Downgrading Windows 8 to Windows 7 is not possible as the former replaces the latter completely during the installation procedure.
So the only option you are left with is to install Windows 7 from scratch (also known as “clean install”) and the desired programs/applications by erasing Windows 8 installation on your computer.
Things you need before you install Windows 7:
- Backup media to save your existing data
- The genuine copy of Windows 7 (installation media viz. DVD or USB)
- Windows 7 product key
- USB/DVD if you want to download Windows 7 copy online
- Active Internet connection (to download Windows 7 online and/or updates)
Step 1: Backup Files
First thing comes first. While you may not like to carry all the garbage back to your Windows 7 system from Windows 8 but do save what is important to you. Back up your data to another hard drive or in a cloud server using an online data backup solution (recommended)
Step 2: Recovery Partition/Disk
Once you have taken the data backup, you now have two options to reinstall Windows 7 and erase Windows 8. The first option is recovery partition. If your computer came with a recovery partition or recovery disk, you can use it to reinstall Windows 7 to factory settings and everything else including Windows 8 will be erased.
You can refer to your computer manual to check this and find out the recovery key. The key usually varies from F8, F10, to F12 in different computer brands. Press and hold the recover key to enter the setup screen. Click “Repair your computer” and follow rest of the on-screen instructions to restore Windows 7 on Windows 8’s partition.
If needed help, refer to your computer setup manual (varies from computer to computer) about restoring the recovering partition.
You can restore Windows 7 using recovery disk also if you have one.. If you have a recovery disk, insert it into the drive of your computer and reboot it. Your computer will automatically reboot to the recovery disk. Follow the on-screen instructions and successfully reinstall Windows 7.
If you manage to successfully reinstall Windows 7, reinstall all your programs, applications, and restore your backup to it. If your computer didn’t come with a recovery partition and also you don’t have the recovery disk, move to the next step.
Step 3: Windows 7 Installation Disk
Insert the Windows 7 installation media in the drive and wait for it to auto-play. If the disk doesn’t auto-play, click Start> click Computer on the Desktop and look for the removable Windows 7 setup disk. Double click to play it. Choose to boot from the disk and then wait for Windows to prompt you for an action. You can refer to your computer manual if you need help with BIOS settings.
On the Install Windows screen, choose your “Language”, “Time and currency format”, “Keyboard or input method” and click “Next”. On the next screen, click “Install now” and the setup will start. On the “Please read the license terms” screen, check the “I accept the license terms” box and click “Next”.
Step 4: Format/Delete/Create New Disk Partition
On this screen, you will be prompted to choose from “Upgrade” (it will be automatically disabled) and “Custom installation” types. Click “Custom Installation”, click “Drive options (advanced)” link on the next screen, click “Disk 0 Unallocated Space”, click Format to format the partition, delete Windows 8 partition by clicking Delete, and then create a new partition (for Windows 7) by clicking New.
When done, click “Next” to continue. Windows 7 will now begin to install. This may take some time depending on your computer. Windows 7 will now automatically reboot your computer to finish the installation. Please take note that your computer may boot several times during this procedure to update the settings, configurations, system files, Windows registry, and download updates etc.
When done, Windows 7 will prompt you to create a user profile and a PC name. Type the desired details and click Next. Select a password and confirm it. Follow rest of the onscreen prompts and setup your Windows 7 computer. That’s it and Windows 7 will be yours forever and until you again think to replace it.
Step 5: Using the DVD/USB Tool
If you do not have the original Windows installation media and in fact no recovery partition and recovery disk but have the product key, you can download an online copy of Windows 7 and save it to your USB device or DVD and then reinstall Windows 7 using it.
Open your web browser and Google for “Windows 7 USB DVD download tool’. Click the Microsoft link to visit the website and then click “Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool” link on the page. When prompted, click the Save button to save the file and exit the browser window. Using this tool, you are going to burn the ISO image of the Windows 7 installation file.
Open the “Downloads” folder and click the Windows 7 US-exe file and click Run to run it. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the tool. When done, open your web browser again and Google “Windows 7 SP1”. Click the first Microsoft link to visit the website.
On the next screen, select a Windows 7 edition to download and click the link. When prompted, save the file but don’t run it now. Open the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool and insert your flash drive, pen drive or other USB device in the drive of your computer when prompted.
Click the Browse button to look for the ISO image of Windows 7 installation file which you just downloaded. Select and open the installation file and then click Next. On the next screen, select your media type viz. USB device or DVD. Ignore any “not enough space” pop-ups and continue with the burning. This may take 15-20 minutes or more depending on your computer.
When done, restart your computer and when prompted choose to boot from USB device or DVD whichever you chose as your media type. Start with the installation and complete the procedure. When done installing Windows 7, reinstall all your favorites, programs and applications etc. and also restore your data backup.