It can be frustrating when you encounter issues after a major Windows 10 or Windows 11 update, with no apparent solution due to the update’s instability. In such cases, you may need to roll back your Windows 11/10 to an earlier build (previous version) as the last resort after trying to fix the issues.
Rolling back to an earlier build can be done through the rollback option in Settings. However, if you face a problem that prevents access to Windows, you will need to perform the rollback in Safe Mode or the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE). This guide will show you how to do it.
If you encounter issues after a major Windows 11 or Windows 10 update, you can use the following guides to help you address the problems such as:
Roll back Windows 11/10 update via Settings
The easiest way to roll back a Windows 10/11 update to an earlier build is via the recovery settings, provided you still have access to Windows. To be on the safe side, back up all important files before proceeding. To roll back Windows 11/10 to a previous version, follow the instructions below:
- Go to Start menu.
- Click on Settings (the gear icon at the left).
- Select Update & Security.
- From the left pane, select Recovery.
- Under “Go back to an earlier build“, click Get Started.
- You will be asked why you are going back; simply provide a reason.
- When asked to check for updates, click “No thanks“.
- If you have a different account or password before the update, make sure you remember it, as the rollback will also revert your account information. Click Next to start the rollback process.
- The process may take some time, and your computer may restart automatically.
Once the process starts, it will uninstall the most recent major update you’ve installed. Windows will then reboot your PC to your previous build.
If you don’t see the Rollback option at all from the settings, or if you get a message during the rollback process that reads, “We ran into a problem and won’t be able to take you back to the previous build. Try resetting your current build instead,” try booting your PC into Safe Mode and repeating the instructions, or use the next method to enter the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) and utilize the alternative option to roll back Windows 11 or Windows 10 to an earlier build.
Roll back Windows 11/10 in safe mode
When the situation is so dire that you can’t even boot into Normal Mode, you may want to try booting your PC into Safe Mode first before attempting to roll back Windows to an earlier version.
Follow this guide: How to Enter Safe Mode in Windows 11/10, to boot your Windows into Safe Mode. Then, repeat the instructions above to execute the rollback.
Roll back via Windows RE
If you can’t see the Rollback option in Settings, or if you encounter an error that prevents you from rolling back the Windows 11/10 update from Settings, try using the rollback option via Windows RE instead. Here’s how:
- Go to start menu.
- Click on the Power button.
- While holding the Shift key, click on Restart.
- Windows will then immediately boot into Windows RE.
- In Windows RE, under Choose an option, select Troubleshoot.
- Select Advanced options.
- Then, select Go back to the previous version.
- Windows will then begin to roll back itself to the previous version and may restart your PC several times during the process.
- When the process is completed, your computer will automatically boot to the previous version of Windows 11/10.
What to do if you can’t even access Windows at all
What if you can’t even access Windows in the first place to set your PC to boot into Safe Mode or Windows RE? Fortunately, there is still a way to force your Windows to boot into Windows RE. This method is surprisingly unfamiliar to many users.
To force boot your PC into Windows RE, follow these steps:
- Hold and press the power button on your computer until your computer is completely switched off.
- Start your computer again.
- As soon as you see the Windows loading logo, hold and press the power button again to force another shutdown.
- Repeat this process three times.
- When Windows detects unusual startup activity, it will automatically boot into Windows RE.
If you don’t see the rollback option even in Windows RE, you have a serious problem. Your system files may be missing or corrupted to the point that the option is unavailable. You can try to reset Windows 11/10 or reinstall it if you have a serious issue with the latest update.