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How to Set Windows 7 as the Default OS on a Dual Boot PC with Windows 8?

Optimizing Dual-Boot: Setting Windows 7 as Your Primary OS in a Windows 8 Environment

Navigating the world of computers and operating systems can sometimes introduce users to concepts that seem complex but are incredibly practical. One such concept is the dual-boot system. A dual-boot computer, as the name suggests, houses two Operating Systems (OS) that coexist on a single machine. Contrary to the norm of having just one OS, a dual-boot setup lets users enjoy the benefits and features of two OS versions, providing the flexibility to toggle between them as required. This setup becomes especially beneficial when one wants to explore a new OS without forgoing the comfort and familiarity of the older one.

Here’s a simple analogy: Imagine having two rooms in a house. While the newer room might have some updated amenities, the older one provides a familiar comfort. You can choose which room you’d like to spend your time in based on your mood or need. Similarly, in a dual-boot scenario, following the installation of both OS versions, you have the freedom to select between them during the startup process. By default, the recently installed OS will take precedence in the boot sequence, relegating the previously installed OS to the secondary position. To illustrate, if you had Windows 7 already installed on your machine and later decided to add Windows 8, the boot process would, by default, direct you to the Windows 8 login screen first.

But what if you have a soft spot for the older OS or need it more frequently? Do you always have to manually select it during boot? Thankfully, the answer is no. You can customize the default boot settings to prioritize your preferred OS. This means if you want Windows 7 to be your go-to despite having Windows 8 installed later, it’s entirely feasible. The best part? Achieving this doesn’t necessitate any external software or tools. In this risewindows article, we’ll guide you step-by-step on how to set Windows 7 as your default OS in a dual-boot setup with Windows 8. Dive in to discover the simplicity behind the process.

How to Set Windows 7 as the Default OS on a Dual Boot PC with Windows 8?

Step 1: Log into your Windows 8 Operating System and then go to the This PC icon. Now click on Properties which will take you to the System window.

In the case of Windows 7, right-click on Computer and then click on the Properties options to see the  System window.

Step 2: In the left side pane, click on Advanced System Settings.

Step 3: Click on the Advanced tab.

Step 4: Look for the settings option under the “Startup and Recovery” section, which opens a dialog box.

Step 5: You will find that Windows 8 has been set as the default “Default operating system.

Step 6: Select Windows 7 from the drop-down menu.

Step 7: Click on OK.

After completing the above steps, the boot sequence will change. Now, when you boot your computer, it will default to the Windows login screen. If you decide to revert to the original settings in the future, simply follow the same steps and select Windows 8 from the drop-down menu in step 6.

Additional tips: In step 6, there’s an option labeled “Time to display the list of operating systems.” This specifies the duration you have to select an Operating System upon booting. Let’s say you have 30 seconds to choose. If you don’t make a selection within that timeframe, the system will automatically boot into the default Operating System. In this scenario, it would boot into Windows 7 by default.

If you’ve set Windows 7 as the default OS after initially booting into Windows 8 in step 6, the system will first take you to the Windows 8 boot screen. From there, it will restart automatically and direct you to the Windows 7 Login Screen. This means booting into Windows 8 will consume more time. Hence, it’s advisable to set Windows 7 as the default operating system while within Windows 7 to optimize the boot time.


Dual-booting offers users the luxury of experiencing two Operating Systems on one machine, bridging the gap between the familiar and the new. It provides a balance of staying connected with well-loved features while venturing into the upgrades of the new version. But like any setting, having control over which OS greets you first on startup can make the experience even smoother. Being able to set Windows 7 as the default on a dual boot with Windows 8 brings customization to your fingertips, ensuring the machine works in sync with your preferences. Through the steps outlined in this risewindows article, we aimed to simplify the seemingly complex, guiding you towards making an informed choice every time you power up your machine. After all, personalizing your tech environment isn’t just about aesthetics or interfaces; it’s about optimizing functionality tailored to your needs.


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