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If you were curious to try out the new Windows 10 and you’re installed it for free because you have a license for Windows 7 or 8, and you have second thoughts about keeping it, then make sure that 30 days haven’t passed since the installation of the latest software. Because after this period will expire, you’ll be stuck with Windows 10. So, in this article we’ll teach you how to return to your old operating system.

A Clean Install

After the 30 days will expire, your old Windows files (from the Windows.old folder) will be deleted along with other files kept in hidden folders such as $Windows.~BT and $Windows.~WS. In order to see these hidden files, you must go to the View tab in File Explorer and enable Hidden items. Even if you’ll see these folders after 30 days, their content is removed, which means that you won’t be able to roll back.

So, before installing Windows, we recommend you to back up all your important files and wipe out your hard disk. Then, you will need to install all drivers for the hardware, the software and the rest of documents and settings you’ve backed up. In the end, you’ll be required to install all Windows updates so it will work properly. In case you’ve lost your activation key, but you still have the disc, then it can be extracted from Windows 10. In order to do that, press the Windows key and R key at the same time, to bring up the Run box. In there, you will type in cmd, then you’ll press enter and when the command prompt will pop out, copy and paste this code there: wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey. Now, press enter and you will see the original product key for your previous version of Windows.

Factory restore

There’s a hidden partition on the hard drive of most of the laptops and computers, and it contains a copy of the previous Windows and all the settings and programs or drivers that have been installed when the device arrived. If these files won’t be affected after upgrading to Windows 10, you won’t need to perform a factory restore. If this procedure will be required, then press F11 for recovery options when restarting your computer, then after pressing any key, you will be sent to a menu with the option to restore factory settings. There are computers which have a Windows application allowing you to perform a restore, such as Acer Recovery Management app on Acer Aspire laptops, so with this application, you can return to the original version of Windows, which was installed on your device, when it came. Before wiping your C: drive, you’d better back up all your files.