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Microsoft’s giving you just 10 days now, not 31, to change your mind about Windows 10

Mark Hachman | Aug. 8, 2016
The new policy means that you have until August 12 to decide whether you like Windows 10.

Microsoft has hidden a new downgrade policy within the Windows 10 Anniversary Update: Once you’ve installed it, you’ll only have 10 days to downgrade to an earlier version or build, rather than the 31 days provided before.

Historically, Microsoft had given users a full month to roll back any updates, including upgrades to Windows 10. Supersite for Windows reported this week, however, that it was unable to downgrade to an earlier build after a 10-day limit had expired, though it wasn’t exactly clear what builds the limit applied to.

We asked Microsoft for clarification, and it boils down to this: Applying the Anniversary Update triggers the new policy. According to Microsoft, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 8 or Windows 7, or whether you simply updated your PC from an earlier version of Windows 10. Once you’ve installed the Anniversary Update, you have 10 days to back out, not 31, before the AU becomes “permanent.”

“T]his new 10-day behavior is for all upgrades and updates to the Anniversary Update,” the representative said in an email.

Why this matters: Just when you thought Microsoft’s aggressive upgrade practices were over—remember all the nastiness about deceptive upgrade tactics?—it appears Microsoft is stealthily closing the Windows 10 escape hatch. Recent Windows 10 converts need to figure out when they upgraded to Windows 10, and whether they want to keep it, pronto. And if you upgraded to Windows 10 just so you could downgrade again? You may need to act fast.

go back to windows 8 Mark Hachman

I upgraded this PC from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 on July 28, then upgraded to the Windows 10 AU on Aug. 2. Downgrading back to version 10586 still shows that I have a month (or about Aug. 28) to roll back to Windows 8.1, which is probably still the case.

Vague Windows 10 messaging

The problem is that the new rollback period is not clearly defined by Microsoft’s own messaging within Windows 10. In fact, it’s not defined at all.

In the most recent 14393.10 version of Windows 10 (the Anniversary Update), there's no time limit attached to the option to go back to a previous build (Settings > Update & Security > Recovery). Even after PCWorld rolled back a second PC on July 28, from the Anniversary Update to the older “vanilla” version 10586.494, the Settings menu still shows a month remaining. It’s also not clear whether rolling back from the AU to version 10586 automatically grants more time.

Microsoft’s one-year period to upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8.1, free of charge, ended on July 29. That gave new Windows 10 users just days before the Anniversary Updates began on Aug. 2. 

 

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