I hate Windows 11. Can I downgrade to Windows 10? [Ask ZDNet]

I hate Windows 11. Can I downgrade to Windows 10? [Ask ZDNet]

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Welcome to this week's installment of Ask ZDNet, wherever we reply the questions that marque Dear Abby's eyes glaze over. 


In the mailbag this week: Is it imaginable to downgrade from Windows 11 to Windows 10? What's the champion mode to debar paying a punishment for filing your taxes late? And however hard is it to regenerate the hard thrust successful a laptop? 

If you've got a question astir immoderate of the topics ZDNet covers, 1 of our squad of editors and contributors astir apt has an answer. If they don't, we'll find an extracurricular adept who tin steer you successful the close direction. 

Questions tin screen conscionable astir immoderate taxable that's remotely related to enactment and technology, including PCs and Macs, mobile devices, information and privacy, societal media, location bureau gear, user electronics, concern etiquette, fiscal advice... well, you get the idea. 

Send your questions to [email protected]. Due to the measurement of submissions, we can't warrant a idiosyncratic reply, but we bash committedness to work each missive and respond close present to the ones that we deliberation our readers volition attraction about. 

Ask away. 

Can I downgrade from Windows 11 Pro to Windows 10 Pro?

Windows 10 Pro was moving great. Windows 11 ain't determination yet and is causing headaches for me. Can I regenerate Windows 11 with Windows 10? Please archer maine the reply is yes.

OK, the reply is yes. Well, technically, the reply is "Yes, but there's a catch."

The drawback is that you can't "downgrade" from Windows 11 to Windows 10; you person to bash a cleanable install. That means backing up and restoring your information files and reinstalling each your apps. But your licence for Windows 11 volition suffice to activate Windows 10 and vice versa, which means you'll inactive person the enactment to upgrade to Windows 11 aboriginal aft Microsoft has (one hopes) fixed the things that are annoying you close now.

If this is simply a caller PC that came with Windows 11 preinstalled, fto maine ask, are you definite you privation to bash this? The PC shaper designed this strategy to tally Windows 11. You mightiness find glitches and hardware incompatibilities erstwhile you instal Windows 10, and those problems mightiness beryllium adjacent much annoying than immoderate issues you person with Windows 11.

If the PC was primitively designed to tally Windows 10, your chances of successfully installing Windows 10 are overmuch better. In immoderate case, I urge making a implicit backup of your strategy earlier going immoderate further.

The perfect mode to bash a cleanable instal is to download a Windows 10 betterment representation made specifically for your PC model. See this nonfiction for instructions connected however to find retired whether this solution is disposable for your PC: "How to get a escaped Windows (or Linux) betterment representation for your OEM PC."

If you can't find a betterment image, you'll person to download and instal Windows 10 manually. To make bootable installation media, you'll request a USB flash thrust with astatine slightest 8GB capacity. Microsoft's Media Creation Tool volition erase and format the drive, truthful marque definite it doesn't incorporate immoderate important files. With those caveats, here's however to proceed.

  1. Insert the USB flash thrust successful your Windows 11 PC and disconnect immoderate different nonessential USB devices; past spell to https://aka.ms/downloadwindows10.
  2. Under the heading "Create Windows 10 installation media," click Download Tool Now.
  3. Run the Media Creation Tool Installer and travel the prompts to make bootable Windows 10 installation media utilizing your USB flash drive. Leave the thrust attached to your Windows 11 PC.
  4. Go to Settings > System > Recovery and, nether the Advanced Startup heading, click Restart Now.
  5. At the Windows 11 betterment menu, take Use A Device and prime your USB drive. When you spot the punctual to footwear from the USB drive, pat the spacebar to commencement Windows Setup.
  6. Follow the prompts to instal Windows 10. When you scope the measurement wherever you're asked to participate a merchandise key, click I Don't Have A Product Key and past beryllium definite to take the variation (Home oregon Pro) that you're "downgrading" from.

When the installation is complete, you should footwear into Windows 10, and the operating strategy should activate automatically. You'll request to instal the latest updates, and you mightiness request to download immoderate drivers from the PC maker's website. Once you've restored your information files and reinstalled immoderate apps, you tin get backmost to work.

Is determination an easy, accelerated mode to record my taxes earlier the deadline?

I procrastinated, and present the filing deadline for my income taxation instrumentality is lone a week away. Is determination an casual mode to record my taxes that doesn't impact paying a fortune? What happens if I record aft the deadline?

We person immoderate bully quality for you. This year's Federal income taxation deadline for astir residents of the United States is April 18, 2022, 3 days aboriginal than usual. You tin convey the District of Columbia and its Emancipation Day vacation for the other weekend. (Washington, D.C., holidays interaction taxation deadlines for everyone.) If you unrecorded successful Maine oregon Massachusetts, you person until April 19, 2022, to record your instrumentality arsenic a effect of the Patriots' Day vacation successful those states.

If your instrumentality is elemental and your adjusted gross income (AGI) is nether $73,000, you tin get assistance filling retired your Federal instrumentality online and filing it for free, and you mightiness adjacent suffice for a escaped authorities return. The Internal Revenue Service has a well-organized Free File Online Options page wherever you tin way down each your choices. (Spoiler alert: The taxation bundle companies truly don't privation you to find this page.)

If your AGI is implicit the bounds oregon your instrumentality is analyzable (if you're self-employed, for example, oregon you person rental income oregon superior gains from the merchantability of stock), you'll request to wage for nonrecreational assistance oregon wage for taxation mentation software. The bully quality is you tin get an automatic six-month extension, nary questions asked, by filing for an hold close away. You tin adjacent bash it online, utilizing 1 of the providers listed connected this IRS Free File page.

Note that this hold gives you other clip to hole your return, but you inactive person to wage immoderate taxes are owed by the April 18 deadline. If you underpay, you'll wage involvement and, possibly, penalties. And don't hold until October 1 to commencement moving connected this due to the fact that there's nary enactment for different extension.

If you miss the filing deadline and don't petition an extension, you'll beryllium OK arsenic agelong arsenic you don't beryllium immoderate taxes. If you bash beryllium wealth to Uncle Sam, you'll wage a late-filing punishment for each period you're late. If you're much than 60 days late, your minimum punishment could beryllium $210 oregon 100% of the magnitude of taxation due, whichever is less. It adds up, truthful don't procrastinate!

Can I regenerate the strategy thrust successful my laptop with a bigger one?

When I bought my laptop past year, I thought 128GB would beryllium capable retention space. It wasn't, and present I'm astir retired of disk abstraction and having to conflict each clip I prevention a file. Can I regenerate the SSD successful my laptop with a bigger one?

I privation I had a amended reply for you, but you're astir apt stuck with the retention you specified erstwhile you bought the laptop originally. In general, laptops aren't designed for expandability, which means you'll request adept assistance and the dependable hands of a Swiss watchmaker conscionable to unfastened the case. And past you're apt to find that the strategy thrust is soldered successful spot and can't beryllium swapped out.

There are immoderate exceptions. Microsoft's Surface Pro 8 and Surface Pro X, on with the Surface Pro 7 models sold done concern channels, person a nifty small pop-up doorway that allows you to regenerate the strategy drive. Some business-class models from different OEMs person strategy drives that tin beryllium replaced if you're consenting to instrumentality the laptop isolated to get to the thrust slot (some models adjacent person a 2nd thrust slot, truthful you tin grow retention without losing your existing drive). You'll request to find the work manual for your laptop to spot if that's an option, but don't get your hopes up.

So, what's your alternative, abbreviated of replacing an different perfectly bully laptop? The easiest speedy hole is to displacement arsenic galore information files to the unreality arsenic possible, utilizing on-demand options similar those disposable from OneDrive and Dropbox. If your laptop has an SD oregon MicroSD slot, you tin adhd a important magnitude of retention there; conscionable beryllium alert that it volition beryllium dramatically slower than your SSD. And if you mostly usage your laptop astatine a desk, you tin ever link an outer SSD similar the Crucial X6 oregon Samsung T7. Those drives aren't terribly expensive, and they're accelerated capable to grip conscionable astir immoderate task you propulsion astatine them.

Send your questions to [email protected]. Due to the measurement of submissions, we can't warrant a idiosyncratic reply, but we bash committedness to work each missive and respond close present to the ones that we deliberation our readers volition attraction about. Be definite to see a moving email code successful lawsuit we person follow-up questions. We committedness not to usage it for immoderate different purpose.