Windows 11: Give yourself more time to cancel the upgrade

When you upgrade a PC to Windows 11, you have the option of pressing a big Backspace button (Settings> System> Recovery) and restore your previous Windows 10 installation. But you only have 10 days to exercise this option. The clock starts ticking as soon as you finish installing Windows 11, and when you hit the 10 day milestone, those rollback files are permanently deleted.

Is this default setting new? No. It’s the rollback rule for every Windows 10 feature update for over five years.

Is it arbitrary? Sure. There is no right or wrong number of days, and you could probably make a case for extending the deadline to 14 days, or 21 days, or even 30 days (which is the return period. back for Windows 10 from its initial release in 2015 until the arrival of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update in July 2016).

The update is canceled within the first week

But is it really a good idea? There may be reasons why rolling back from a major Windows upgrade might not be possible. This is because each day that passes after a major upgrade increases the likelihood that a rollback will cause problems. You’ve installed new software, updated drivers, changed settings, and made enough effort to ensure that reverting to the previous status quo won’t be a positive experience.

As those poor, silently sobbing Microsoft product managers will tell you, telemetry data confirms that the overwhelming majority of people who decide to roll back their upgrade do so within the first week or so. They quickly discover an incompatibility with essential software, or a device that doesn’t work.

I guess we agree that it would be absurd to allow a Windows user to try to roll back an upgrade after six months, a year, or two years.

The magic happens thanks to the tool Dism.exe

But here is the problem. You, the Windows expert, the IT professional, the ZDNet expert … you can, with a few quick commands, extend the rollback period from the default 10 days to 60 days. The magic happens with the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (Dism.exe) tool, which is built into all modern versions of Windows.

Don’t take my word for it. Everything is documented in a Microsoft support article, “DISM operating system uninstall command-line options,” which explains its objective as follows:

Windows gives the user the option of uninstalling and reverting to a previous version of Windows. You can use DISM to:

Know how many days after an upgrade an operating system can be uninstalled. Initiate Uninstallation Remove the ability for a user to uninstall a Windows upgrade. set the number of days a user has to uninstall a Windows upgrade.

To make this magic work, first log in to Command Prompt as administrator and run the DISM tool with the correct arguments. (If any part of this phrase confuses you, perhaps stop here and ask a knowledgeable friend for help before proceeding any further.)

From this administrative command prompt, type the following command, choosing a number between 1 and 60 after the Value parameter:

DISM /Online /Set-OSUninstallWindow /Value:60

This command sets a value in the Windows registry that instructs the operating system to delay deleting undo files until the number of days you specify has passed. (You could also make this change using the Registry Editor tool, but there is no reason to do so.)

That’s all. You have finished. You can now evaluate Windows 11 for two full months, knowing that you can exercise your right to cancel at any time.


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