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Going Back to Windows 10 From Windows 11

Learn how to downgrade from Windows 11 to Windows 10 with this helpful tutorial. I provide step-by-step instructions on how to use the Microsoft Windows 10 Media Installer, as well as tips on removing bloatware and customizing your instance.

Going Back to Windows 10 After Struggling With Windows 11

By Michael Levin

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Okay, I’ve nearly switched back to my normal laptop after ages of it being out of operation from a catastrophic crash. I had to go back to the Windows product key which was not easy to find to get Windows reinstalled. But I got through that and used this machine to produce a few YouTube videos about resetting a PC to factory default and stripping down the bloat. But now it’s finally time to get off of Windows 11 once and for all. It has really been a big hit to productivity.

One of the main processes I need to get down is taking the MyKoz.AI settling-in process and to be sure I can customize it back to my instance. It’s similar what other people will be doing as they customize their instances, so I should at least spell things out.

Okay, so if you’re on Windows 11 and want to go back to Windows 10, it is possible and recommended. Windows 11 won’t let you strip a system down to “total focus” mode. Windows 10 still can. Namely, if you leave the taskbar showing, Windows 11 won’t let you get rid of the final few Taskbar Notification Icons nor the Clock. On Windows 10, you can turn off the clock and hide the last of the Notification icons you really want showing. Also, Windows 10 has a left/right animation for virtual desktops when you use the Ctrl+Win plus left/right arrows to switch virtual desktops. It might seem like a small thing, but Windows 11 completely ruins your spacial sense of where you are. It’s so insulting because the 4-finger swoosh on the trackpad will still create this animation under Windows 11 so disabling it on the keyboard shortcut comes across as mean. It’s like removing the North Star for a sailor leaving you without bearings. Stupid. That right there is enough to stay on Windows 10.

Okay, so there’s a thousand little reasons to stay on Windows 10. The latest news cycle even announced that Windows 11 would be allowing certain bloatware to be removed. But you still can’t easily downgrade to Windows 10. But you actually can. You just have to know what to download. So if you’re on a working Windows 11 system, you can get the Microsoft Windows 10 Media Installer and run it locally right on the machine you want to upgrade. Tell it you’re upgrading this machine, and it will upgrade your machine to Windows 10 (even from Windows 11), giving you all those opportunities to keep your data.

If you do go this route, I recommend copying all your important documents and data to USB drives and such. You can use Microsoft OneDrive, but that would mean allowing OneDrive to turn back on after the upgrade, and I recommend not using a Microsoft Account when reinstalling Windows. You can tell it that you don’t have an Internet connection. It will make you choose a machine name and answer 3 security questions. But without a Microsoft Account to sync to, OneDrive will not be able to do anything even though it’s so aggressively rigged to run after the install. It won’t have an account to run on, so you can use Windows Settings Add/Remove Apps to remove OneDrive before it runs amok.

After Windows 10 is restored but before you give it WiFi, I suggest deleting all the apps you don’t want so it doesn’t bother upgrading software you don’t need.