In this post, we will talk about the Cloud Reset option in Windows 11/10. Windows 11/10 offers to reinstall or reset Windows OS using the Recovery method right from within the OS. It does not need to download any form of ISO, and it works well. The Windows team is taking it one step ahead by offering the same feature, which can not be initiated from the Cloud. The process downloads a new image from the cloud instead of using the existing Windows 11/10 files stored on the machine. In this post, we will show you how to reinstall or reset Windows 11/10 via the Cloud.
One of the major drawbacks of recovery or reset without any ISO is when the installation is in a terrible state or is too corrupted. The process will ask you for an ISO if it finds something beyond repair or usable. That is where this latest cloud download option in Reset this PC can help.
Says Microsoft, The cloud download option will reinstall the same build, version, and edition, that is currently installed on your device. This new cloud download option is available to all Windows devices and is different from the “Recover from the cloud” feature available on some earlier Windows devices.
How to reset or reinstall Windows 11 via Cloud Reset
The new cloud download option for Windows makes it easier than ever to reinstall or reset Windows and keep it in a healthy state. So, if you find your PC is running slow or causing problems, try this option. It downloads a new image from the cloud instead of using the existing Windows 11 files stored on your system’s drive.
Rather than reusing the existing Windows files to construct another copy, the new cloud download option downloads a fresh copy from the cloud and reinstalls Windows 11. Earlier, users had to download Windows and create a USB stick first. This step has been done away with the new option, and so the users no more need to create a USB stick to complete the installation.
- Open Settings.
- Choose Windows Update.
- Go to Advanced Options.
- Choose Recovery tab.
- Click the Reset PC button.
- Select the Keep my files or Remove everything option.
- Select the Cloud download option.
- Select Reset.
That said, once you choose this option, it will not restore the tools, apps, and configuration that came with the original image provided by the manufacturer.
Right-click the Start button and select Settings.
Scroll down to the Windows Update entry in the left pane.
Switch to the right, choose Advanced Options.
Move to Recovery tile under Additional options section.
Hit the Reset this PC button. Choose to Keep my files or Remove everything option.
Following the selection of Keep my files or Remove Everything option, you should see Cloud download or Local reinstall options. The Cloud download option connects to Windows Update over your current network connection.
When you select the Keep my files option, two additional steps will be performed namely –
- Preparation phase – It checks all the necessary requirements like whether the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) is present and enabled, find what optional features and languages are installed. It also checks for connectivity with Windows Update and the download size.
- Offline phase – when the download completes, the offline phase kicks in by rebooting into Windows RE. It will apply image from the downloaded payload, gathers the user profile from the previous OS and applies it to the new OS. Apart from this, the offline phase will gather drivers from the previous OS, apply optional features/ languages to the new OS, delete the downloaded payload, and reboot into the new OS.
How to reset or reinstall Windows 10 via Cloud Reset
To reset your Windows 10 computer using the Cloud download option, follow these steps:
- Open Windows 10 Settings
- Select on Update and Security settings
- Click on Recovery
- Navigate to Reset this PC section
- Click the Get started button
- Select the Keep my files or Remove everything option
- Select the Cloud download option
- Select Reset.
Microsoft rolled out this feature when a lot of feedback came which talked about unsuccessful attempts to use Reset this PC feature. To make the process more reliable and faster, this feature is being introduced. Here is how it works. There are three phases of this process:
- Initiate Cloud Reinstall/Reset
Using Cloud reinstall, Windows Team has saved you from the trouble of downloading the ISO. Many complained about the trouble they face downloading the ISO from the internet or creating the bootable device. Now, Microsoft Cloud Reset will do this job for you.
1] Initiate Windows 10 Cloud Reset/Reinstall
To reset your Windows 10 computer using the Cloud Download option, follow these steps:
- Open Settings
- Navigate to Update & Security
- Click Recovery
- Select Get started under Reset this PC
- You will see two options Cloud download & Local Reinstall
- Select Cloud download to proceed
- Once you are sure, click the Reset button.
Windows 10 will now start downloading the files from the Cloud to perform a Reset or Reinstall. The Cloud download option will connect to Windows Update over your current network connection. If you have a high-speed internet connection, then it is going to be a lot faster.
You can also access this feature via the Advanced Startup Options. After selecting Troubleshoot > Reset the PC option, you will be offered two options – Cloud download and Local reinstall.
2] Preparation phase
As soon as you click on Cloud download, the reset process starts its work in the background. It checks for the following things to make sure the download works as expected.
- Ensure the device is not on battery power
- Checks if the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) is present and enabled
- Scans to find a list of optional features and languages are installed
- Checks connectivity with the Windows Update and determines download size.
When you are done with your options in the front-end and click on the Reset button, the download starts. Once the download is complete, the process will move to the Offline phase by rebooting the computer in Windows RE.
3] Offline phase
The steps involved are:
- Boot to Windows RE
- Apply image from the downloaded payload
- Gather user profile from the previous OS and apply to the new OS
- It gathers Drivers
- Optional features and languages of the prior installation, and use it to the new one.
- Switch OS root folder from the previous OS to the new OS
- Delete downloaded payload
- Reboot into the new OS, and apply drivers, OEM customization, preinstalled apps.
- Reboot to the Out-Of-Box-Experience (OOBE)
- (Keep my files) Skip OOBE and proceed to login screen
This will complete Cloud Reset or Reinstall in Windows 10.
Troubleshooting if Cloud reinstall fails
If your computer is not able to boot into Windows, you can reset the computer using the cloud download option from the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE). When Windows is unable to boot after two consecutive failed attempts, the device should boot into Windows RE automatically.
If you previously connected over WiFi, then it will still work but will depend on drivers loaded by the PC manufacturer. We always suggest using an Ethernet port if available.
Does Windows 10 Cloud Download look good?
There are a few things still missing in the Cloud download. In case of a connection failure, does it redownload the whole ISO again? Because this has been the primary reason why many prefer to download the ISO and create bootable devices. Does it roll back if there are multiple failures? Does it allow you to use Windows while the download is in progress? It is important for those who don’t have very high-speed internet and download an ISO that can take about 40 minutes.
How long does it take to Reset Windows from the cloud?
It depends on the strength of your Internet connection. On average, it can take 45 minutes to 3 hours depending on the kind of OS you have installed, the speed of the processor, the RAM, and whether you have an HDD or an SSD drive.
Does resetting the PC make it faster?
The answer is yes. A factory reset can make your laptop run faster, though temporarily. This is because, with the passage of time, some temporary files may build up and turn your PC into the same sluggish machine as before.