How to: Perform a Clean Install or Reinstall of Windows 10 – Microsoft Community – Before you begin
This article covers how to clean install Windows in an attempt to address serious problems with your computer. It includes information on how to prepare to reinstall your files on the computer after the clean install is complete. A clean install of Windows is the right way to go when all other software troubleshooting you’ve tried has been unsuccessful and you want to install or reinstall a clean copy of Windows back on your computer.
Most of the time, you try a clean install after one of Windows’ automatic repair processes hasn’t solved your problem. A clean install returns your computer to pretty much the same state it was in the first day you turned it on. In case it’s not clear yet, this should be reserved for the most serious of Windows operating system problems, since all the data on your primary hard drive partition usually the C drive is erased during the process.
A clean install of Windows is accomplished during the Windows setup process by removing the existing Windows installation assuming there is one before installing a new operating system or reinstalling the existing one. The individual steps involved in completing a clean install can differ greatly based on the operating system you happen to be using:.
Remember, a clean install will erase everything from the drive that Windows is installed on. When we say everything, we mean everything. You’ll need to back up anything you want to save before you begin this process!
You can back up your files online or use an offline backup tool. In addition to backing up the individual files you want to keep, you should also prepare to reinstall your programs. Gather the original installation discs and downloaded program setups to any program you want to put back on your computer. In most cases, particularly with modern software programs that are still accessible online through digital downloads, knowing which programs you want to reinstall is enough no real backup is necessary because you can just re-download them from the software maker’s website.
No program outside of those that come bundled with an original Windows setup will be on your computer after the clean install is complete.
If you only have a restore disc from your computer manufacturer but not an original Windows Setup disc or download, a clean install as described in the linked guides above may not be possible. Your restore disc might instead have a relatively similar process that will restore your entire PC, Windows, and programs, back to the factory default. Please reference the documentation that came with your computer, or contact your computer manufacturer directly for directions. When you visit this site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies.
Cookies collect information about your preferences and your device and are used to make the site work as you expect it to, to understand how you interact with the site, and to show advertisements that are targeted to your interests. You can find out more and change our default settings with Cookies Settings. By Tim Fisher. Tim Fisher. Tim Fisher has more than 30 years’ of professional technology experience. He’s been writing about tech for more than two decades and serves as the VP and General Manager of Lifewire.
Christine Baker is a marketing consultant with experience working for a variety of clients. Her expertise includes social media, web development, and graphic design. Tweet Share Email. What to Know During a clean install of Windows—a last-ditch troubleshooting process—all the data on the computer’s hard drive is erased. For Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP, a clean install is recommended for troubleshooting serious problems. How to see which Windows version is currently installed.
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Windows 10 clean install
Open the Windows 10 download page (opens in new tab). Under the “Create Windows 10 installation media” section, click the Download tool now. Clean install Windows 10 using Reset this PC local image · Open Settings. · Click on Update & Security. · Click on Recovery. · Under the “Reset this. Step 1 – Enter your computer’s BIOS · Step 2 – Set your computer to boot from DVD or USB · Step 3 – Choose the Windows 10 clean install option.