We’re sorry, but you can’t go back. The files we need to take you back were removed

If you do not like the new operating system, you can rollback Windows 10 to your previous installed version of Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 SP1. But what if you received a You can’t go back message, when you clicked on the Get started button to rollback Windows 10?

We're sorry, but you can't go back

We’re sorry, but you can’t go back. The files we need to take you back to a previous version of Windows were removed from this PC

If you have received this message, it could mean two things:

  1. You are carrying out the rollback operation after 1 month of upgrading to Windows 10. After Anniversary Update v1670, the period has been reduced to 10 days.
  2. You have deleted the $Windows.~BT and $Windows.~WS folders required by the system to perform the rollback operation.

Microsoft has mentioned that the Rollback operating is available for a month only, after which, the files required for this operation, will be deleted. By a month we assume 30 days, but I have seen Microsoft Support staff mention in the Microsoft Answers, a period of 28 days, in the case of Windows 10. As I mentioned earlier, in Anniversary Update v1670, the period has been reduced to 10 days.

If you used Disk Cleanup, a third party junk remover and it inadvertently deleted these folders or if you manually deleted them, then you will see this message, and you will not be able to rollback. Do check for yourself if these hidden folders exist on your C Drive.

However one user hijo reported that reported that he was unable to rollback Windows, now – ie. within a month of installing Windows 10, and he received this message, even when he had not deleted any folders.

If you receive this message, what you could do is check if you have any old system restore points available, and try to restore your Windows 10 to the oldest point.

The other suggestions I have are :

Having done this, see if the rollback works now.

I will update this post if I find anything more to add about this.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags

Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.