Win 8 to Win 7

I bought a new computer for my wife and it has Win 8 installed. She doesn’t like Win 8 and wants to have Win 7. Is it possible to get a replacement for her computer as Win 7 from Microsoft?

  1. Buy Windows 7 from various sources, of the proper version.
  2. Run Windows 7 DVD, format hard drive. You will lose all your data.
  3. Install Win7.
  4. Download drivers from manufacturer website or use disks, e.g. It is unlikely that any will not work for Win7.

In other words, a clean wipe. You will not have as much luck trying to “downgrade.” Many manufacturers sell with Win7 installed, although it seems too late for that.

Only the folks from where your purchased the computer can tell you if Windows 8 can be replaced with Windows 7. My gut feeling says no.

On the other hand, go to and order a copy of Windows 7. You will have to install it yourself. One caveat - First check your computer manufacturer’s web site to see if Windows 7 will properly work with your computer.

If you have a corporate license, you have purchased the right to downgrade (or possibly upgrade) to previous versions. If you bought a consumer license, you are out of luck, not that M$ is likely to make a big deal if you manage to do it.

On the other hand, there are add-ons that can give Win 8 a Win 7-like interface. I haven’t used them, but at least some of them are fairly well regarded.

This is likely to be the simpler and cheaper option. Get a start menu replacement and a tool to boot direct to desktop (or wait for Win8.1 for the latter) and you’ve got the fundamental missing features of Win7 back, but you get to keep the faster boot times and other benefits of Win8*.

*ETA (because someone will say there aren’t any): better file copy dialog, better file history (backup utility), longer support life, to name but three.

To be more specific with some of the advice you’ve already been given, just get ClassicShell. Someone in another thread advised to just start by selecting only the “Classic Start Menu” component, you may not need/want the “Classic Explorer” component, which you can always add later.

Right. Owning Windows 8 Pro gives you downgrade rights for Windows 7 Pro, but the basic edition (branded simply “Windows 8”) does not include downgrade rights.

I know a couple of people who are quite happy using Start8 from StarDock to restore the Windows 7 Start Menu on Windows 8.

You might also try waiting for Windows 8.1. It will be officially released next month. Word is they’re bringing back some of the Windows 7 things that people missed.

It brings back the start button but not the start menu.

If you miss the start menu, just install Classic Shell or other similar start menu replacements mentioned in this thread.

This. For $5, Start8 gives you the best of both worlds. It feels just like Windows 7, but it’s faster, you get a much better copy dialog and task manager, cross-device syncing, etc. And you never have to use or even see the obnoxious new “Metro” elements.

Yeah, I think there are going to be some disappointed noises in October. I keep hearing people saying that 8.1 is bringing the start menu back. It’s not.

Does MS even know that some people simply won’t buy a new computer on account of not wanting to have to unlearn everything they have painfully learned over the years. My wife has a 14 yo old computer she won’t allow me to replace. It had an upgrade to XP (along with a new HD) and she is happy with that. But it is slow and running out of disk space. I have Win 7 and would prefer XP. (Why? I cannot turn off aero; my eyes are not good and I find it hard to read the menu bar on my editor depending on what is underneath it. Who ordered that and what purpose does it serve?)

You can turn off aero.,3253,l=251692&a=251692&po=12,00.asp

The win8 page is your start menu, it just takes up the whole screen and looks different.

They do know that. But you also have to understand the difficulty in supporting multiple versions of software using old technologies - there’s a real cost associated with that too.

In most cases, new designs aren’t bad because they are inherently bad; they appear bad because they are different and therefore require learning. I’m still on Windows 7 but have to use Win 8 occasionally, and I struggle a little. I’m not convinced it’s better yet; I really like Win 7. But if I step back and look at it objectively, my Start menu is a mess. I have a lot of software installed, and it can take me a while to find stuff in there. Maybe something different isn’t a bad thing.

I, too, highly recommend Start8. Practically everyone I know has asked me to install it on their home PC and/or laptop(s). VERY configurable, and it can boot right to ‘desktop’ view as if the other menu does not even exist. I have not seen Classicshell so I can’t compare them, but Start8 has been somewhat praised by everyone I recommend it to, fwiw. I especially like having a full Start menu available on both monitors so I don’t have to minimize a movie/game/etc on main monitor to do do some other action.

And they just don’t give a damn what the customers want.

Software companies issue new versions simply because they can.
And they know that you have no choice in the matter.

If anything the problem is reacting TOO MUCH to what customers want. Customers buy millions of iPads, so Windows 8 is designed to work well on iPad-like tablets.

It’s ludicrous to say Microsoft is ignoring customers, when customers overwhelmingly have shown they want tablets and Microsoft’s making an OS that runs well on tablets.

You do have a choice-- if you don’t like Windows, you can buy a Mac or install Linux. Sure, you might have to give up your favorite software, but taking any kind of stand involves sacrifice.

Not exactly though. No nesting, no jump lists, probably other things too.

Not that i personally care. Win8 actually highlighted the fact that I was using the start menu in a horribly unproductive and disorganised way. I haven’t replaced it on my new machine.

yes they do. Focus groups, beta testing, etc. But no matter how much of that you do, someone will always ne unhappy, and those are the folks that speak up, lending the impression that nobody is happy.

All manilufacturers update their products, or go out of business.