Microsoft took the wraps off Windows 11 recently, and we expect the new OS to arrive later this year. Upgrading to a new version of Windows is often a painful process, and in the past, you were stuck even if the new software ruined your workflow. It’s different this time: Microsoft says you’ll be able to go back to Windows 10 if you don’t like Windows 11. You’ll only have 10 days to decide, though.
How will you know if Windows 11 is worth using? There’s a preview program for Windows 11, but the preview builds are still missing some elements of the final release. You don’t have to mess with the Insiders builds at all — you can install the final version when it’s available, and take it for a spin.
This news comes by way of a PDF that Microsoft has provided to PC manufacturers. It’s an FAQ format, and among the various redundant queries is this gem: “Can I go back to Windows 10 after I upgrade if I don’t like Windows 11?” The answer is a resounding yes… for 10 days. You’ll have that long to decide to roll back to Windows 10. Wait any longer, and you’re locked into Windows 11 unless you reformat your system.
If you opt to return to Windows 10, you’ll be able to do so with just a few clicks. The option is under Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. Simply select the previous Windows 10 build, and you’ll be right back where you were with all your apps and data intact. In the past, updating to a new version of Windows, even one of the biannual feature builds, would blank your old system restore points.
If you don’t even want to consider Windows 11, that’s also a supported option. Microsoft will support Windows 10 with updates through October 2025. Depending on how successful Windows 11 is, it might even have to extend Windows 10 support a bit longer.
Windows 11 makes a number of major UI shifts including a new start menu without live tiles. You’ll have quicker access to pinned apps and recent files, but fans of Cortana (if there is such a thing) will be disappointed to see Microsoft’s voice assistant is being stuffed into an out-of-the-way app. Rounded corners also abound in the new software. The Windows Store will get a major update, as well, with support for more application types and payment methods.
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