Here’s How to Install (And Then Uninstall) Windows 10 S on Your PC


Microsoft earlier this year announced a new desktop operating system that is a lightweight version of Windows 10. Named Windows 10 S, the Redmond software maker is trying to take some market share from Google's Chrome OS, targeting educational market with this easy to install desktop OS. But, the devices have only now started to ship and users had no clue if the OS brings any advantage over Chrome OS considering the eerie silence in Windows Store on which this new version relies.

Download Windows 10 S installer

Last month, the company announced that it's allowing MSDN subscribers and then Windows 10 Edu users to try the new Windows 10 S. The offer wasn't open to Windows Insiders or others. But once the Windows 10 S ISOs were out, they were, of course, leaked very quickly. However, those who tried to download Windows 10 S were unable to activate it after installation.

Stuck in Windows 10 S Mode? Microsoft Releases a Fix

Now, the company has announced opening up the Windows 10 S to several other versions of Windows 10. Those of you interested in trying out this new Windows 10 version can install a new Windows 10 S installer that allows Windows 10 Pro users to sidegrade to Windows 10 S. This self-installer works for:

  • Windows 10 Pro
  • Windows 10 Education
  • Windows 10 Pro Education
  • Windows 10 Enterprise

The only Windows 10 version where this Windows 10 S installer won't work is Windows 10 Home. Remember, Microsoft had introduced Windows 10 S as just a lighter version of Windows 10 Pro, offering a limited-time free upgrade offer to Windows 10 Pro to all Windows 10 S users. "We don't recommend installing Windows 10 S on Windows 10 Home devices as you won't be able to activate it," Microsoft wrote.

Microsoft warns to all the eager testers out there to know that Windows 10 S works a little differently than other Windows 10 versions. "Windows 10 S is different from other editions of Windows 10 as everything that runs on the device is verified by Microsoft for security and performance," the company added.

Therefore, Windows 10 S works exclusively with apps from the Windows Store. Some accessories and apps compatible with Windows 10 may not work and performance may vary. Certain default settings, features, and apps cannot be changed. When you install Windows 10 S, your existing applications and settings will be deleted and you will only be able to install apps from the Windows Store.

Going back to previous edition from Windows 10 S

The company has also shared instructions to uninstall Windows 10 S and go back to your earlier Windows 10 version. You can do so from Settings > Update & security > Recovery.

To go back, you need to:

  • Keep everything in the windows.old and $windows.~bt folders after the upgrade.
  • Remove any user accounts you added after the upgrade.

You can download Windows 10 S installer from Microsoft. But before proceeding with the installation process, do make sure to read all the instructions that the Redmond Windows maker has shared in this post.