Learn how to downgrade your Windows 8 Pro to Windows 7
You might already know that when you have bought the license for using Windows 8 Pro, you have also been entitled with the right to downgrade this system to Windows 7. Even if some of us would wonder why would you want to take this action, there are quite a lot of people complaining about the Metro interface, lack of native DVD support and other stuff which tend to be not so welcomed by the Windows fans community.
But before going on with the Windows 8 Pro downgrade tutorial, you need to know that Microsoft has designed this procedure for the business environment, therefore common users might find it a bit difficult. But, you don’t have to worry because, after reading this article, you will be completely able to perform the downgrade to Windows 7.
There are several “fortunate” situations, though. And that’s when you have bought, in the past, a PC which came with Windows 7 already installed. In this situation, if you have upgraded your OS to the new Windows 8 Pro, and now you need to revert to the previous OS, a simple system restore would be enough to solve your issue. Alternatively, if you own a Windows 7 DVD, then you just have to make fresh install of your operating system. But, in both cases, before proceeding with W7 installation, please don’t forget to back-up your data.
A few words about the downgrade rights
You should know that the downgrade rights are available only in the situation when you have bought a computer on which Windows 8 Pro has already been installed. We have highlighted this aspect because W8 Pro is also available as an upgrade option from standard W8 editions. But, in this second situation you will not have the downgrade rights included.
Another important aspect that you need to know is that Windows 8 Pro can be downgraded only to Windows 7 Professional or Windows Vista Business. You will not be able to choose Windows XP.
In case you want to revert to W8 after downgrading it, you should be able to do it without any problem.
Things you need to take care before W8 Pro downgrade
The following actions are required for computers which came with Windows 8 Pro pre-installed by the factory:
- make sure that your desktop/ laptop is able to run on Windows 7. We are not specifically referring to the hardware configuration because, obviously, if a machine is able to work with the latest OS from Microsoft, it will surely run W7 perfectly. However, your attention should concentrate over the drivers for your computer’s hardware. That’s because hardware manufacturers could already produce parts which are only supported by Windows 8 drivers.
- the back-up of your data is an important thing that should be done before this downgrade. Also, a special attention must be given to the partition which holds the W8 Pro installation kit. You might want to back-up this partition because, in the future, you might want to revert to the OS which came on your machine, by default.
Windows 8 downgrade to Windows 7 guide
1. First of all, you need to enable the “legacy boot option” from the UEFI settings screen. If you don’t know how to that, please refer to the owner’s manual which came with your computer, because there are different procedures for this action, depending on the brand of your desktop/ laptop;
2. Now it is time to grab an Windows 7 installation kit. Yes, we know, that’s the most difficult part of this downgrading procedure. As mentioned above, the downgrade rights are intended for business environment, in which such installation kits are available all the time. Microsoft will not provide you with this installation disc and its product key. Our recommendation is use a Windows 7 legit copy and not try to download it from illegal websites. The same applies for the product key, too.
3. As soon as you have the W7 installation disc, please insert it into your computer and restart the machine. The installation of your new “old” OS will start now;
4. At some point in this process you will be required to insert the Windows 7 product key. It has been provided together with installation kit, therefore all you have to do now is to insert correctly its characters. If you need to perform the Windows 8 Pro downgrade on several other machines, it is OK to use the same W7 license key on them, too. You will want to do that in order to pass this installation checkpoint.
5. After the setup process has ended, Windows 7 Pro will try to activate this copy online but, of course, it will fail. That’s because the key you have inserted has already been used. Therefore, a phone activation is needed in this situation. In the start menu of your OS, you need to type “activate” and select the “Activate Windows” option. You will be provided with one or more phone numbers form the Microsoft call centers. Use them in order to explain your situation and the fact that you need to downgrade from Windows 8 Pro to Windows 7. You should know that the product key of your Windows 8 Pro will be asked from you, on the phone.
6. At the end, you will be provided with an activation code for your freshly installed OS. Note that it will work just one time. Insert it in the “Windows Activation” menu and your operating system will now be activated.
As mentioned above, you can use the same Windows 7 installation disc and product key for downgrades from Windows 8 Pro on several other computers. However, you need to know that the procedure is the same as described above, meaning you have to call to Microsoft call centers for each process in part.
As you can see, the downgrade from Windows 8 Pro to Windows 7 is not such a simple procedure and the most annoying part is considered to be the one when you have to call Microsoft and explain you need to downgrade from Windows 8 Pro and let them know that your OS is legit and it also has downgrade rights. And that’s why we ten to believe that this procedure has been designed especially for the business environment, in which a W7 installation kit can be easily found.