I'm using wsl 2 currently but it seems I can't run Ubuntu with it anymore. So I want to downgrade my wsl from 2 to 1

  • The way you address this makes it a windows question: maintaining WSL is done from Windows tools. if you want to answer the reason for why you can not run Ubuntu find error(s) notice(s) and we can have a look at them In theory your problem could be hardware related and installing wsl1 might not be a fix.
    – Rinzwind
    Apr 28, 2021 at 6:52

2 Answers 2


The method is described on Microsoft Site: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wsl/install-win10

How to set your wsl instance version

  1. First list your distribution

    C:\WINDOWS\system32>wsl --list
    Windows Subsystem for Linux Distributions:
    Ubuntu-18.04 (Default)
  2. And then set it to version 1

    C:\Users\priv>wsl --set-version Ubuntu-18.04 1

But if your problem is your rootfs, you might need to reset your instance like matigo's answer suggested.

  • Thanks a lot. I already reset my wsl but it didn't work for me. Apr 28, 2021 at 9:55
  • Do you think it's because of my storage?my storage is full Apr 28, 2021 at 9:56

I do not believe you can downgrade, but you can completely reset WSL2 with a couple of commands:

  1. Open Command Prompt
  2. "Uninstall" WSL2:
    lxrun.exe /uninstall /full
  3. Delete everything in AppData\Local\lxss*
  4. Re-install WSL2:
    lxrun.exe /install

Alternatively, depending on which version of Windows you're using:

  1. Open "Add/Remove Programs"
  2. Find "Ubuntu" and access the advanced options
  3. Choose from:
    • repair ⇢ attempts to fix any broken configuration files
    • reset ⇢ returns the installation to default (same as the process above)
    • terminate ⇢ kill the VM, darn the consequences
    • uninstall ⇢ remove WSL2 from the system

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