It is advisable to have to get regular updates with Windows 10, but then there may come a time when the updates are not enough and what you really need is to reinstall Windows 10 on your computer. This occurs when you are trying to fix a serious update problem or when you need to get rid of a virus, or when you are preparing to sell your laptop.
But whatever your reason for reinstalling Windows 10, it’s important to note that reinstalling Windows 10 can be a confusing task, not to mention the fact that there are multiple ways to do it, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. However, here’s how you can reinstall Windows 10 on your computer:
Make A Backup of Your Data
Before making any significant changes to your PC, it is highly recommended to back up your data. It’s so easy to do it with Windows 10, so there is no need for you to search for an additional backup tool anymore.
Type “Windows Update” in the Windows search bar and then select Windows Update Settings from the list of results. Alternatively, click on the Action Center icon in the lower right corner of your screen. Then select All Settings and look for Update & Security. Once there, select the Backup tab.
If you ever see an on-off indicator in the next window and it switches to the “On” position, that means that File History has been backing up your files automatically. These files include your contacts, desktop files, and data stored in your OneDrive folder, which means you probably don’t have to worry. The feature will back up your libraries as well, but it may not back up all general folders, so put valuable folders in a library to save as needed.
If the File History tool is off, you will see an option to add a drive. Click the plus sign (+) next to Add A Drive, and Windows 10 will search for an external drive to use for backup.
Select the drive you want to use for file history. Doing so will turn on File History and Windows 10 will begin backing up versions of files in your libraries. You can click More Options to change how often files are backed up and how long they will be kept. You also had the option to configure which folders and libraries can be backed up. However, depending on how much data you have, this can take some time, so it is wise to be busy with something else while waiting for the backup process to finish.
To check the status of your File History, you must scroll to the bottom of the Backup Options pages and select View Advanced Settings under Related Settings. This will allow you to open the File History window of the Control Panel, where you can view the status and access additional options.
But if you prefer to transfer everything to an external hard drive or even use a cloud storage service for your backups, that’s a good decision too! Whichever approach you want to choose, make sure you don’t miss out on anything valuable.
Rolling Back Windows 10
Let’s try reinstalling Windows 10 at a specific point in the past, say a few days or weeks ago. This can be an ideal solution when there is something wrong with your computer, such as a severe glitch resulting from a new application that you need to get rid of as soon as possible. Of course, there are a couple of different options to go back to a previous build or find a recent point in Windows 10 to reset.
Go to the Recovery tab once you are in the Update & Security window. From there, you will see an option to revert to the previous version of Windows 10. Click the Get Started button and wait.
Windows likes to see how much information it has to work with. So you will need to complete a short survey on why you are coming back and check for updates to see if they can fix a problem. Just follow the onscreen steps until you are presented with the choice of Windows 10 build to work with.
But when the operating system sometimes, to any extent or degree, cannot find the correct files needed to revert to a previous build, especially in cases like when you just cleaned your digital hub. In a situation like this, it is imperative to find another solution and not focus on something that you cannot do anything about.
It is important to note that you will be able to revert to a previous build only if the preparation works, which can be great if a major update or recent installation is causing something to go wrong. Check for availability, and when it is, keep looking for the most current, trouble-free version that you can recognize that you are still using Windows 10. Although sometimes you will only be able to access older operating systems on your computer like Windows 8.
Restoring Windows 10 from A System Restore Point
Windows 10 can also be restored from a system restore point, which may work better if you need to get newer versions of Windows 10 instead of skipping full builds.
Go to the Control Panel (you can use the Windows search bar to find it), if necessary. Find the Recovery section and select Open System Restore. Then you must confirm that you want to enter this mode. A new restore point can also be created from which you can configure your restore options from this window.
You will be provided with a recommended restore point, as well as a description of the system action that was performed before the restore point was created. You may also have the option to select from other restore points. Click Choose A Different Restore Point and select Next if you want to see other available options.
It is important to note that Windows can usually create a restore point after every significant change, such as when you install a new application, driver, or update. And if you ever don’t see the option you’re expecting, your system protection is probably off. If so, it is imperative that you have to do a full reinstall or find another solution.
If possible, try to find the restore point before the problematic change. You can then choose Next and confirm with Finish. It is important to note that this option should not delete any personal files.
Reinstalling Windows 10
There are times when the problems your PC is encountering are too widespread for recovery, suggesting that you need to do a full clean to remove damaged data or possibly when you’re preparing a computer that you intend to sell. If this is the case, it is highly recommended that you have to completely reinstall Windows 10.
Go to the Recovery section and look for Update & Security. The first option that can be seen at the top should be Reset this PC. That is what you need. Click Get Started to continue.
You will be provided with several options that specify the amount of data you want to erase. If you ever want to eliminate a problem but decide to keep using your PC, you can choose Keep my files (while preparing for another option if this doesn’t fix the problem). But if you are ever in doubt and have already tried to double check your backup, just click Delete All.
If you ever want to sell your PC, you may consider a Factory Reset, which will return your PC to its original factory condition. It is important to note that the latter option is not always available and will generally reinstall all the software that initially came with your PC. Another thing to consider is that you can also grab a new Windows 10 installation media image and use it to install from scratch, as long as you have a valid license.
You can sit back and wait while you confirm your selection. Make sure, if you are doing this on a mobile device or laptop, that it is plugged in to avoid the unnecessary mistake of running out of power. The system is expected to reboot automatically when finished.
Reactivating Windows 10
Regardless of how you are reinstalling or rolling back Windows 10, the task of having to go through the activation process again is always expected. This is usually automatic and shouldn’t be a problem except in cases when you buy Windows 10 from another source and upgrade your computer, or if your device comes with Windows 10, that a product key is needed to complete activation. Fortunately, this can be found on the Certificate of Authenticity, so it’s important to save those things and not throw them away.
To update your activation, open Update & Security and go to the Activation tab. From there you can see your activation status or if you want to add a different product key. Just follow the onscreen instructions to reactivate your Windows 10 installation.