Downgrading from Windows 7 to XP (2 Methods to Do It)

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  • Post last modified:March 14, 2023
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Whether you are still hanging onto an older PC or you want to use some hardware that doesn’t support Windows 7, Windows XP still is a viable option, believe it or not. Although Microsoft stopped supporting it years ago, many people still prefer Windows XP’s reliability and less resource-hungry nature. Also, for people using older software and occasionally enjoying those vintage games, nothing has replaced Windows XP for them, yet.

So, if you are wondering if downgrading from Windows 7 to XP is worth it, and how to do it, you’ve come to the right place. Yes, you can downgrade Windows 7 to XP, here’s how.

Downgrading from Windows 7 to XP

How to Downgrade from Windows 7 to XP

Depending on your situation, you can either downgrade your newly-installed Windows 7, or you can go for a fresh new setup.

Method 1:  Downgrading from Windows 7 to XP With DVD

If you still own the Windows.old folder located in C: drive, this method is for you. The good part about this is that you don’t need to have the old Windows XP installation media handy. Your Windows 7 installation media will do.

Step 1: insert your Windows 7 installation media into the DVD drive and restart your computer. when prompted, press any key.

Step 2: Make sure that the appropriate language, time and keyboard is selected for you and click next.

Step 3: On the next screen, click on Repair your computer. This will open System Recovery Options.

Step 4: on the next screen select Windows 7 and click next, make sure to remember the drive where your Windows 7’s installed files are located. In our case, that’s the D: drive.

Step 5: click on Command Prompt on the following window, now the real downgrading process begins.

Step 6: the next part is a bit lengthy. But we assure you, it’s necessary and really worth your time. Execute the following commands in the command prompt. Remember, the ‘d’ here in the command lines is the drive letter of the drive where Windows is currently installed.

Remember to press enter after typing each command.


Md Win7

Move Windows Win7Windows

Move “Program Files” “Win7Program Files”

Move Users Win7Users

Attrib –h –s –r ProgramData

Move ProgramData Win7ProgramData

Rd “Documents and Settings”

Step 7:  this step is optional if you want to get back your old Windows XP data. Type the following command and hit enter after each one.

move /y d:Windows.oldWindows d:

move /y “d:Windows.oldProgram Files” d:

move /y “d:Windows.oldDocuments and Settings” d:

Step 8: For the next step, you have to restore the boot sector so that you don’t get a boot loop. Type the following commands

E:bootbootsect /nt52 d:

Attrib –h –s –r boot.ini.saved

Copy boot.ini.saved boot.ini

Step 9: Finally, type Exit and hit enter, restart and voilà, you are back to Windows XP. that’s how you remove Windows 7 and install Windows XP.

Please note that, if your computer came with windows 7 preinstalled, you own the right to downgrade to windows XP legally. So, you can request to get a new product code for your Windows installation via support mail or hotline.

Method 2: Downgrading to Windows XP without a Windows 7 DVD

If you don’t own a Windows 7 installation disk, but still own the old Windows XP CD, this method is for you.

Step 1: Put the Windows XP installation media into the CD drive and restart your computer. Press any key on the keyboard when you see the message on the screen.

Step 2: Follow the on-screen prompts, as marked in the screenshot. In this case, press enter when everything’s been loaded and you are ready to install Windows XP.

Step 3: you’ll be asked to press F8 to agree to license agreements, do it. Now select the partition where you want Windows XP to be installed. In our case, there’s only one drive.

Step 4: depending on your situation, you can format the drive too, on the next screen. That’s recommended in case of a fresh installation.

Your computer will restart automatically once everything’s finished. That’s how you install Windows XP over Windows 7.

Frequently Asked Questions And Answers

Can Windows 7 run in XP mode?

Yes, Windows 7 has a built-in Windows XP mode. To run this, go to the Start menu and select All Programs. Keep scrolling down until you find Windows Virtual PC and select Windows XP mode.

Does installing Windows XP delete everything?

No, if you downgrade using the 1st method (using a Windows 7 DVD and Windows.old folder), you won’t lose any data.

Is win7 better than XP?

It’s subjective to your choice. But other than some UI improvements, you won’t miss much if you keep on using Windows XP.


Despite being more than 20 years old, many of us still love Windows XP. However, as Microsoft stopped releasing security updates for it long ago, we recommend using a third-party antivirus program with it. We hope we were able to help you in your downgrading journey. Enjoy old-school computing, that is Windows XP.

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