from your backups.

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