If you upgraded to Windows 10, from Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, the new operating system allows you to rollback Windows 10 to your previous version, provided you carry out the rollback operation within 30 days (now 10 days). But if you use this trick, you should be able to roll back Windows 10 to your previous version, even after the 10-day limit. Let us see how.
After you upgrade to Windows 10 you may notice two folders on your System or C Drive named $Windows.~BT and $Windows.~WS. These folders are hidden and are created by Windows, during the upgrade process. To see them, open Folder Options, and set Windows to show hidden and operating system files and folders. You will then be able to see them.
These $Windows.~BT, $Windows.~WS and Windows.old folders are required by the system to perform the rollback operation. After 10 days, Windows 10 automatically deletes these folders during Automatic Maintenance. After 10 days, you may not see the option to Rollback in the Settings app or you may receive a message We’re sorry, but you can’t go back.
UPDATE: In Windows 10 Anniversary Update v1607 and later, the rollback period has been reduced from 30 days to 10 days.
Rollback Windows 10 after 10 days
What you can do is rename these folders, as soon as you upgrade, and definitely before the 10 day period.
Rename the following folders:
- $Windows.~BT to say Bak-$Windows.~BT
- $Windows.~WS to Bak-$Windows.~WS
- Windows.old to Bak- Windows.old
When you do this, Windows 10 will not be able to delete these folders as you will have changed their names.
If you decide to rollback after 10 days, rename these folders back to their original names and visit Settings > Update & Security > Recovery to Go back to Windows 8.1 or Windows 7.
If you wish, you may also backup these 3 folders to an external drive with their original names.
If you do feel the need, you should now be able to rollback even after 30 days. But then you will have to backup your latest data before you carry out the rollback operation.
This should work – but I cannot guarantee that it will, since I have not tried it! Let us know if this works for you or not.
This post will show you how to go back to an earlier build of Windows 10. Also learn how to extend the time period to uninstall a Windows 10 upgrade.