“I inadvertently upgraded to the new update of Windows 10 earlier this week and would like to roll back to a previous build – however, in the settings menu, the go back to an earlier build option is missing entirely.”
Microsoft defines Windows 10 as an “operating system as a service” and releases ongoing updates, which are known as Windows 10 versions and builds. Different from security updates within Windows 8/7, Windows 10 updated versions make changes to features and functionality. As a result, it is super convenient to get new experience on Windows 10. However, new versions often mean unstable. What if users don’t like the new version they upgraded? Microsoft provide an option to roll back to previous versions within a limited time (currently 10 days). However, “go back to previous version of Windows 10 not working” is reported by many owners of Windows 10 computers.
This is a brief instruction. Please skip to the next part if you already know how to do it.
Step 1. Click Start menu, and then choose Settings > Update & security > Recovery.
Step 2. Find “Go back to an earlier build” section, and click “Get started” button.
Step 3. Follow on-screen instruction to finish the recovery process.
In case your computer cannot boot correctly after the upgrade, you may still roll back to a previous release in Advanced startup menu. Therefore, the first thing you need to do is to enter the menu. Normally, the system would take you there when it failed to load to Windows Desktop. Alternatively, you can try pressing F11 when powering on the computer.
Once you’re on Advanced startup menu, choose Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Go back to the previous build, and then follow the instruction.
Let’s go back to the topic at the beginning: what to do if “Go back to an earlier build” not available? 3 symptoms when the problem occurs:
Assuming there is no backup or restore point for your previous Windows 10 versions, you can downgrade to an earlier released Windows 10 manually, and then disable Windows auto update.
1. In this way, you may need a license to activate the operating system.
2. Since it is going to install an older version of Windows, the options to keep personal files and apps will not be available. Please make backups to external or cloud drive in advance.
Step 1. Download the ISO file of the Windows 10 version you need. Choose from the top list.
Step 2. Double-click the ISO file, and then run the setup.exe file.
Step 3. Follow the instruction to finish the installation.
Step 4. Block Windows 10 feature update.
Disabling auto update makes sure that you won’t have to repeat the downgrade. However, Microsoft will stop support for previous versions of Windows 10 after a certain time, so it is recommended to update to a new and stable version when you’re ready. Furthermore, it is a clean install, so it is highly suggested to back up all your files and make sure you can reinstall the apps after the downgrade.