I have bought Windows 8 online, and since then upgraded first to Windows 8.1 and now Windows 10.

There seems to be some misconfigurations with my OS. I have tried formatting serveral times, but it doesn't work, so now I want to downgrade to either Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.

How is that possible when I don't have a disc?

  • You never had a license either for Windows 7 I assume? As such, an option is to simply buy the W7 disc and then reformat and then restore data from a back up. – Dave Mar 10 '16 at 9:11
  • If you want to install Windows 7, purchase a license, you have no "downgrade" rights to Windows 7 based on what you describe. – Ramhound Mar 10 '16 at 12:15

You can download the Windows 8 installation disc from the Microsoft website. You will need to know the serial key from your original purchase in order to install it. The key should be either on the invoice/receipt in your emails or in the purchased software bit of your Microsoft account.

The installation will have to be a completely fresh install so back up your files before doing this!

You cannot install Windows 7 without purchasing a Windows 7 license key, these are quite rare to get for consumers now.


If the OS has been installed, you could find the keys using a program. Nir Sofer from the Netherlands has a nicely working one - ProduKey. http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer.html This is the page. If there has been installed Windows 8.1 first, and then upgraded to Windows 10, then the key for Windows 8.1 is stated as key for Internet Explorer. While the key for Windows 10 is mentioned clearly as Windows 10. The tool shows personal legal keys, and does not show huge Volume Licensed Keys, Microsoft have asked for that, and the programmer has mentioned it clearly.

  • 1
    How does knowing the Windows 8.1 key help in this situation? – Ramhound Mar 10 '16 at 12:15
  • @Ramhound given the other answer, if he decides to go down to Win 8.1 and doesn't have the key stored somewhere else – Cand3r Mar 10 '16 at 15:15
  • The machine has been formatted several times, so the they wouldn't be able to recover the key, from the register since there isn't one. While possible to activate Windows 8.1 with a Windows 8 license, Windows 8.1 installation won't accept it, but I have in the past detailed a solution to that problem. – Ramhound Mar 10 '16 at 15:18

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