The first thing you need to know about Windows 8.1 is that it’s not like any previous update we’ve seen before. This new update is practically a new operating system (many will even say it’s Windows 9), as such you cannot just go to the control panel and uninstall Windows 8.1 like an ordinary update or a piece of software. This is more like, you install once and there is not rolling back to Windows 8 or any other previous version of the OS. But of course I’m just referring to undo the upgrade, because it’s possible to get rid of Windows 8.1 from your PC, however it is a more complicated process.

Uninstall Windows 8.1

If you’re reading this before upgrading Windows 8 or Windows 7, the best thing you can do is to create a full system image backup. This type of backup will contain everything in your system, including: operating system, apps, settings, and personal files. Having a backup will allow you to roll back, if anything were to wrong. Also to avoid any errors during the installation, you should read this previous article.


The process to recover is by using the refresh feature: swipe from the right edge or use  +i to bring Charms, click or tap Change PC settings. Then go to Update and recovery, and go to Recovery. Now under “Refresh your PC without affecting your files”, click or tap Get started and follow wizard. (You can also refer to this previous guide.) Now for Windows 7, Vista, Windows XP, or custom Windows 8 installation, things are a bit more complicated, because the only way to rollback is by using the recovery discs, partition, or using the Windows media install DVD that came with the computer. For more information, you should refer to your PC manufacturers website to see if you can do this. But you can also refer to this guide to install Windows 7.

Give Windows 8.1 a second chance

Upgrading to a new operating system can be time-consuming and a difficult thing to do and even after things may not work the way it should. This could cause of software and hardware that isn’t compatible with Windows 8.1 or you carried over some problems from the previous installation. So, when I say “give Windows 8.1 a second chance”, I mean install it from scratch, start over. This process will guarantee you the most success. Now, Microsoft has told us that the only way to update is through the Windows Store and Windows 8 users won’t be able to download the ISO to install the update, which is the only way to install the OS. However there is a nifty trick to download the legit Windows 8.1 ISO from Microsoft, you can use it to get the installation files to do the upgrade — here are the instruction for this process.

Final thoughts

Although, you might get into some issues installing the update, it doesn’t mean that the new version of the OS is terrible and you have to uninstall. This update has been in the works for a year and it’s meant to fix many of the shortcoming in Windows 8, there are so many small changes that it really makes a big difference. Also Windows 8.1 is the first yearly update Microsoft is releasing, as such you can expect something similar next year. Also remember that if you uninstall Windows 8.1 and restore Windows 8, you only have until 2015 to upgrade back again, as Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 8 by then. All content on this site is provided with no warranties, express or implied. Use any information at your own risk. Always backup of your device and files before making any changes. Privacy policy info.