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How to Downgrade Dell PC from Windows 8 to Windows 7

“I just don't like some of the changes made in Windows 8 and some of the games/programs I use aren't usable anymore. I got a Dell computer pre-installed with Windows 8 last week and I know that Microsoft released rights to downgrade Dell from Windows 8 to Windows 7 Pro. I just don’t know how. Someone please help me? >_<”

-from Dell Community

When Microsoft rolled out Windows 8 operating system, it encouraged users to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8. However, some impulsive users are not adapted to the new system and would like to downgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 7. How to do that? In this article, we will give detailed guide on downgrading Windows 8 to Windows 7 for Dell Inspiron/Alienware/Chromebook/XPS series desktop, laptop or 2-in-1 PCs.

downgrade Windows 8 to Windows 7

If Dell Computer doesn’t have a previous version of Windows 7, then maybe it is a brand new Dell computer that is pre-installed with Windows 8. In that case, you have to reinstall Windows 7 to Windows 8 computer. Follow the steps as below.

Step 1. Create Windows 8 Pro Recovery Media
Step 2. Download Windows 7 Pro Drivers and Copy to USB Key
Step 3. Change Windows 7 Installation System Setup Settings
Step 4. Install Windows 7 Professional

Note: Only computers purchased system pre-installed with Windows 8 Pro can downgrade to Windows 7 Professional Edition. Other versions can’t accomplish the downgrade.

Step 1. Create Windows 8 Pro Recovery Media

Step 2. Download Windows 7 Pro Drivers and Copy to USB Key

Visit Dell Drivers and Downloads webpage to download critical driver packages. Once the driver files are downloaded, run the exe file. Ensure to choose the USB key as the destination for the files.

Dell drives downloads

Step 3. Change Windows 7 Installation System Setup Settings

Press Win+C to show the Windows 8 Charms menu. Search for “pc settings” and then to access” Change PC Settings”.

search change pc settings

In the General tab, under “Advanced Startup” section, choose “Restart Now”. When the computer restarts, it will enter an advanced options menu. Then you should select “Troubleshoot” > “UEFI Firmware Settings” > “Restart”, then it will enter “System Setup”.

troubleshoot Windows 8

Dell computer is about to reboot again. At this time, it will access System BIOS. In the System BIOS setting, click “Secure Boot”, make sure the “Secure Boot Enable” is Disabled.

UEFI BIOS secure boot disabled

Click “General” and then tap on “Boot Sequence”, in the “Boot List Option”, pitch on “LEGACY”.

boot sequence

Some computer systems have an advanced boot option “Legacy Option ROMs”, you should enable it. After that, hit “Apply” and OK to apply the changes. Finally, exit BIOS.

advanced boot options

Step 4. Install Windows 7 Professional

Insert Windows 7 USB key to an available USB port and reboot Dell computer. Press F12 before Dell logo appears, then you have entered system BIOS, just set up the computer to boot from USB Flash Drive and press Enter key.

Dell boot from USB

After Windows 7 Setup loads, choose the appropriate Language, Time, Currency and Keyboard Method settings and then tap on “Next”.

install Windows 7

Then click “Install Now” in the middle of the screen, under Windows 7 logo.

install Windows 7

Continue and accept the license terms, and then click on “Next” again. Then it will ask which type of installation you want, just choose “Custom(advanced)” option.

which type of installation do you want

In the next screen, select “Drive options(advanced)”.

choose Drive options

Now all the available drive options are displayed, you can delete any OS related partitions from your existing hard drive.


Now you need to choose a physical location to install Windows 7 Pro.

install Windows 7

Now Windows 7 set up is coming.

installing Windows 7

It will restart your Dell computer.

restart Windows 7

Wait for a moment, the setup is starting services.

setup is starting services

Finally, you successfully downgrade Windows 8 to Windows 7. If the computer asks for typing product key to activate Windows, just purchase one from Microsoft official website.

windows 7

Friendly Reminder:

If Dell Computer has a previous version of Windows 7, then how to downgrade upgraded Windows 8 to 7? Actually there are no downgrade rights between them, so you still have to follow the above steps to complete the downgrade.

By the way, if you want to downgrade Windows 10 to Windows 8.1/7, HERE is the tutorial guide. Last but not least, if you forgot or lost login password in Windows 10/8.1/8/7, Windows Password Key is the best Windows password recovery option.

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