Windows 10 Fresh Start: What is it?

The Windows 10 Fresh Start tool (Windows 10 Start Again) is designed to perform an automatic clean installation of the latest version of the operating system on your computer. A clean install of Windows 10 will help solve problems that have arisen on this PC, because the user will receive the latest clean copy of the system as a result.

If the computer experiences software failures: the operating system or installed programs, users have to solve the problems that have arisen. One possible solution to the situation is to reinstall Windows.

In Windows 10, there are several ways to perform a system reinstall on a PC. Starting with Windows 10 version 1703, OS Settings has a new way to automatically clean install Windows from a running system.

The user has the option to start over with a clean install of Windows. Using the “Fresh Start” function (“Start again”, “Fresh start”, “Fresh Start”), the system is reset to the latest version of Windows.

Windows 10 Fresh Start: What is it?

In Windows 10, the Fresh Start function reinstalls the operating system, updates the OS to the latest version.

The main differences between New Startup and other methods of installing (reinstalling) Windows 10:

  • As a result of reinstalling the OS, the latest version of Windows will always be installed on the PC.
  • Drivers will be saved.
  • All user data will be saved. There is no option to delete user data.
  • Preinstalled apps from the Microsoft Store (Microsoft Store) are retained.
  • All programs installed by the user will be removed.
  • Apps from the Microsoft Store installed by the user will be removed.
  • All applications installed by the device manufacturer and some drivers are removed.
  • Windows Defender becomes the default antivirus.

If the user has questions about how to reinstall Windows 10, a clean installation (system reset), in some situations, will be the best solution.

In the future, the user will have to reinstall the necessary programs on the computer. Notebook users should note that apps installed by the device manufacturer will be removed. Among them, usually, the vast majority are unnecessary programs. However, when installing Windows from a USB flash drive or DVD, the same thing would happen, the only difference is that user data would not be saved.

How to start with a clean install of Windows (Fresh start)

Make sure your PC meets the system requirements for Windows 10 before.

In Windows settings, do the following:

  1. Open the Settings app, tap on Update & Security.
  2. Open the “Windows Security” section, click on the “Open Windows Security” button.
  3. In the “Windows Security” window, enter the “Performance and health of devices” section.
  4. In the Device Performance and Health section, look for the Fresh Start option.
  5. Click on the “More Information” link.
  6. In the “New Start” section, click on the “Get Started” button.

How to Reinstall Windows 10 – Clean Install “Fresh Start”

We proceed directly to the process of installing Windows 10 on the computer.

In the New Startup window that opens, we are warned that all applications and programs that are not included with Windows will be removed. I already wrote about this in this guide.

The system reinstallation process will take 20 minutes or more, depending on the operation of the computer. Click on the “Next” button.

The “Preparation” window opens, during which information about the system is collected.

The “Your applications will be removed” window lists programs that will be removed from the computer and will have to be reinstalled.

The Warning window says that the computer has been upgraded to Windows 10, so when resetting, it will not be possible to cancel the upgrade and return to the previous version of the operating system.

In the “Let’s get started” window, click on the “Start” button. During the installation of the OS, the computer cannot be used, and the PC will restart several times.

The installation of a clean version of Windows 10 begins in automatic mode. The “Computer Recovery” window opens on the screen.

Then the device is updated.

Windows is being installed. User intervention may only be required to enter data from your Microsoft account, if it is used on this computer.

Finally, a clean version of Windows 10 will boot onto your PC.

As a result of installing the operating system in this way, the following files and settings will be saved:

  • user’s personal data;
  • user settings;
  • Windows activation information.

The file “Remote Applications” in the “HTML” format, with a list of remote programs, will be saved on the desktop of the computer.

Fresh start with a clean install of Windows 10

In Windows 10 version 1607 and later, you can use a similar Refresh Windows Tool, which you need to download from the Microsoft website.

To use the Fresh Start feature with a clean installation of Windows, the following conditions must be met:

  • Fresh Start is available for Windows 10 Home (Windows 10 Home) and Windows 10 Professional (Windows 10 Pro);
  • provision of Internet connection;
  • available disk space.

Internet access is required to download the Windows 10 tool and image from Microsoft servers. Make sure that the drive where Windows will be reinstalled has enough space for the bootable image files. The bootable system image is larger than 3 GB, depending on the OS version.

Please note that it will take some time to download the Windows image file. If you have a slow internet, the download process will take a long time.

“Fresh Start” differs from the “Fresh Start” function in that the OS installation is started using the application, and not from the system. The second difference: with a new start, you can choose to completely delete all files from the PC, while with a new start, the user’s personal data remains on the computer.

Go to the page of the official Microsoft website at the link: , download the tool to your computer.

Run the RefreshWindowsTool.exe file on your computer as an administrator. In the “License Terms” window, click the “Accept” button.

In the “Start working with your computer from a clean slate” window, select one of the options:

  • Keep only my personal files – The user’s personal data will be kept on the computer, and the settings and applications will be removed.
  • Do not save anything – all data will be deleted from the PC.

Select the desired method, and then click on the “Start” button.

Next, the Windows 10 installation process will begin.

Deleting the Windows.old folder with old system files

The previous OS files are saved in the “Windows.old” folder on the “C:” system drive. If there are no problems with the computer, this folder can be deleted, because it takes up quite a lot of space.

To remove unnecessary system files of the previous system, use the Disk Cleanup utility that is built into the operating system. Read the detailed article on my website about deleting the Windows.old folder .

Article Conclusions

With the help of the “Start over” feature of Windows 10, the user can return the functionality of his computer. This method will allow you to run a clean installation of Windows. As a result, the latest version of the operating system will be automatically installed on the PC, while saving user data.

When using the “Fresh Start” function, using the Refresh Windows Tool, it is possible to install a completely “clean” system, without saving any data on the PC. To do this, you need to select the appropriate setting during the reinstallation of Windows 10.

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