How To Uninstall Windows 7


To uninstall Windows 7, you must determine your specific installation scenario from the scenarios that are listed in this section, and then follow the steps for that scenario.

Scenario 1: You installed Windows 7 on a Windows-based computer

You installed a version of Windows 7 as a new installation over Windows XP, Windows Vista, or another version of Windows 7. You used the Windows 7 installation media to install Windows 7 to the same hard disk drive as the original operating system.

In this scenario, the Windows 7 installation will have created a Windows.old folder that contains your previous operating system and personal files. This Windows.old folder is in the root of the Windows partition. To revert to this previous operating system, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

971760 How to restore a Windows 7-based computer to a previous Windows installation by using the Windows.old folder.

Important Reverting to a previous operating system by using the Windows.old folder does not keep any files or settings from the current installation of Windows 7. Reverting to the previous operating system will restore the computer back to the previous installation at the time that Windows 7 was installed. For more information about how to back up your data, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

971759 How to back up your data on a Windows-based computer.

Scenario 2: You installed Windows 7 on a computer that did not have an operating system installed

In this scenario, you used the installation media to install Windows 7 to an empty hard disk drive.

In this scenario, there is no previous operating system to which you can revert. If you want to back up your computer and transfer the data from this Windows 7 installation to your next operating system, follow these steps:

1. Back up your data to a network location or removable media. For more information about how to back up your data, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

971759 How to back up your data on a Windows-based computer

2. Insert the Windows XP or Windows Vista installation media, and then install the Windows operating system.

For more information about how to perform a clean install of Windows XP, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

How to install or upgrade to Windows XP

For more information about how to perform a clean install of Windows Vista, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

How to install Windows Vista

3. Complete the installation.

4. Restore, transfer, or copy your data to the new operating system after the installation has completed

Scenario 3: You upgraded from Windows Vista to Windows 7

On a Windows Vista-based computer, you inserted the Windows 7 installation media and selected the Upgrade option. Then, you upgraded from Windows Vista to Windows 7.

In this scenario, there is no previous operating system to which you can revert. If you want to back up your computer and transfer the data from this Windows 7 installation to your next operating system, follow the steps that are listed in Scenario 2.

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