There is now a new way to refresh Windows 10, and it is called Fresh Start! Fresh Start in Windows Defender Security Center in Windows 10 will let you easily reinstall your Windows 10 operating system without removing your data & personal files, and some settings. Some Windows Store apps could, however, get removed.
How to use Fresh Start in Windows 10
You will find this feature in Settings > Update & security > Recovery tab. Here, under More recovery options, you will see a blue Learn how to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows link.
Click on it and you will see the following message.
Click Yes and the Open Windows Defender Security Center will open to the Fresh Start page.
UPDATE: Fresh Start has been moved starting from Windows 10 v2004. Fresh start is available for Windows 10 versions prior to 2004. For version 2004 and after, Fresh start functionality has been moved to Reset this PC.
To use Fresh Start in Windows 10 now, do the following:
- Go to Start and open Settings
- Select Update & Security and click on Recovery
- Press Reset this PC
- Click Get Started.
- Select Keep my files
- Choose Cloud or Local
- Click the Change settings link
- Set the Restore preinstalled apps option to No.
If you don’t see the option to Restore preinstalled apps, it means your PC doesn’t have preinstalled apps configured and won’t restore apps from your PC manufacturer.
Refresh & reinstall Windows 10
Says the description:
Start fresh with a clean and up-to-date installation of Windows. Start fresh by reinstalling and updating Windows. This will keep your personal files and some Windows settings and remove most of your apps, including Microsoft Office, third-party anti-virus software, and desktop apps that came pre-installed on your device.
So in short, you will get a freshly installed up-to-date operating system without any software or crapware installed and your data intact!
Before you begin, you must ensure that you have access to all the reinstallation media, setup files, license keys and login passwords where required. You may need them to reinstall your software and activate them. Also note that there is a possibility that you may lose your digital licenses, content or other entitlements.
Once you are ready, click on the Get started to initiate the process.
Incidentally, you can also access the Fresh Start page, by typing Windows Defender Security Center to open it and then clicking on the Device performance & health section. Now under Fresh start, you will see a link in blue Additional info. Click on it to reach the desired page.
This feature is quite useful if you find your Windows 10 behaving erratically and you feel that there are major OS corruption issues that cannot be solved. So making a Fresh Start by using this feature would be the way to go forward.
If you have used this feature, please do not forget to share your feedback here for the benefit of others.
TIP: You can also reinstall or reset Windows 10 via the Cloud.