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Don't downgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 8.1



  Laptop showing Windows 8 Home screen
Pieter Beens / Shutterstock

Windows 1

0 can sometimes be a real mess. Between botched updates, treat their users as beta testers and add features that we never wanted it to be tempting to downgrade. But you should not go back to Windows 8.1 and we can tell you why.

Seriously: We installed Windows 8.1 and used it for a few hours so you wouldn't need it.

You give up a better Start menu

  Windows 8 Home screen

It's almost easy to forget, but Windows 8.1 doesn't have a real Start menu. Instead, it had a home screen. Windows 8.0 introduced the home screen with the hope of launching an era with Windows tablets. It didn't work well, and Microsoft surrendered, but just a little. Windows 8.1 introduced the start button, but all it did was call the home screen, which was a band aid at best.

You can install a replacement program like Classic Shell or Start Menu 8, but it comes with its own problems. Classic Shell ended active development, so you open yourself to potential vulnerabilities. And other programs like Start Menu 8 cost either money, press extra add-ons or both. Just check this default installation of Start Menu 8:

 Standard Start Menu with Start Menu 8 Run

If you click on one of the four best options, programs are installed directly. And this is a 7-day trial, so eventually you have to pay to use the program.

With Windows 10, Microsoft finally returned the Start menu. Granted, it's too messy and filled with ads, but it gets better. And more importantly, you can cut out all the tiles and look very close to Windows 7 if you prefer.

RELATED: How to make the Windows 10 Start menu, see more like Windows 7 [19659014] Full screen applications were a pain

  Full-screen Windows calculator

Another forgotten " function "in Windows 8.1 was its push for full screen app. Microsoft would go after the mobile market, so with the introduction of the Home screen, full-screen screens came for tablets that you couldn't turn off. This was true even for apps where it was not necessary, just like the calculator's app.

Instead of using the separate desktop overview, apps are maximized and take up the entire screen. You had to learn the point or mouse gestures to get one side by side, but it did not have the versatility of programs running on the desktop.

Microsoft tried to help with tutorials, but it did not solve the underlying problem that the user interface was not intuitive. The best thing is to optimize Windows 8.1 for desktop mode, but it was still not perfect. Microsoft finally solved the problem in Windows 10 by dumping the home screen and placing the emphasis on the desktop.

And while there are programs to circumvent this behavior on Windows 8, just like the startup programs, they cost either money, come with extras, or both. It is worth mentioning that when you test this, the calculator app with all default values ​​crashed such a program, ModernMix.

 Error message when Modern Mix crashed

You give up security

Windows 10 is much safer than any version of Windows that came before it. While we have complained about the unnecessary features that Microsoft has added, security has been a top priority.

Windows 10 includes features such as Block Suspicious Behavior, Core Isolation and Memory Integrity Security, Container Technology and Controlled Folder Access. Windows Defender's exploitation protection is a huge addition and effectively replaces EMET, which Microsoft stopped developing. These features lock down the operating system and make it harder to infect and hijack your system. Windows 8.1 is safer than Windows 7, but all the security features introduced (from SmartScreen to Secure Boot) are included in Windows 10.

End of support is coming

 Windows 8 screen with red circle and through it

The end of extended support comes and while this will hit Windows 7 earlier, after January 2023, Windows 8.1 will no longer get critical updates. It may not be tomorrow, but it is not far away either. And just like Windows 7, the usual support has already stopped.

Even with Windows 10, Microsoft focuses on its latest version, which is true for any software company. When the service ends, it means that Microsoft will not patch any vulnerabilities or release any updates to prevent viruses from infecting your system.

Usually other programs support the versions of Windows as the end of the service. So you will be left with vulnerabilities in your operating system and your installed software.

But isn't it Windows 10 Updates Buggy?

Although it may be true that Windows 10 updates have been problematic, there are ways to mitigate this. First and foremost, if you want stability, you do not go with the insider program. Insider previews are least stable through design.

If possible, upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, allowing you to delay updates. The good news is that even if you don't have Windows 10 Pro, Microsoft will soon allow Windows 10 Home users to pause updates for seven days, which is usually long enough to shake off big problems.

Microsoft released bad updates with older versions of Windows recently, so going back is not something safer. In the end, it is better to have some updates, even with those risks, without any updates at all.

Windows 8.1 does not support new processors

If your computer has a 7th generation processor from the 7th generation or AMD's 7th generation, installing Windows 8 (or 7) will lead to a unsupported message. Microsoft presented a policy for 2016 that limited support for new processors.

RELATED: How (and why) Microsoft is blocking Windows 7 updates on new computers

If Windows discovers your machine has enough new hardware, it will block updates. Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 existed before these processors, so realistically, the work must be done to make them conform to hardware changes that have occurred.

Microsoft can do the job, but frankly it doesn't want it to require further testing. Given his record with tests as late, one can even argue that they have made the best choice possible. But without updates, running Windows 8.1 on new hardware means you run without extended support now instead of in 2023.

Windows 8.1 Keys are expensive or risky

 search results for "cheap Windows 10 key" ]]

To even downgrade to Windows 8.1, you need a valid key. Microsoft does not sell the Windows 8.1 keys, making it difficult to get one. You can risk with cheap keys, but you can end with a key that is not valid and will not be activated. If you have a Windows 8.1 key, you can still use it to activate Windows 10. So you can just stay on Windows 10 for free.

Just stick with Windows 10

Absence makes the heart grow funds, or distance makes only things blurred. Put down the pink colored glasses: Windows 8.1 was a giant mess, and there is a reason that Microsoft abandoned it and started over. During the writing of this article, we installed Windows 8.1 and used it for hours. It was a painful experience that you don't have to go through. Even with all their problems, you are better off on Windows 10. It is safer, better thought out and will continue to see support for a long time to come.


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