Solved How to downgrade Windows 11 to Windows 10 and keep all files and programs


2W10

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Tired of Windows 11? Want to go back to Windows 10 without having to move files (well, kinda)? Well this tutorial is for you!

NOTE: This will involve deleting some partitions and modifying the registry. Back up your files as we will run into some errors.

1. You will need two ISOs: a Windows 10 1507 or 1511 ISO and a Windows 10 20H2+ ISO. You can get these ISOs via Windows ISO Downloader

2. Mount the Windows 10 1507/1511 ISO and copy all of the files into another folder. You must use a Windows 10 1507/1511 ISO, or else this will not work.

3. Mount the Windows 10 20H2+ ISO and go to sources and copy "install.wim". In order to follow the steps on the tutorial, you must use 20H2 or later, or else the steps will be different. However, we are still using the 1507/1511 setup.

4 Right click "setup.exe", then click "Troubleshoot compatibility"

5. Click on "Use recommended settings". This will set the compatibility to Windows 8.

6 Click on "Test program". It will give you a UAC prompt, click Yes.

7. Go through setup normally until reboot. We are tricking the 1507/1511 setup into thinking that this is an upgrade from Windows 8 to 10, but we are actually "upgrading" 11 to 10.

8. Your computer should reboot three times, getting past the getting ready screen. After that, on the next reboot Windows will present you with the "Preparing Automatic Repair" screen. This is normal, so let it get to the Windows Recovery screen.

9. Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt. We are going to disable WinRE, rebuild the boot files, delete a faulty driver (IntelPMT.sys), and skip OOBE.

10. Type in these commands:

cd /d C:

rd Recovery /s /q

diskpart

sel dis 0

lis par

sel par 3 (the partition labeled Recovery)

del par (override)

sel par 1 (your boot partition)

assign

exit

bcdboot C:\Windows /s W: (where your boot partition is)

bootrec /fixmbr

bootrec /fixboot

regedit

11. Go to HKLM and click File > Load hive



12. Go to C:\Windows\system32\config and import "SYSTEM". Name the hive something other than "SYSTEM", like "SYS"

13. Go to HKLM\SYS\ControlSet001\Services. Scroll down until you see the key "IntelPMT". Right click and delete the key.

14. We will also bypass OOBE. In that same hive, go to the Setup key, and set both CMD Lines to cmd.exe, and set all values to 0.

15. Now unload your SYSTEM hive. Exit the Registry Editor, then reboot.

16. When you get to your desktop, you will see that your apps transferred, but not your files. Your files should still be there in the Windows 11 folder, located in C:\Windows.old\Users\(your user). Copy all of the files into your folder from your old folder. Most apps will work, but some may need to be reinstalled, such as Bluestacks.

17. You will notice that some apps will not work, like the Personalization shortcut on the right-click desktop menu will not work. This all can be fixed with a repair install of Windows 10 20H2+. To do this, repeat steps 1-7 or use the original 20H2+ ISO. This should fix the errors.

You could technically continue downgrading all the way down to 8.1, by downgrading from 20H2+ to 1511 with a similar trick, then 1511 to 8.1 (but downgrading to those OSES are much more complicated).
 
Windows Build/Version
Windows 11 22523

My Computer

System One

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    Windows 11, macOS 12
    Computer type
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    Apple
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-1038NG7
    Memory
    16 GB

Ghot

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@2W10

Nice to know, if you forgot to make a Windows 10 backup before upgrading to Windows 11. :-)
 

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    Built by Ghot® [May 2020]
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    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
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    Asus Pro WS X570-ACE
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    G.Skill (F4-3200C14D-16GTZKW)
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    Ducky DK9008 Shine II Blue LED
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    Windows XP Pro 32bit w/SP3
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    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
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    TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX (2 x 1GB, DDR2 800)
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    ViewSonic G90FB Black 19" Professional (CRT)
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    up to 2048 x 1536
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    WD 36GB 10,000rpm Raptor SATA
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    PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad EPS12V
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    Generic Beige case, 80mm fans
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    ZALMAN 9500A 92mm CPU Cooler
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    Logitech Optical M-BT96a
    Keyboard
    Logitech Classic Keybooard 200
    Internet Speed
    100/100
    Browser
    Firefox 3.x ??
    Antivirus
    Symantec (Norton)
    Other Info
    Still assembled, still runs. Haven't turned it on for 13 years?

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?183088-5000-B-E-on-M2N32-SLI-Dlx-Overclocked&p=2891724#post2891724

SIW2

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3. Mount the Windows 10 20H2+ ISO and go to sources and copy "install.wim".

It might help if you specify where to.

Are we to assume the 20h2 install.wim replaces the 1511\sources\install.wim
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win7
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i5-8400
    Motherboard
    ga b75m ds3h
    Memory
    2x8gb 3200mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    no thanks
    Hard Drives
    yes
    PSU
    bequiet pure power 11 400CM
    Case
    some old thing
    Cooling
    cryorig m9i

2W10

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It might help if you specify where to.

Are we to assume the 20h2 install.wim replaces the 1511\sources\install.wim
Yes you need to replace the 1507/1511 install.wim with the 20H2+ one
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11, macOS 12
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Apple
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-1038NG7
    Memory
    16 GB

zbook

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Please go over the discovery method:
What were the methods that you had tried that had failed?
And what convinced you that it was going to work?
 

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System One

  • OS
    Windows 10
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    Laptop
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    HP
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4800MQ CPU @ 2.70GHz
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    Product : 190A Version : KBC Version 94.56
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    16 GB Total: Manufacturer : Samsung MemoryType : DDR3 FormFactor : SODIMM Capacity : 8GB Speed : 1600
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    NVIDIA Quadro K3100M; Intel(R) HD Graphics 4600
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    IDT High Definition Audio CODEC; PNP Device ID HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_111D&DEV_76E0
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    Model Hitachi HTS727575A9E364
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    Microsoft Defender
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    Mobile Workstation

2W10

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Thread Starter
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3:23 PM
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Windows 11, macOS 12
Please go over the discovery method:
What were the methods that you had tried that had failed?
And what convinced you that it was going to work?
I actually used this video to help me come up with this method:
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11, macOS 12
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Apple
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-1038NG7
    Memory
    16 GB
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