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Microsoft shortens Windows 10 recovery rollback to 10 days to help save space

Microsoft has shortened the recovery rollback period from 30 days to just 10 days in a bid to help free up some more space on consumer PCs. As reported by SuperSite for Windows, the company previously allowed for 30 days before previous installs of Windows were deleted on a PC, allowing those who wish to downgrade to an earlier version ample time to do so.

This has been shortened considerably to just 10 days as part of the Anniversary Update. Now should you update yourself to a more recent Windows Insider build and wish to rollback, you have but 10 days to do so within Windows 10. The reason is to help free up space on computers as noted above, but Microsoft has also explained that most of those who use the feature did so within the first week or so.

It may not sound like such a big deal to those with ample amounts of storage on their main desktop PC, but for those on devices with limited available space, this is a wise move by Microsoft to help free up some room for personal files and software.

Rich Edmonds
Rich Edmonds

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

50 Comments
  • This is a sensible change but no doubt some other media will spin it in other ways as they have to make up news.
  • Yup.. That's all they know.. Especially MSPU guys like Michael, Surur.
  • The Verge.
  • Who?
  • "Updated Windows 10 lately? Microsoft might have just put your files at risk" etc etc
  • Why would there be a need for spin? To illustrate, what if a vendor gave you a product with a 30 day guarantee and then after you received the product changed the terms to 10 days? Windows 10 could be great for many, but that doesn't mean you get to change the terms.
  • It's still not permanent.  You can always reinstall your previous version of windows.  This is giving people back parts of their storage space, I'd rather have that than 20 days of backups.
  • Reinstall, yes you can as you have said. But the article is stricly talking about the rollback feature. Anyone can reinstall and recreate all their settings and data. However, rolling back (or put simply, restore from backup) is a much more convenient feature that is part of the OS.
  • This is not something that will effect people upgrading from Win7 or 8 to 10, this is someone who is upgrading from Win10 to Win10 Anniversary. Someone upgrading this way knows what Win10 is all about.
  • Actually it is. See the article screenshot for reference. It says "Go back to Windows 8.1".
  • Just for make ratings and page visits up.
  • Is it Microsoft's PC or the user's?  If it's the user's PC, this should be an option.  A simple "Hey, do you want to change your rollback period to 10 days to free up space?" popup would be in the user's interests.  Deleting the old OS and not telling anyone* is the same as forcing it upon people as a recommended update.   *the users who might have wanted this won't be reading this here tbh   Edit:  Apple does this too, so I'm not singling out Microsoft.  But a company that thinks it knows better than it's users is usually wrong.  People like us know how to manage this stuff, but the vast majority don't know what's going on with any of these changes, and just distrust comptuers because of it.  How many people used to buy new phones because they couldn't empty the old one?  That's the norm for some people, and they don't trust the cloud as it's confusing how companies set it up because they think they know better, and don't focus group.
  • "The reason is to help free up space on computers" Yeah, right.
  • What's the reason then? Make sure you can prove it.
  • It doesn't really matter.. Windows 10 is one of the best yet and since the beginning I haven't had any issues at all.. I always delete the old installation files after an upgrade via DISC CLEANUP.. ;)
  • Ditto.
  • Then you are one of the lucky ones.  I've had nothig but issues, and am now running my second version of a clean install after the original upgrade messed everything up and would not roll back.
  • Consider yourself very lucky.
  • Any news on anniversary update rollout? I suppose numerous issues the reason why not showing up on my Surface yet. Could the rollout been stopped totally?
  • just use one of the tools 100 articles were talking about 
  • The upgrade is a rolling one and I suspect that Microsoft puposely phases the upgrade so they can be sure issues are fixed ahead of hitting the masses, as well as limiting central network loads.  Given a few issues reported I suspect it would have been frozen and would expect an update in the next few days to fix the top issues being experienced before resuming.
  • MS knows you're a troll, so you're not getting it.
  • My pc is not starting up after rs1
  • I think no one will want to go back to previous build except very few unfortunates having serious bugs, as the anniversary update is super smooth.. And for the non insider this build has some amazing touch up and changes.
  • As a professional in video editing, it amazes me how many people use PC with lesser hardware than some phones these days... Seen a lot complaining about 2GB minimum ram limit...and now i see about drive space... We have phones that exceed win 10 requirements and yet people use potatoes as PC..
  • Why is that surprising, and why does it matter that you're a professional video editor? The majority of users get on Facebook and do E-mail. Sounds like you just wanted to toot your own horn.
  • I`ve put an accent on what I do since i used 8 GB (now 16) of ram when 2 GB was mainstream and I might have a different point of view .. but at this point RAM and storage is so cheap that having a PC with only 2 GB in 2016 kinda seems stupid. I don`t say go get a 16 GB since you don`t have use for it but let`s get real ... complaining about 2GB as huge requirement in 2016 is kinda stupid, no matter how you put it.
  • Because video editing needs a good computer Axmantim.. You must be one of those people that have a potato and your probably mad that you need to actually spend money on things in life but always try to justify your cheap attitude because you have an ego bigger than hard drive space.
  • That still doesn't have any relevance to his comment. As for the rest of yours it's not only lacking any logic, its far from correct. 2BG of RAM may be inexpensive, but when you tack on things like installation costs, or even a new PC if you're maxed out, it's not that cheap for a lot of users. By the way, for reference, I do have 16GB of RAM, an 8 core 4Ghz CPU and 4.5TB of HDD and SDD space. 
  • Installation costs ? :) if you can`t figure out how to push a memory stick in a place... also by this time we asume somebody using Windows 10 would not use a potato as a PC... so why are we complaining about Redstone having 2GB minimum requirement ? I tend to believe that these days people really like to complain about anything. But giving a bit of though about the same happened when XP was out, everybody with a Win 98 machine was cursing XP as being crap, fast forward some time and we get XP as the best OS out there. But seriously .. 2016, we cry about 2 GB being too much ...
  • Yeah ok, because everyone is comfortable opening their PC or laptop. Also, how does one add ram to say, a venue 8? I make some pretty good money seeing the amount of people that either don't know how, or can't be bothered to open their computer up. I hate to break it to you, but that's not a requirement of life to understand how PC components work. You have yet to provide any valid argument why it's wrong to complain about it, so it would appear you just want to be the elitist *******, which would explain why you felt the need to point out you're a professional video editor.
  • I`ve said the argument. The PC industry has evolved a lot, if you don`t have a PC with at least 2 GB of ram in 2016 don`t cry about the OS being too resource hungry, you`re the one to blame that you can`t keep up with the technology. You have no right to complain about it. At this point even a mobile OS asks for 2 GB to be smooth. I`m not an elitist, other wise i would be taunting about my 16GB rig and 6 drives and 2 SSDs but i`m not doing it, it`s related to other things. About your Venue 8, that`s a tablet, I own an Asus Transformer T100 with Atom and 2 GB ram and 32 GB storage ... i know the limitations of the device and if in 2 years the OS will tell me that i can`t updated to the latest i won`t cry that the next version of Win 10 is a resource hog.. Other wise people with DOS 6 machines would cry that Windows is a resource hog we can do our stuff on 640KB of RAM :) The people would make a valid point if suddenly Win 10 RS would ask for 4-6 GB of ram and 60-120 GB of drive .. that`s resource hungry at this point not 16GB drive space and 2 GB RAM :)
  • What Mobile OS requires 2GB of RAM? iOS doesn't, Android doesn't, Windows Mobile doesn't, I'm not familir with Blackberry OS requirements, but I would bet it doesn't. You also miss the mark on your DOS analogy, Windows 8 and 8.1 devices were promised Windows 10 and a life of updates. the 2GB machines are struggling with it. That's a fact. People were promised it for free, and if they ahve to add RAM, it's no longer completely free, that's a fact. Nothing was promised to DOS Users, especially since DOS and Windows are different OS's
  • My Transformer T100TAF tablet has 2 GB of ram and it works just fine with Win 10 RS 2 build. Also where the hell did you read a Win 10 lifetime upgrade promise ? Win 10 from now on is a service, it will evolve into something better with time and require more hardware. The promise was that the Win 8/8.1 devices will be getting the first Win 10 upgrade, nothing about what will come after that. About ram on Android .. oh boy .. my 1 GB phone was moving like crap compared to same model with 2GB. Being able to load stuff on 1 GB =/= smooth OS run on 2 GB model. But w/e, seems that there is no go with you guys, you simply expect MS to roll out infinite support for your old hardware that can`t have the minimum 2 GB requirement (and we are talking about FULL PC OS, not mobile). LE: am i talking to guys who use Pentium 4 machines with 1 GB with Windows 10 ?
  • Actually, I've been building computers for a good chunk of my life and worked in the technical support role and I don't think you should assume that anyone can "push a memory stick in place...".  You'd be surprised that even the younger generation couldn't figure this out.  But then again, their interest probably lies elsewhere.
  • I`m aware that many people can`t figure out how to do it, but at this point we have tutorials about tying a shoo lace on YT :) And about everybody has that "PC genious guy" friend :) The one that can google how to fix PC stuff :) Anyway this is kinda of a sidenote ... a PC with only 1GB ram probably is an old machine with DDR 2 or something that you can`t find in Stores now :)
  • The dude is lost in his own little bubble. Everything that works fro him MUST work for everyone else.
  • They don't care about drive space. If something messed up their computer, all that they can do is complaining about the OS.
  • in the world of Ransomeware you need image backups anyway.  just make an image before you upgrade and forget the rollback.  I'ts little compensation anyway... hey your out of space but... if you wait 10 days you'll free up that old installation... just dont use your computer for x days.  Here's an idea, they could offer to store your rollback Windows.old on a USB drive then it wouldnt take up any space. how about that.
  • Or maybe they should stop bundling bloatware like candy crush crap, but you fanboys won't say that.
  • I don't think you know what Bundling, or Bloatware means.
  • Don't bother. The fact that Candy Crush and other promoted apps are only icons that take you to the store so you can choose to download them or not should never be allowed to get in the way of an anti-fanboy theefman rant. He stopped making sense a while ago.
  • Since the free update is over and you would just be able to roll back between builds I don't see an issue with it. If this was shortening the windows to roll back during the free update period then it might matter more, but even then I feel that 10 days is reasonable. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I understand the logic, but 10 days seems a little short. However, I did free up over 20GB when I ran disk cleanup after the update. My Surface tablets appreciated that. Now if Microsoft would stop reinstalling default apps that I've deleted. I don't need the #D Builder or Get Office apps. I deleted them again, but they still show up in the Store as needing to be updated.
  • This is the glory of telemetry that some people are worried about. MS can see how many people roll back, and how long it took them. The vast majority did so in under 7 days.
  • I'm split on this. While I do keep disk space on my mind, using the recovery option is usually the last thing I do when I experience issues. So I am concerned that 10 days isn't enough time unless they're saying they're only keeping 10 days worth of system restore snapshots.
  • Why do you want to rollback? Because a new INSIDER build isn't that good as the previous. When do you rollback? Usually, my experience, within 1 day of that new build. People harping on about the time period completely miss the point of rollback in the first place. Rollback is especially there to get back to your previous build when your unhappy with a new build. And if I'm happy with a build, that's usually clear within a week, in my experience, and I get rid of the previous build. My C:\ drive is a 60 GB SSD so yeah, space is an issue on that drive for me. If telemetry indicates the vast majority does rollback within 10 days, I say good for Microsoft to make this change.
  • A good example of a rollback is if you are using an unsigned driver because Windows 10 will effectively disable that functionality if you've done a clean install. Those unsigned drivers come in handy for USB tools that are used for auto OBD systems that's used for diagnosis of problems. Sure, Microsoft is 'securing the stack', but at the same time they are removing the ability for the user to assume their own risk.
  • Lol, to save space? Why not simply give alert asking the user if they are satisfied and would like to automatically remove it via DiskSpace cleaner, instead of reducing the time period to get to know how good or terrible Windows 10 is? Seems more like them lacking confidence in their product...
  • First thing I did was ran disk clean up after the update. Gained 20GB. No reason to roll back.