Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Someone generously donated a Windows 8 laptop to the organization I work for, however we just (finally) standardized on a single OS -- Windows 7. I would like to downgrade to Windows 7, but the OS that came with the system was Windows 8 Home Premium, not Pro. If I use Windows Anytime Upgrade to move to Pro, will it then let me downgrade to Windows 7 Pro? Is there another cost effective way to dump Windows 8 for Windows 7 Home Premium or Pro?

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

As per Microsoft Web Site:

The following OEM versions of Windows software are eligible for downgrade rights.
Windows 8 Pro includes downgrade rights to:
- Windows 7 Professional - Windows Vista Business

So to answer your question, no you cannot downgrade directly from Windows 8 Home Premium. If you were to upgrade from Home Premium to Pro you would downgrade back to Win7 Pro using the following steps (also from the Microsoft website):

The downgrade process Follow these steps to downgrade to a previous version of Windows software:

Obtain genuine Windows media and a corresponding product key for the version of Windows that is eligible for downgrade.
- The media should come from a prior legally licensed version from the OEM or retail channels.
- Qualified OEMs have the option to distribute downgrade media and product keys directly to end users, per end user request.
- End users who are licensed separately through Microsoft Volume Licensing (VL) may provide their VL media and key to a system builder to facilitate the downgrade on their own systems.

Insert the downgrade-eligible version of Windows media in the CD drive and follow the installation instructions.

Type the product key.

  • If the software was previously activated, you will not be able to activate it online. In this case, the appropriate local Activation
    Support phone number will be displayed. Call the number and explain
    the circumstances. When it is determined that the end user has an
    eligible Windows license, the customer service representative will
    provide a single-use activation code to activate the software. Please note that Microsoft does not provide a full product key in this

Activate the software.

Depending on your licensing arrangement, you may be able to obtain a Windows 7 Pro key for much cheaper than buying a Win 8 Pro key. Verify this before attempting to proceed. If you really are standardized, I would assume you would have a volume license agreement with Microsoft.

share|improve this answer
Thanks. It sounds like an Anytime upgrade to Win 8 Pro wouldn't help much, alas. Unfortunately, while we have a Software Assurance agreement for Office, we don't for Windows. We obtained a great deal on refurbished systems last year with Windows 7 on them, which allowed us to skip those licenses. – Timothy R. Butler Apr 30 '13 at 7:14

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.