I really hate Windows 8, can I downgrade to Windows 7?

By at 10 April, 2013, 10:23 am

Some folks are just not taking to Microsoft's new Windows 8 interface. In fact, many folks hate it and pine for Windows 7. Last week at ABA TECHSHOW 2013, several attendees during my sessions on Windows 8 asked if they could downgrade a Windows 8 computer to Windows 7.  While the short answer is yes, you can generally downgrade to Windows 8, there are a number of caveats that go along with that. With fortuitous timing, the folks over at  PCMag.com  published  How to Uninstall Windows 8, Install Windows 7 on Your PC this week. 

The article does a great job explaining how you can downgrade to Windows 7 as well as the issues that you may encounter in the process. Availability of drivers for your hardware is one of the larger ones that you will encounter as many hardware manufacturers have not written Windows 7 drivers for hardware they have created for Windows 8. This can pose a challenge if you do not carefully check before you downgrade. According to the article:

Microsoft does offer downgrade rights, complete with support services and a clear downgrade path to Windows 7, but only for systems with Windows 8 Pro. If you've just got plain old Windows 8—and most mainstream systems do—you're on your own. Switching between the two operating systems is still very doable, but you'll be doing it without Microsoft's blessing.

Related to this, you may also run into trouble getting support from your manufacturer, as most do not provide legacy support for Windows 7 on systems that were factory-shipped with Windows 8. This extends to drivers. You'll need to do your homework as to what your devices are, what drivers they require, and whether or not there are Windows 7 drivers available. Unfortunately, this will vary from model to model, and even from one configuration to the next.

You will face other challenges including accessing your computer's  BIOS   (this is the basic input output system that controls things like the order of which device your computer boots from, whether your number lock is on by default, setting the date and time, etc. as it has been replaced by the UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) and the article walks you through the process of doing so step by step here.

One of the challenges that you will face in downgrading to Windows 7 is that many of the computer manufacturers are not even making this an option. Rather, if you want Windows 7 you will need to make sure that the company offers the computer with Windows 7 installed when you buy it. Del for example stills ells a number of systems where you can purchase them with Windows 8 or a version of  Windows 7. However, if you but it with Windows 8, they do not provide a downgrade path to Windows 7 (don't believe me, check out their forums.)  This is despite Microsoft providing OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer's e.g. Dell, HP, Toshiba, etc.) the right to do so as explained here. This means that you will have to buy a new license of  Windows 7 to downgrade.

So, if you really want to dump Windows 8 (I actually like it), this article from PCMag.com is a great place to start.

Categories : ABA TECHSHOW | Non-Legal Software | Software | Tips and Tricks

Brian April 15, 2013

It's never too late to switch to a Mac…unless it is. 

elaine June 26, 2013

All the "buy a mac people" can stuff it. Macs sucked during my formative technology-use years (HS and college). Macs didn't stop sucking until that weird white laptop they put out. Nice, but the desktop was all weird and mac-y. Forget that.

Windows 8 makes my blood boil in frustration. I want to do WORK. I don't want to share, facebook, game, or whatever this stupid OS is supposed to be for.

I want to be able to have a PDF open at READABLE size and my word doc AT THE SAME TIME.

I want my laptop to stop thinking that it is a tablet and getting confused because it thinks half my finger movements on my mousepad are swipes on a tablet screen.

What I really want is an *apology* from Microsoft. Not a patch. Not an update. I want them to come to my house, admit they were wrong, and effing apologize for the steaming pile that is windows 8.

Tagg June 29, 2013

I agree with Elaine, MS really screwed the pooch with this one. Maybe nice for a tablet or phone but useless on a desktop…

Dylan June 30, 2013

Macs are amazing, one you go mac you'll never go back, for reals, I use to be a big microsoft guy, switched to a Mac never going back to windows again.

Cindy July 4, 2013

I agree with Elaine, H-8 Win 8 – actually returning my new laptop and will search for something with Win 7. I would like a Mac, but I already have a mortgage!

Paul July 18, 2013

I agree with Elaine, she hit it on the head!  I've been using Windows 8 for three weeks now and cannot stand all the "cutesy" charms, pins, bs.  All the hot corners on my screen are nothing but frustrations constantly bringing something up on the screen I don't f'ng need or want. The esc key does not even work.  What a mess Microsoft has developed!

Tom F July 23, 2013

Elaine comments were so eloquently put and I agree with every word. Windows 8 is just so frustrating. Did anyone in the seemingly smug Microsoft development team actually sit down and try to produce anything useful on a laptop or desktop PC with their latest disaster installed? I quite warmed to Windows 7 as the GUI was so easy to use. Much like a Mac in fact. The next OS had better be good or Microsoft's future will depend solely on their licensing charges.

Juliste July 24, 2013

I despise Windows 8 and everything it represents. I have had it for a little over a month, and am already looking to junk my brand new computer rather than go through the hassle of trying to downgrade. MS screwed up big time in terms of customer loyalty. I have issues with the lack of compatibility with older software and the complication of whether or not I can choose to revert. I think as a brand that MS would have retained the use of my hard earned funds if they had at least given me room to like/dislike the new OS. Instead having W8 is akin to having my arm twisted or being force fed my least favorite food. I own over $1200 worth of software that, even though you can change compatibility, does make the program compatible! And how altruistic of many of the major electronic stores to change their return policies within weeks of the release date of this crappy excuse of an OS. I am a aconsumer. I am angry. And I am ready to boot this computer out of the window of my 3rd story apartment. Pedestrians beware!

Djuna August 1, 2013

I feel terrible especially since I made my husband take back the computer with 7 to get this 8. What a mess!!! I hate Windows 8 with a passion!

Visi August 2, 2013


That is all.

tim August 3, 2013

the best thing about linux is free and very user friendly if you are sick of windows 8 just download ubuntu make a bootable disk restart your computer and injoy. you can try from disk with out install and can install as main os when done tring it, linx is so much faster and cheaper then windows and can almost everything windows can.

Yonah August 28, 2013

Ahh!  New Windows hate.  I've seen it time and time again.  I can still recall the angry mouth-breathers crying over Windows XP, swearing they would hold onto Windows 98 until their last breath.  Personally, I've liked ever new version of Windows since 95.  That includes Windows ME and Vista, which I ran on multiple machines with no major problems.  Though I'm badly craving a touch-screen, I'm very pleased with Windows 8.  The Start Menu, which most of you NEVER learned how to properly organize and customize, is gone.  The Start Screen is much faster and more functional when you actually remove the things you don't want and group things how you like.  Switching keyboard languages is simplified.  The new task manager is incredible.  Plugging in new devices is faster and more intuitive.  And let me make something crystal clear for you non-programmers out there:  If your favorite program doesn't work on Windows 8, the true blame lies with the developer.  No system, not Mac, Linux, or even Amiga OS has as much backward compatibility as Windows.

Kay September 3, 2013

I have had to start using my daughters PC which has Windows 7, to do my uni work as my new PC which has windows 8 is so frustrating and unusable I just gave up. It is now sitting in the spare room gathering dust because we all refuse to use it anymore. I find it harder to move quickly from sceen to screen, I often have 4 screens running at once and now it is tedious.Screens often dissapear back to the home page. Sometimes I cant access subjects on the student portal but if I jump on the windows 7 PC bam straight on, I spent over 2 grand on my PC with windows 8 and guess which program I'm using right now? Sooooooo not happy.

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joan February 1, 2014

I absolutely can not stand windows 8. I spent 900 on a new laptop and now i would rather use my old dinosaur laptop because of windows 8. It makes me want to scream and cry and smash my 900$ laptop with a hammer.  WTF!!!


Cynthia Whalen February 27, 2014



Eric March 7, 2014

I second all of the complaints whole heartedly.  I wish I had known before I paid my hard earned cash. I would have tried harder to ressurrect my damaged lap top running Vista rather than replace it and "upgrade" to Win 8.

I'm not a psychic but, I forsee a class action in Windows future.

Very interesting post.

vic May 8, 2014

windows 8 doesn’t really simplified things on a computer… more like it was made to bind a tablet and a computer which is not that fancy at all… ~ programmers? gamers? editors? artist? ~ they all worked well with windows 7 ~ i just don’t know why windows 8 came and make Microsoft lame… ~

~ well i’m just looking for windows 7 drivers for my hp windows 8 laptop… ~

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