Have trouble with the latest update of the Windows operating system, or some of your applications are not working as they should be? Then one of the easiest ways to get them back up and running is by reinstalling the Windows operating system that you had before. Many people think it is a somewhat challenging task to do, but in reality, it is plain and simple, and all you need to do is follow the steps to get through it. There are a number of different ways which can be used to reinstall the previous version of Windows on your computer.
Moreover, if you are getting rid of your old PC, it would be better to reinstall the version of Windows with which it came, so the buyer will have no problem dealing with the computer when they start it off. Today, with the help of this article, we will show you some of the best methods that can be used to reinstall Windows on your computer with ease. Along with this, we will also discuss some of the cases where you will need to reinstall the previous versions of your Windows operating system. So let’s get started, shall we?
What Is Windows Operating System?
Before we move any further, let’s talk about the Windows operating system and how it became such a massive hit in the first place. Windows is a graphical user interface that was developed and distributed by Microsoft. With the help of Windows, a user can store and view files, run games and software, watch videos, and make connections with the internet. Windows is the operating system that was released for both home computing and professional work. The latest version of the Windows operating system is Windows 11, which was released in October 2021.
On the other hand, the very first Windows operating system was released on November 10th, 1983. After that, many new versions of Windows kept on coming, decade after decade. But in all this, one thing remains clear: Windows has slowly gained the majority of the operating system market. In 1993, the very first business-oriented Windows operating system was released, which was named Windows NT 3.1. Then came the other versions: Windows 3.5, 4/0, and Windows 2000.
Before releasing one of the most famous operating systems, Windows XP, Microsoft worked out the design for various versions for the personal and business environment. Windows XP was designed on standard x86 hardware, such as the Intel and AMD processors. As a result, it can run on different brands of CPU and hardware like HP, Dell, Sony and other computers.
Why did Microsoft make their Operating System called Microsoft Windows?
Before the release of the Windows operating system, all Microsoft users worked with the MS-DOS operating system. Microsoft used to give their products only one word, and the new operating system required a new word that could represent their new GUI. Because of that, Microsoft came up with the name “Windows” because it can perform a number of tasks and run various applications at the same time. Apart from this one reason, there is one more. In the early days of computing, you could not trademark a common name like Windows, chairs, tables, and more. As a result, Microsoft has to include their company name with Windows in order to get a trademark on it.
Features of Windows
Microsoft Windows is one great leap from the MS-DOS operating systems. With the help of GUI, a user can do a lot of things with ease, and because of the responsive GUI, Microsoft was able to provide tons of features in their operating system. Some of them are written down below to help you fully understand how excellent the Windows operating system is with its constant updation.
1. Control Panel
Windows comes with a control panel where you can configure and manage all your computer resources. It’s like the cockpit of an aeroplane. You get every single setting for you to tweak and make changes to make your Windows experience customised according to your preferences.
With the release of Windows 10, users were able to enjoy personal assistance, which can actually help solve problems and find the results of your questions. Cortana can actually understand your voice commands and even take written input if you want her to. You can set reminders using it, ask for the date and time of the day, make purchases online and many more things.
3. File Explorer
For many users, this might be the Windows explorer, as it helps users navigate through files and folders on their computer. Moreover, it will allow users to browse the data from their hard drives, external drives such as USB, mobile phones, and external hard disks. With the file explorer, you can delete, cut, copy, and paste your files from one location to the other with ease.
4. Internet Browser
Having an internet connection is one thing, but connecting and using the internet is another. With the use of Windows operating systems, users can open internet browsers to surf the internet and open their websites quickly. Windows comes with its own internet browser, which is Microsoft’s Edge or Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (for older versions). But, Windows allows you to download any other web browser of your choice and make it the default browser.
Why do you need to Reinstall Windows?
For many users, reinstalling an operating system isn’t a viable option, no matter how bad the operating system’s performance becomes. Given below are some of the use cases where you might need to reinstall the previous version of your Windows operating system.
1. Virus Attack
In a lot of cases, a virus might affect the operating system files of your computer, which results in your operating system not being able to perform at its optimal level. As a result, in this case, you will need to go back to the previous version of your Windows operating system before you start seeing errors in your Windows and other issues alike.
2. Software not working properly
Sometimes, with the new update of the Windows operating system, some of the applications might not work correctly. It could be due to some confusion between reading your software’s inputs and outputs and the operating system. As a result, the quick fix would be to reinstall the previous version of your operating system in which your software was working perfectly.
3. Hardware not able to keep up With the new changes
This use case doesn’t happen a lot because the Windows operating system isn’t hard to run. But when you are running the latest versions of Windows on your old school hardware, things can get a little out of hand, and it becomes hard for Windows to keep on running at its optimal speed.
Things to keep In mind when Reinstalling Windows Operating System
Before you proceed to reinstall Windows, you need to know that Windows will erase every single piece of data that is present on your computer. Your files, the programmes you have installed, and the other personal settings that you have configured will be wiped out from your system. So make sure you know how to set them again. Apart from this, there is an exception to the reinstallation of Windows. When you are reinstalling Windows 8 with the refresh feature, all your files and settings will be kept as is, and you don’t need to worry about them.
So, from the above information, one thing is clear: you need to make a backup of all the files that you have. Keep your backup copies updated because a hard drive can fail you at anytime during work. So, before you click the reinstall button, make sure that all of the files on your computer are still intact.
Reinstalling Windows Operating System
If you are using Windows 8 or even Windows 10, then reinstalling Windows to its previous version is a piece of cake. Instead of plugging in the drive that has the Windows installer and then going to the recovery partition option, You can use the “refresh your PC” or “reset your PC” option, which comes with built-in features for these two operating systems. These will quickly install Windows for you while automatically saving all your files and settings without asking you any questions about it.
What to do If your computer came with Windows preinstalled?
If you don’t have the Windows installer and you want to reinstall it to its previous setting, then the best way to do it is to use the recovery partition. There used to be a time when computers came with a recovery disc, but they don’t come anymore. So the best thing you can do is check your email for the product key for your Windows. If you don’t find it there, then the next thing would be to call customer care and ask them to provide you with the product key. Once you have the product key, download the ISO file of the Windows installer from the official website of Microsoft.
Once you are done downloading the ISO file of your Windows installer, the next thing to do is make your USB drive bootable. For this, you can download Rufus, Etcher, or even the Windows USB/DVD tool. After you are done making your USB bootable, paste the ISO image onto that specific USB, and restart your computer.
After you restart your computer, you will find that it will take you to the boot screen, and from there, the installation menu will appear on your screen. You need to make sure that you will be clicking on the repair option instead of installing the new version of Windows. After that, decide the day or month on which you want to have your operating system repaired. Keep this in mind: the settings or the applications that were installed after the specified date will no longer be present on your computer. All other settings prior to that point will remain unchanged.
How to restore your settings?
So you have reinstalled the Windows operating system to its previous state. Now what? Well, all you have to do is get your previous setting kicked out, and you can start your work. For this, you need to log into your Microsoft account to make the settings synced with your requirements. Before this can be done, you also need to verify your account on the device, which can be done by using this procedure. Click “Start > Settings > Accounts > Your account” and click “Verify.”
A code will be sent to your connected email, and from there, you can start the restore process of your settings. It might take some time, but all your settings will come back again for sure if you used a Microsoft account previously.
If some of the Windows apps have been uninstalled or you see their older versions, then you need to restore your applications manually. First, open the Windows Store, click on the user photo, and choose “My Library” to access all the previous apps that were installed on your system along with their settings.
If you do not see the complete list of apps, click on “Show all” and then click on the “Download” button, which is present on the right-hand side of each application. Once you are done with this, once again click on your photo, and this time instead of choosing apps, click on “downloads” and then update your built-in apps.
That’s all there is to it. These are the various methods for reinstalling Windows on a computer. You can select any of them, and the outcome will be largely the same. Aside from that, you should make a backup of all your important files because, in some cases, Windows will clean them up, leaving you with a clean PC and no crucial documents.
If you don’t want to lose your files and settings, reinstalling Windows is a great option. It is also much faster than installing Windows because most things are simply refreshed, and some Windows files are already present on your computer, so they will not be installed again.