Windows 10 Windows 10 Key

#1
I was wondering if I could use my serial key to go back to Windows 8.1? I upgraded legitimately from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 and now I will be installing a new hard drive and starting from scratch because my hard drive is bad. However, I do not like Windows 10 for a ton of reasons and wish to go back to Windows 8.1. Is it possible to use the key that automatically activated Windows 10 when I upgraded from 8.1 to 10 for 8.1 again? Sorry for this question if it has been answered already. Thank you for your help.
 


kemical

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
#2
Hi,
you can go back yes but there is a time limit. If you have been using Windows 10 for longer than a month then you may have to create a new iso unless you can go back to 'factory settings'. In any case this Microsoft help page has much of the info you need:
Going back to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 - Windows Help -
 


#3
No I have windows 8.1 home on a USB drive ready to install on a new hard drive on my laptop. I'm wondering if I could use the key to activate 8.1. It's been longer than a month since I've been stuck with Windows 10.
 


kemical

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
#4
Hmm well according to this article after the 30 day limit the option to go back disappears from within win 10 but that doesn't mean you still can't. If you have the original os on disk/usb and the original key then you should be ok. I was under the impression that after the 30 days unless you had a factory reset option you were stuck with win 10... It seems apparently not.
Windows 10 rollback: how to downgrade to Windows 7 or 8 after the one-month time limit
 


#5
I don't have the original key. I didn't think I would be going back to 8.1 because 10 was getting high praise. I forgot to get the key before I downgraded to 10. I guess I'm stuck with 10 unless I buy a key for 8.1 but I don't want to buy a key because I already purchased the key when I bought the laptop. I'll think of something. Thank you for all your help.
 


#6
Ah perfect! It says I can "extract the key from Windows 10," even after the 30 days. I've already done this. I have it saved. I have the USB with the windows 8.1 on it so I'm good. I think this might be a painless process. If not, I have 30 days until I need a key buy I'm hopeful that if will work. :}
 


kemical

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
#7
Yes you can get the key if one knows how.. :) Good luck with the install. Any problems please post again.
 


Neemobeer

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
#8
The Windows 7, and 8.1 product keys work in Windows 10, so the key should still be your 8.1 key. You can get the key from a powershell prompt. $(Get-WmiObject -query 'select * from SoftwareLicensingService').OA3xOriginalProductKey
 


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