I got an interesting question from Joan about the free upgrade to Windows 10. She’s not the first person to ask this question. “Windows 10 has been available for my computer for 4 days now. I’d love to try it, but I’m afraid it might be difficult to use. If I find that I’m having too many problems, will I be able to switch back? I’m on Windows 7 now.”
First of all, Joan, if you are using Windows 7, I think you’ll find Windows 10 to be pretty easy to understand and use. I’d suggest clicking that little windows icon in the corner of your screen to reserve your upgrade and then running the compatibility checker to see how well Windows 10 will get along with the programs and devices you currently use on your computer. You can find instructions for that by clicking here.
That might go a long way toward letting you know about potential problems.
Now as far as rolling back to a previous version of Windows. In the technical preview of Windows 10, rollback is there as an option. It’s unlikely that will be found in the final version. The idea is to get everyone on the same page running the same operating system, much like Apple does with OS X and iOS. It’s easier to troubleshoot, easier to secure operating systems, and easier for developers of programs and apps.
Windows 8.1 computers create a restoration partition, so it might be fairly easy to do on that system. For Windows 7, I’m afraid you’d have to just reinstall your Windows 7 operating system. In either case, you should have all of your important files backed up anyway on an external drive or in the cloud or even better, a disk image backup.
Going into using a new OS thinking about reverting to the previous one is a lot like getting married thinking you can always just get a divorce. It tends not make you put your whole heart into it. So maybe it’s not a bad idea that there’s some effort involved in giving up on a new OS.