The recently-launched Surface Laptop is Microsoft’s own bet in the Windows 10 S market, but given that this operating system is limited to apps in the Windows Store, the company is offering a free upgrade to Windows 10 until December 31.
But according to Microsoft’s original policy, upgrading Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro was a one-way road, with users not allowed to return to the previous operating system should they changed their mind.
More recently, however, Microsoft actually enabled downgrades from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 10 S, though this feature does not come as the most convenient out there. Downgrading is only possible with a recovery image, which means that you need to restore the full drive and thus lose all your files and apps.
Also, this recovery image is only available for the Surface Laptop, so it can’t be used on a different device that launched with Windows 10 S. The chances are, however, that all manufacturers of such models would launch recovery images for their devices in order to make it possible for users to return from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 10 S.
In the case of the Surface Laptop, the recovery image has more than 9GB in size, so it’s pretty large, which means not only that downloading will take a while, but also that the actual recovery process isn’t expected to complete too fast.
At this point, it’s unlikely that too many users would use the recovery image to downgrade from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 10 S because they don’t like the full version of the operating system, but mostly to address other issues that can only be fixed by resetting the device to its factory condition.
In order to download this Surface Laptop image, users need to register their Surface device and enter the product serial number. Creating a recovery drive is also needed, and an USB flash drive with at least 16GB storage is needed.