Using Fresh Start feature in Windows Defender Security Center in Windows 10

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 v1703 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.

Fresh Start in Windows Defender Security Center

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.

Read: Fresh Start vs. Reset vs. Refresh vs. Clean install.

Refresh & reinstall Windows 10

Fresh Start in 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.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  1. Steve Cilliers

    “Fresh start will remove all apps that don’t come standard with Windows, including other Microsoft apps such as Office, third-party antivirus software, and desktop apps that came pre-installed on your device. It will also remove all other Windows Desktop apps installed by your device’s manufacturer, such as your manufacturer’s apps, support apps, and drivers. It will keep only the Store apps installed by your manufacturer.”

    WHAT a load of rubbish! If that statement were true, It would make a lot of people happy, but sadly it is not.

    I took a brand-new Acer notebook, with ALL the usual bloatware – Antivirus/Office/Stupid-Manufacturer-Utilities/online-shopping-junk/etc/etc.. and then spent a good few hours to uninstall ALL the bloatware till it was all clean and fast… – and then did a “Fresh Start”… It took an awful long time, and when it was done.., EVERY SINGLE SCRAP of Antivirus/AdWare/JunkWare/BloatWare WAS BACK!!

    Monstrous lies of that magnitude are not going to do ANYTHING for your popularity, Microsoft!

  2. Peter Davis

    Looks like a total waste of time. But what I really need is a way to Cancel this Fesh Start as I do not want to loose or reinsdtall everything on my machine again, but it is stuck in a loop waiting to run and there is no way of getting out of it!!! HELP!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 + 8 =