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Microsoft now lets Surface Laptop owners revert to Windows 10 S

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Microsoft is now allowing Surface Laptop owners to switch back to Windows 10 S after they’ve upgraded to Windows 10 Pro. While the upgrade path from Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro on the Surface Laptop is quick and easy, going back to Windows 10 S isn’t straightforward. Microsoft is offering special software restore images for Surface Laptop devices, and you’ll need to wipe the entire machine to get back to Windows 10 S.

This is surprisingly complicated given the switch to Windows 10 Pro takes less than a minute and involves a simple reboot. Nevertheless, if you really want to switch back to Windows 10 S and wipe your drive clean then Microsoft’s recovery images are available at the company’s Surface site. It’s unclear whether Microsoft plans to enable an easier downgrade method in the future, or simply rely on Windows 10 S device makers to provide restore images.

Microsoft's Surface Laptop is the first device to run Windows 10 S, a new variant of Windows 10 that is designed to only run Windows Store apps. HP, Acer, and other PC makers are planning to release low-cost laptops running Windows 10 S in the coming months.