Windows 8.1 is here and brings many new and improved features. The update is free for current Windows 8 users, it’s available from the Windows Store, and the installation process, if not quick, at least is easy. If you would like to boot to the desktop, take advantage of the improved SkyDrive integration, or run multiple apps next to each other with the new dynamic Snap feature, you should consider upgrading.
Fear not if you are not satisfied with Microsoft’s update to Windows 8.1, see how to downgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.
Downgrade to Windows 8
- How to Upgrade from Windows 8.1 Preview to RTM – Guide
- How to fix Upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 fail error
- Windows 8 upgrade to Windows 8.1 RTM fails with error code 0×101 – 0x2000C
Are you disappointed in Windows 8.1? Don’t like how it works compared to Windows 8 or did something go wrong during the upgrade? This is the time to use your previously created system image to “downgrade” to Windows 8.
As mentioned previously, you can’t use your Windows 8 system image on Windows 8.1 because essentially, it’s a different operating system. So this is not a downgrade at all, but rather a very time intensive brute-force system restore. And here is how you do it…
First, you have to replace Windows 8.1 with a fresh installation of Windows 8 using your original installation media or the ones you created prior to upgrading. Once you’re back in Windows 8, use a Windows 8 recovery disk or restart to recovery options from the Power menu. Hold down the left [SHIFT] key and select Restart. A moment later you should find yourself in the recovery environment.
Within the recovery environment, go to Troubleshoot, Advanced Options, and finally System Image Recovery. You will need to choose the target operating system; select Windows 8. Make sure the drive containing the system recovery image is connected, select the image you want to restore, proceed to the Next window, click Finish and confirm that you want to continue.
Windows should now re-image your computer and if all goes well, you will be back in your old Windows 8 setup in just under a day. Well, nobody claimed it was fast or easy, but with some tedious detrous, at least it’s possible.
Downgraded to Windows 8
No doubt, Windows 8.1 is an improvement. It’s more stylish and user friendly than its predecessor. The sad part about this whole story is that it is near impossible for the average user to “downgrade”.
Although Microsoft is trying hard to simplify and build a smooth user experience, they keep failing in the details. Users have become used to certain features and still expect Windows to be somewhat customizable and controllable. This collides with simplicity and flexibility, which in this case makes preparing for a “downgrade” — which really isn’t a downgrade, but a full system restore — such a tedious process.
What is your verdict? Is is worth upgrading to Windows 8.1? or Are you downgrading to Windows 8.1 again. If you decided to roll back, what was your main reason?