This isn’t a new revelation, of course, but with more folks now moving to Windows 11 – given that Microsoft opened the upgrade floodgates a fortnight ago – we figured it was worth a reminder that you’re on a pretty tight deadline for making a decision about whether you want to stick with Windows 11.
The situation differs notably and substantially from Windows 10, whereby those upgrading from Windows 7 or 8.1 got 30 days grace to play around with the operating system, and move back to the old version if they decided it wasn’t for them.
In other words, Microsoft has reduced the rollback grace period from 30 days with Windows 10, to just 10 days with Windows 11.
After that time has expired, when you head over to the ‘Recovery’ options screen (search for it under Settings), the option to ‘Go Back’ – meaning to revert to the previous OS, Windows 10 – is greyed out. The only way to get back to Windows 10 at that point is to fully reinstall the OS on the PC, which is obviously quite a task compared to just clicking a button.
Analysis: Grabbing a disk image is worthwhile for this
The obvious problem here is that by narrowing down the reversion period, people who upgrade to Windows 11 and don’t hit any immediate hitches, but subsequently discover a nasty issue after a few weeks, no longer have the option to make a no-fuss switch back to Windows 10. They’re stuck.
And this is particularly galling seeing as the opportunity to revert remained open for a full month when folks were upgrading to Windows 10.
So, if you’re nervous about migrating to Windows 11 and that stingy trial time frame, as it were, then one thing you can do is make a backup image of your Windows 10 installation before you upgrade.
This can be achieved using software like Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office or Macrium Reflect (or another of the best disk cloning tools around), and with an image in place, if at any time you want to revert to that snapshot of your old OS, you can do so.
The key is to be prepared as this is something that must be done ahead of upgrading to Windows 11, obviously enough. In our book, it’s a worthwhile precaution for sure, particularly now Microsoft has whittled down the rollback period to an absolute minimum for reasons best known to the software giant.
- Find out where to buy Windows 10
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).