Windows 10 S recovery images for Surface Laptop now available

Best Microsoft Surface Laptop Accessories
Best Microsoft Surface Laptop Accessories (Image credit: Windows Central)

With the launch of the Surface Laptop last week, Microsoft today has made available new recovery images for Surface Laptop users, that can be used when someones device isn't working as intended, or if a user wants to go back to Windows 10 S. The recovery images come with the RTM build of Windows 10 S, along with all the right Surface Laptop drivers for a smooth and clean recovery experience.

With the Surface Laptop, Microsoft is allowing users a free upgrade to Windows 10 Pro from Windows 10 S until the end of the year. Unfortunately, there's no way back from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 10 S once the upgrade has taken place. The only real way to get Windows 10 S back is to use the Surface Laptop recovery image that Microsoft has now made available, which will restore your Laptop back to factory settings easily and quickly.

To grab the recovery image, head to this link (opens in new tab). Make sure you've got your Surface Laptop serial number ready at hand, as you'll need it to prove that you are in fact a Surface Laptop user. Once you've entered all your details, you'll be given a download link for the Surface Laptop recovery image. From there, just follow the instructions on the website. You'll have to transfer the recovery bits to a USB and boot from it on your Laptop, but Microsoft should explain how to do all that on the site.

It's worth noting that using a recovery image is not like downgrading your OS. It's a complete wipe and install of Windows, meaning all your personal data and apps will get removed along the process. Make sure you to a data backup first before proceeding with a recovery install if you don't want to lose any data.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • Other user non-surface laptop can install windows 10 S if someone pirated that?
  • but why no really :) Setting -APPS- allow app form the windows store only
  • The product key would be embedded in the UEFI firmware.
  • And the image will contain drivers specific to Surface and would likely cause major issues on other hardware
  • No point to that, simply select the "Allow apps from Store only" option from the drop down menu at Settings > Apps > Apps & features. Done, no need to permanently restrict yourself with Windows 10S.
  • I would hesitate in trying that. Win 10 S is really only out on the Surface Laptop at this point, so the recovery image is potentially configured with Surface Laptop specific drivers. It is uclear if generic drivers are included, and if you need different drivers, if you can install them. I'm sure there will be those that try this. Let us know if you are the first ;)   One thing that interests me is driver support on Win 10 S. Lets say I want to use a Logitech mouse and keyboard. I expect that works fine, since the USB receiver makes it look like you just plugged in a USB cabled peripheral. If you want to attach another Logitech device to that receiver though, you need to do that via Logitech's app, an x86 app AFAIK.  I have printers that I need to load the drivers from the OEM site or CD before the OS knows the printer is capable of double sidded printing. Can I do that?
  • Probably be a good to Install the free Pro upgrade, activate then revert back to S.
  • Wonder if the activation will still exist (Pro) AFTER you activate, Windows 10 S, again (On the same machine).
    Then again, if W10S is successful with all the cool and important apps, why even go to Pro? 😉
  • hey there. unfortunately every win32 app available is not available in the windows store. i need one app for work that is a win32 app, so sadly i need to upgrade to pro to use it but i may do the pro upgrade/revert back to s method. the computer im currently using to type this comment is perfectly suitable for work so itll be interesting to live in a locked-down windows 10 environment. safer for sure.
  • Yea, I understand. It'll take time.. :)
  • AbhiWindows10, the Pro license would always be tied to the device after activation. The only reason I'd activate the Pro lic. is that for some devices, it's only free for a limited time. I'd question if it's worth the 2+ hours to save $50 but if they just purchased the device, some might do it.
    because you can download Office 365 from the Store, I can get by on most of my devices with S.
  • Yeah, I understood what you meant, but still unsure if it'll work that way. We'll see. :)
  • It does work, but you have to use the original recovery image and not the Go back to previous version of Windows 10 in Recovery. If you don't have the recover image, it's best to hold off.
  • Why? Users which upgraded to Pro probably installed software outside of the appstore, using a recovery image will just wipe out the entire Program Files folder so unless you made a backup of all your software in OneDrive, you'll have to do it all again from scratch, and that has the risks of having problems if installation software makes use of the windows registry
  • Why would anyone do that