Using a Windows 8.1 USB recovery drive after upgrading to Windows 10

If your Surface came with Windows 8.1 preinstalled and you upgraded to Windows 10, you can roll your Surface back to Windows 8.1 using a USB recovery drive. Here’s how.

Applies to

Surface Pro 3, Surface 3, Surface Pro 2.

Operating system:

For more info about how to create and use a USB recovery drive, see Create a USB recovery drive and Using a Surface USB recovery drive.

This process applies only to Surface 3, Surface Pro 2, and Surface Pro 3. For info about resetting your Surface Pro using a USB recovery drive, see How to reset your Surface using your USB recovery drive in Using a Surface USB recovery drive.
Step 1: Make sure your Surface is shut down and plugged in.
Step 2: Insert the USB recovery drive into the USB port.
Step 3: Press and hold the volume-down button while you press and release and power button.
When the Surface logo appears, release the volume-down button.
Step 4: When prompted, select the language and keyboard layout you want.
Step 5: On the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt.
If prompted for a recovery key, select Skip this drive at the bottom of the screen.
Step 6: At the command prompt, type diskpart.exe and press Enter.
Step 7: Type list disk and press Enter.
Step 8: Type select disk system and press Enter.
Step 9: Type clean and press Enter.
Step 10: Type exit and press Enter.
Close the command prompt window by selecting the X in the upper-right corner.
Step 11: Select Troubleshoot > Reset your PC > Next.
If prompted for a recovery key, select Skip this drive at the bottom of the screen.
Step 12: Select Yes, repartition the drives, and on the next page, select Next.
Step 13: Choose Just remove my files or Fully clean the drive.
The option to clean the drive is more secure but takes much longer. For example, if you are recycling your Surface, you should choose to clean the drive. If you are keeping your Surface, you just need to remove your files.
Step 14: Select Reset.
Your Surface restarts, and the Surface logo displays while the reset process completes. This can take several minutes.
Step 15: During the reset, you’ll see the following message: “A configuration change was requested to clear this computer’s TPM. You will lose all created keys and access to data encrypted by these keys.”
Press the Esc key or volume-down button to reject this change request and continue.
Step 16: During recovery, if the American Megatrends screen opens, press the Esc key. If nothing happens after pressing Esc, hold down the power button for 30 seconds, then press the power button again and go through the normal setup screens for Windows 8.1.
Step 17: If the UEFI screen opens, select Save & Exit.

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