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How to Downgrade to Windows 8.1 from Windows 10 after windows.old is gone :(

I upgraded my Surface 3 to Windows 10 a long time ago. I was wondering how to get back to Windows 8.1 now that the windows.old folder is gone. I only see reset as an option in the recovery menu, and that just puts a vanilla version of Windows 10 on it. It has become sluggish lately (probably because of all the updates to Windows 10)/.

Is there a place on the web where I can download a Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 image from and put this on the Surface 3 again somehow? If so, where is the key stored for Windows 8.1 on the surface 3? Is it in the BIOS still, even after upgrading to Windows 10?

Has anyone successfully done this?
 
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Michael McDonald

New Member
I upgraded my Surface 3 to Windows 10 a long time ago. I was wondering how to get back to Windows 8.1 now that the windows.old folder is gone. I only see reset as an option in the recovery menu, and that just puts a vanilla version of Windows 10 on it. It has become sluggish lately (probably because of all the updates to Windows 10)/.

Is there a place on the web where I can download a Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 image from and put this on the Surface 3 again somehow? If so, where is the key stored for Windows 8.1 on the surface 3? Is it in the BIOS still, even after upgrading to Windows 10?

Has anyone successfully done this?
NOTE: I'm a programmer and network admin so I have a strong technical background if the solution is complicated. I don't mind. I'm just sick of Windows 10 slowing down my tablet.
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
To go back there are a couple options... If you can find them.
Restore a Microsoft Surface Recovery Image for version 8.1
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/surfacerecoveryimage

Clean install Windows 8.1 from a bootable Windows 8.1 USB.
you probably have to delete the W10 partition because it might cough on installing over it.
If you go this route allow it to get updates during the install this will pull in all the Surface drivers and such.
 

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