Reinstalling Windows is a lot easier than it once was. In the days of Windows XP, you didn’t have much choice aside from erasing everything and restoring from a backup. Fast-forward to Windows 10 and Microsoft has added plenty of options for getting a fresh start.
Coming in the imminent Creators Update (which you can download now) is a new way to reinstall Windows 10. Titled Fresh Start, this completely reinstalls Windows while keeping your personal data and settings.
To start, head to Settings > Update & Security and click the Recovery tab. Under More recovery options, you’ll see a link to Learn how to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows. Click this, and you’ll see a (frankly, unnecessary) warning asking you to switch to Windows Defender. Press Yes to accept it.
Then you’ll see a bit about this process. Windows explains that this will reinstall and update Windows. It keeps your personal files and “some Windows settings,” but removes “most of your apps” like Microsoft Office, antivirus software, and pre-installed crapware. Thus, it’s a good way to purge bloatware from your system if you don’t want to remove it manually.
If you choose to perform this process, make sure you have the license keys and passwords to reactivate any software you have to reinstall. This could also cause issues with software that allows a limited number of installs, so make sure to deactivate those licenses before you proceed.
Click Get Started and you’ll be on your way to performing a fresh install of Windows. Hopefully your system never gets screwed up to the point where you need this, but it’s a handy option to have.
Have you ever had to reset Windows 10? Do you think this is a useful feature and would you ever use it? Tell us what you think in the comments!