I recently bought a dell inpiron 3520 with windows 8. I hate windows 8. Is there anyway to downgrade to windows 7 without purchasing new software?
I think Windows 8 Professional has a downgrade option, but not Windows 8.
Yes, no downgrade with Win 8 Home.
Why don't you like Win 8? The desktop side is virtually WIn 7 without the Start Orb, which can be added with several free or low cost utilities. Win 8 is faster and more stable than Win 7. My D660 boots in 6-8 seconds from the Dell logo. Show me a Win 7 installation that can do it in less than 30 seconds - my best before I installed any Apps. Getting to some of the built in utilities has changed, but not significantly.
If you don't like the Win 8 side, you can by-pass the Start Screen and go right to the Desktop. You can completely ignore the Metro side. I am on the Desktop side probably 80% of the time. Many of the Metro Apps are not real good, but they are being improved. There are some, however, that I find very useful and superior to whatever I had used on the Desktop. Many have complained about Win 8, but giving no details of what is wrong. Most who do indicate that some functions, such as shutdown, take ONE MORE click than with Win 7, obviously a real deal breaker!
XPS M1530, Windows 10 Pro 32-bitInspiron E1705, Windows 10 Pro 32-bitDimension 9100, Windows 10 Pro 32 bitInspiron 660, Windows 8.1.1 - 64 bit Compaq DX 4370G, Windows 10 - 64 bitAsus T100 Tablet, Windows 10 - 32 bit
KirkDMany have complained about Win 8, but giving no details of what is wrong. Most who do indicate that some functions, such as shutdown, take ONE MORE click than with Win 7, obviously a real deal breaker!
Yes, the Windows 8 UI is terrible for the Desktop user. The Metro Apps are all awful. I like my "Windows" to be "Windows" and not Apps. Zune on Windows 7 was bad enough. The Metro Reader for example; no ability to read pdfs side by side. Open a second pdf and it closes the first... Then have to go to original folder to find the first pdf and it closes the second. Apps invade the screen and are harder to close, they are not Windows. Many things take several more clicks to find e.g. computer, control panel, printers, documents, music and the OS UI is far less efficient than Windows 7 on a Desktop or a laptop (without touchscreen). All the tiny inefficiencies can mount up and my personal productivity crashed going from Windows 7 to Windows 8 so I am back on Windows 7. The fact that Dell had to make so many tutorial videos on "How to Use Windows 8" including simple basics and use of Shortcut keys which users could of used in Windows 7 but didn't need to use shows that Windows 8 is less user-unfriendly than Windows 7. http://www.youtube.com/techsupportdell
If you have Windows 8 professional you can downgrade to Windows 7 professional but must request the Windows 7 Reinstallation DVD from Dell. However it is an Inspiron (Home) system so more than likely they only came with the Home Edition. If you wish to downgrade you must purchased a new Windows 7 license.
If however it is just the awful User Interface i.e. the Tablet interface that Microsoft enforced on all users (such as Desktop users) that you hate; install Classic Shell for free:
This will give you a Windows 7 Start Menu, select Windows 7 Style and you can also change the button to match the Windows 7 style also:
It should alleviate any headaches with the new User Interface.
There shouldn't be many incompatibility problems with software as Windows 8 is essentially a reduced functionality of Windows 7 (Start Button and Classic Start Button Removed, XP Mode removed in the Professional Version, Media Centre Removed unless you pay for a pro license).
Windows Reinstallation Guide and Related Wikies See here for other wikies such as Customising and Using Windows 8.1, Dell Wireless Cards and Unofficial Drivers.