Restore Windows 10 from the Cloud: Cloud Download

In the event of problems and failures in the operation of the operating system, the user needs to return the computer to a working state, for example, by restoring Windows 10 from the cloud. This recovery method – reinstalling Windows 10 from the cloud appeared in the OS settings starting with the version of Windows 10 2004.

When working on a PC, users are faced with the need to reset the system to factory settings to its original state. You need to reinstall Windows, which, depending on the situation, will solve the problems that have arisen and allow you to use your computer normally.

One of the methods to reinstall the system is the option to restore Windows 10 without using an image. The operating system creates a copy of the existing installation that is used when restoring Windows.

A Windows backup is stored in a compressed form in a separate location on your computer’s hard drive. The user reinstalls Windows 10 directly from the system, without using bootable media: USB flash drive or DVD.

This method of reinstalling Windows 10 has its drawbacks:

  • long time to reinstall the operating system;
  • the files of an existing Windows installation may be corrupted – this will lead to an unsuccessful attempt to restore;
  • You need to have all the latest updates installed on your computer.

Therefore, Microsoft has implemented an additional method for reinstalling Windows from the cloud that addresses these potential issues:

  • The Windows 10 cloud restore feature uses a system image stored in the cloud. Windows files from the cloud will not be corrupted, as could happen with a copy of an existing installation on a local computer.
  • There is no need to install all the latest system updates, because the most recent version of this system image will be downloaded from the cloud to perform a reinstallation.
  • You do not need to create a bootable Windows 10 USB flash drive, or burn an OS image to a DVD.

Prerequisites for Windows 10 Cloud Recovery to work

If your computer uses the Cloud Boot system recovery method, then applying this method will require that several prerequisites be met:

  • High-speed Internet access – Downloading a Windows image from Microsoft servers will require a significant amount of bandwidth.
  • You need to have enough space on the system drive “C:” – you will need approximately 10-15 GB of free space needed to save the OS image file downloaded from the cloud and to store temporary files during the unpacking and installation of Windows.
  • The computer must be powered from the mains, not from the battery – in the case of using a laptop, it is important not to let the battery drain during the reinstallation of the system, because this process takes a lot of time.

The process of restoring Windows 10 via the cloud is affected by the speed of the Internet connection and the state of the hardware of the computer.

The Cloud Download feature is built into the reset PC tool, in addition to the existing Windows 10 recovery from local files on this PC.

When you reinstall the system by downloading from the cloud, installed programs and applications that are not part of the operating system will be removed. There are two options for personal files:

  • Saving user’s personal files.
  • Delete all files from the computer.
Before using the Cloud Download tool to reinstall Windows 10, make sure that this PC has access to Microsoft servers. This is necessary to obtain OS files via the Internet. If access was disabled for any reason, such as to limit surveillance or to provide greater privacy and confidentiality, you will need to re-enable the appropriate settings in the Windows 10 settings. The ban on interacting with remote Microsoft servers is usually configured using third-party programs.

Reinstall Windows 10 from the cloud

Initiating a system reset using Cloud Boot can be done in several ways:

  • Reinstalling Windows 10 is done from a working computer.
  • If Windows does not boot, cloud recovery is initiated from the Windows RE console.

Do the following:

  1. Enter the Start menu, launch Settings.
  2. From the Settings app, go to Recovery and Security.
  3. Open the Recovery tab.
  4. In the “Reset your computer” section, click on the “Get started” button.
  5. In the “Select an option” window, you must click one of the available options:
  • Keep my files – Remove programs and settings while keeping the user’s personal files.
  • Remove everything – Removes all personal files, programs, and settings.
  1. In the “Choose how you want to reinstall Windows” window, click the “Cloud Download” button.

Depending on the option chosen: with the preservation of the user’s personal files, or with the deletion of all data, various settings for reinstalling the operating system will become available.

When you select the Keep My Files option, the Advanced Options window lists the currently selected options for reinstalling the OS:

  • Download and reinstall Windows.

If “Remove All” is selected, the “Advanced Options” window displays the current default options:

  • Delete apps and files. Do not clean disk.
  • Delete all files only from the Windows drive – this option is not displayed if there are no partitions on the PC other than the system drive “C:”.
  • Download and reinstall Windows.

To change the settings, click on the “Change settings” button.

In the “Select Options” window, specify the appropriate options, click on the “Confirm” button.

Using the data cleansing feature makes sense if this computer will be transferred to another user. In this case, reinstalling Windows takes significantly longer.

  1. In the “Advanced Options” window, click the “Next” button.
  2. Checking the readiness of the operating system to reinstall Windows.
  3. In the “Ready to reset this PC to factory settings” window, review the selected options for reinstalling Windows, click on the “Factory” button.
  4. After that, the process of downloading the Windows 10 image from remote Microsoft servers to the computer takes place, and after the reboot, the automatic installation of the operating system begins.

This process takes a long time, during which the PC will restart several times.

If the option to delete all files is selected, a standard window for configuring Windows settings performed during a “clean” installation of the system on a computer will open.

For more information about the next steps to select OS options, read the article on installing Windows 10 on a computer.

After applying the necessary parameters, the reinstalled Windows 10 operating system will appear on the screen.

When using the method with the removal of all data, the Windows.old folder will be empty, without the files of the previous system.

Reverting to the original state from the cloud with automatic recovery of Windows 10

If it is impossible to boot in the usual way for several times, a window will appear on the computer screen designed to perform automatic recovery. You must sign in to the Windows RE recovery environment to access the options to reset your computer.

Follow the steps below:

  1. In the “Automatic Recovery” window, click on the “Advanced Options” button.
  2. In the Select Action window, click on Troubleshooting.
  3. In the “Diagnostics” window, click on the “Reset the computer to its original state” button.
  4. In the “Reset your computer” window, you must select an action:
  • Keep my files – Remove apps and settings while keeping your personal files.
  • Delete everything – Delete all personal files, applications and settings.

Further described actions occur when you select the option to delete all files.

  1. After restarting the PC, in the “Reset the computer to its original state” window, you need to select the method of reinstalling Windows: “Download from the cloud.”
  2. In the next window, select the drives from which you want to delete files.
  3. Next, you need to choose the appropriate method: just delete the files or completely clean the disk.
  4. Read the information regarding the reset Windows options, click on the “Reset to original state” button.

After that, the process of downloading Windows 10 files to the computer begins, and then the operating system is installed.

Article Conclusions

The Windows 10 operating system has a “cloud download” feature designed to reset your computer to its original state. Restoring Windows from the cloud can help resolve problems that occur when the OS on your computer fails.

You can choose to reset Windows 10 and keep your personal data, or completely remove all files, programs, and settings from your PC. As a result, after reinstalling Windows 10, the user’s computer will again be in a healthy state.

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