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If I buy a Windows 8.1 PROFESSIONAL retail box, and NOT a PC with pre installed Windows 8, can I still exercise my downgrade rights to downgrade to Windows 7. ( I have a Windows 7 ISO and I will use phone activation to explain that I am downgrading). So can I do this with a retail version of Windows 8.1??

  • Windows 7 isn’t sold anymore to end users. As such, the downgrade program is probably gone, too. Not that it applied to buyers of retail versions in the first place. – Daniel B Dec 7 '14 at 12:17
  • It isn't a forum, and well, quite frankly there's a reason those questions were closed - they were not within the scope of the site. I'd also suggest considering just installing a shell replacement rather than downgrading, since windows 8 is superior in many many ways. – Journeyman Geek Dec 7 '14 at 12:53
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According to MS, you can't anyway - downgrade rights are for OEM/Preinstalled systems.

To downgrade Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 software, end users must:

  • Purchase a PC preinstalled with Windows software.
  • Accept the Microsoft Software License Terms.
  • Perform the downgrade process to the eligible downgrade product using the media/key from a genuine, previously licensed OEM or retail product.

A much better option would probably to just run windows 8 (and enjoy the longer time you have before it EOLs) and getting additional software to fix the minor cosmetic annoyances you may have.

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