Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
It's very possible to remove Windows 7 and switch back to Windows XP. I'll describe how. In my opinion, however, switching back to Windows XP is a mistake.
At present, I'm running Windows 7 and find it really complicated. Is it possible to change back to Windows XP Home Edition which is easier to use?
Yes, it's possible.
It's a bit of work and I'll review what it means to do that.
I'll also share with you my thoughts on why I believe doing so would be a mistake.
Reverting any machine capable of running Windows XP back to it - known as "downgrading" - is actually very simple: get a copy and install it.
And, if your machine is capable of running Windows 7, then it's probably quite capable of running Windows XP.
However, that "get a copy and install it" glosses over a lot of work. In more detailed steps:
Get a copy of XP: You might have a copy lying around that you're not using anymore. OEM discs don't count, as they'll typically only work on a specific manufacturer's machine and they're often legally restricted to only those machines. If you don't have a Windows XP install disc that you can use legally, you'll have to purchase one. You might find Windows XP on the secondary market, some retail stores, auction sites or more. For the record, you're not "entitled" to a copy of Windows XP if you don't like Windows 7; you'll have to purchase or acquire a separate, legal copy of Windows XP.
Back up: Installing Windows XP from scratch will typically erase everything on your computer. The only thing that you can do is back up everything first. Make sure that you do this to avoid losing valuable data.
Reformat/Install: Install Windows XP by using the reformat operation to clean off the hard disk as part of the installation. How do I reformat and reinstall Windows? has the process.
Reinstall applications: Reinstall all of the applications that you had that were separate from Windows. You'll need their original installation media and/or downloads.
Restore data: Copy all of the data that you'd been keeping on your computer prior to this operation from your backup or any other convenient storage place that you used.
That's it. You're running Windows XP. Welcome to 2001.
I believe that reverting to Windows XP at this point in time is a mistake.
Your support options will only become fewer. Technical support sites and services, like Ask Leo!, will slowly begin to stop servicing Windows XP. You can see it right now as getting support for even older operating systems, such as Window 2000 or Windows Me, is extremely difficult.
Microsoft itself is already phasing out support for Windows XP; at some point, that will include not fixing security vulnerabilities.
Software is already leaving Windows XP behind. A current example is that Internet Explorer 9 doesn't support Windows XP. You may not care about IE9 today, but something or other will come along soon and you may very well care about having it.
Hardware will soon leave Windows XP behind. My only hesitation in writing the sentence "...if your machine is capable of running Windows 7, then it's ... capable of running Windows XP..." is that it will not be the case very soon. Device manufacturers will stop supporting older hardware; newer hardware and add-ons will stop supporting Windows XP.
The writing is on the wall - Windows XP's days are numbered.
I believe that it's a mistake to intentionally revert to a dying horse however beloved it might be.
"But what about people who are using Windows XP today?" I hear you asking.
Its days are still numbered.
Folks with older machines who continue to use Windows XP often have very valid reasons for staying there. Typically, the hardware that they have won't support Windows 7 or the upgrade is simply too costly.
I get that.
They're still going to have to upgrade someday, probably when the time comes to get a new machine.
You, on the other hand, already have Windows 7 and a machine that's very capable of running it.
The fact is that reverting to Windows XP is going to be a fair amount of work that is not without its own set of frustrations. You can "outsource" some of the work by having someone else do the reinstallation, but there will always be issues and things missing.
If you're going to expend effort, I strongly recommend that you spend that effort getting used to Windows 7. What I hear from people is that, while their initial reactions are often negative, they end up liking Windows 7 - often better than Windows XP - after living with it for a significant period of time.
I know that you won't feel that way right now. And, of course, it's possible that you're one of the people who will hate it forever.
But from what I hear, that's actually unlikely.
And in either case, I'm fairly certain that Windows 7 (or perhaps its successor) is in your future someday.
If you've got it, I really recommend you stick with it.
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