Uninstalling Windows 10 Anniversary Update

How to uninstall Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Here are the steps to uninstall the Windows 10 Anniversary Update from your PC when features aren't working correctly, or errors and bugs appear after the install.

If you’re running Windows 10 on your computer, the Anniversary Update will eventually download and install automatically on your device. That’s of course, you prevent the installation from happening before hand.

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update brings significant changes, such as improvements to the Start menu and Cortana, and new pen experience with Windows Ink. Security enhancements with features like Limited Periodic Scanning, and a more power-efficient Microsoft Edge browser, which now also includes support for extensions.

While it’s a great update, during the early days we’re seeing many users reporting issues, such as:

  • Windows Store app crashing as soon as you open them.
  • Cortana disappears after installing the Anniversary Update.
  • Microsoft Edge not installing extensions.
  • Settings disappearing after update installation.
  • Problems with device drivers.

If you installed the Windows 10 Anniversary Update on your PC, laptop, or tablet, and your device is now acting up, it’s slower than usual, or features aren’t working for you, the operating system lets you uninstall any update configured on your device.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to roll back your computer to previous version of Windows 10 by uninstalling the Anniversary Update when things aren’t working correctly.

How to uninstall Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Before proceeding, you should use Windows Update to see if there is any new update that may fix your problem. You also want to research your issue as it may just be an easy fix. Then when nothing works, you can use this guide to uninstall the Windows 10 Anniversary Update from your computer.

Important: You’ll be making significant changes to your device. It’s very important that you make a full backup of your system, before using this guide.
  1. Use the Windows key + I keyboard shortcut to open the Settings app.

  2. Click Update & security.

  3. Click Recovery.

  4. Depending on your previous version you’ll see a new section called “Go back to Windows 8.1” or “Go back to Windows 7”, click the Get started button.

    Recovery - Rollback to previous version of Windows 10

  5. Answer the question and click Next to continue.

    Step - Why are you going back?

  6. Windows 10 will offer you the chance to check for update in case that a new update is available to fix the current issue you’re having. If you’re ready to roll back, click No, thanks to continue.

    Step - Check for update before uninstalling Windows 10 Anniversary Update

  7. Read carefully what’s going to happen when you uninstall the Windows 10 Anniversary Update from your computer. For example, you’ll have to reinstall some apps, and you’ll lose the settings configured after installing the latest build. Click Next to continue.

    Step - What you need to know before modifying your WIndows 10 installation

  8. Remember that you’ll need the password you used to sign in to your previous version of Windows 10. Click Next to continue.

    Step - Don't get locked out get your password to sign back in after removing the Anniversary Update

  9. Click Go back to earlier build to begin the rollback.

    Go back to earlier build

The process may take some time depending on various factors.

Go back to the previous version of Windows 10 option not available

If you don’t see the option to go back to a previous version of Windows 10, a few things may be happening.

During the installation process, the operating system saves a copy of the previous version on the C:\ drive on a folder called Windows.old. This is in case that the installation fails and rollback is necessary.

If the upgrade completes successfully, the Windows.old folder will stay on your system, so you can use the steps mentioned above to manually remove the Anniversary Update from your computer.

In the rare case, you don’t have the Windows.old folder, you won’t be able to uninstall the latest update of the operating system. Period.

Windows.old folder on Windows 10 Anniversary Update

The second possibility is that you may be trying to uninstall the Windows 10 Anniversary Update after 10 days. The Windows.old folder takes a lot of space on your computer, so to make room in the hard drive for more important files, Windows 10 automatically deletes the Windows.old folder after 10 days. If this is your case, you won’t be able to go back to a previous version.

If you have the Windows.old folder, but you don’t see the option to go back to a previous version. Then there is something else going on your computer.

Alternatively, you can always downgrade your operating system by doing a clean install of Windows 10. In this case, you’ll need to find an ISO file that has the older version of Windows 10.

Once you’re back to an earlier version of Windows 10, you can try reinstalling the Anniversary Update again. If you have identified that there is a bug in the operating system, keep an eye on the problem. When the fix become available, you can once again try to install the new update for Windows 10.

How is the Windows 10 Anniversary Update working for you? Let us know in the comments below.

Originally published on July 2016, updated on April 2017.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me. Email him at [email protected].