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How To Roll Back To Windows 10 1709 From 1803

Windows 10 updates have their problems. Most of them, while annoying don’t inhibit the use of the system for the majority of users. For the small minority though, a major Windows 10 update can mean a system that never turns on, never gets to the desktop, or makes it impossible to play games. In such cases, Microsoft gives you the option to roll back to the most recent version of Windows 10 that you were running. If you updated to Windows 10 1803 i.e. the April Update and you’re not happy with it, you can roll back to Windows 10 1709, assuming that’s the version you came from.

The roll back is painless for the most part but some drivers may not roll back to older versions. Your apps and folders ought to remain untouched. If during the update, Windows 10 uninstalled an app that wasn’t compatible with the new build, the roll back will not install it again. While this is a roll back and not an update, we strongly recommend that you go over our post on how to prep your system for an update and take whatever precautions you can.

Roll Back To Windows 10 1709

When you updated to Windows 10 1803, Windows created a Windows.old folder at the root of your C drive. If you’ve deleted that folder, you will not be able to roll back to Windows 10 1709. If it’s still there, go ahead with the roll back.

Make sure you’re signed into Windows 10 with the administrator account. Open the Settings app and go to the Update & Security group of settings. Select the Recovery tab and scroll down to the ‘Go back to the previous version of Windows 10’ section. Click ‘Get Started’.

Windows 10 will ask you why you want to roll back, you can select any answer to proceed to the next step where it will ask to check for updates.

Decline the check for updates option and Windows 10 will begin the roll back.

The roll back should be smooth but it will take time. Give it up to thirty minutes or an hour even if it gets stuck. If the roll back is progressing but slowly so that it takes more than hour, let it run. As long as it isn’t stuck, you have no cause to worry. If your system fan turns on, or it gets a little hot, it’s nothing to panic about.

It goes without saying that you shouldn’t attempt a roll back in the middle of the work day. Wait for the weekend, or a time when you can step away from work and troubleshoot the system if things go wrong. The exception is if your system is unusable in which case, roll back immediately.

If after the roll back some components don’t work correctly e.g., the display looks off, or WiFi won’t connect, you probably need to update your drivers. Additionally, you should also check for updates and install only those that are security patches.

3 Comments

  1. One outstanding problem with this method.

    The “Windows.old folder” has only a relatively short life. All too often problems with an update such as 1803 do not emerge until much later – perhaps when you do something only once every several weeks, even months.

    Then you are stuck – try solving this recent Windows 10 Build 1803 File Explorer copy error over a Local Area Network [LAN]

    Error Code: 0xC00D426A

    Microsoft know nothing [as per usual] and the best the internet can tell you is the very obvious…

    0xC00D426A: Error reading from the network.%0

    Near impossible to go back to build 1709

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