*edit 2016.08.02 @ 10:00am PST*
Hello Windows Insiders!
We are happy to announce that our new tool to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows is now ready for official release! Along with the official release of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, the released tool will now install the Anniversary Update.
To get the officially released version of this tool, please visit this page to download and learn more about its usage and instructions.
- The Windows Insider Preview period for this tool will end as of 8/2. Please use the link above to obtain the officially released version for the Anniversary Update.
- Starting fresh with a clean installation of Windows will remove your Windows Insider Program participation from your PC. If you’d like to continue to be part of the Windows Insider program, please be sure to rejoin the program after the clean installation.
A big thanks to all Windows Insiders who have used this new tool as part of the Insider program! Your usage and feedback has helped ensure this new experience is ready for release with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
(original content below)
Hello Windows Insiders!
We are happy to announce a new tool that lets you start fresh with a clean installation of Windows. Use this tool to install a clean copy of the most recent version of Windows, and remove apps that came pre-installed or that you installed on your PC.
This tool is currently only available to Windows Insiders, and will only work on recent Windows 10 Insider Preview released builds (build 14342 or later).
Before you begin, please make sure you have the following:
- An internet connection to download the tool and the Windows image. Note that the image is about 3GB and Internet service provider fees may apply.
- Sufficient data storage available on your PC.
- Your PC is currently on the Windows 10 Insider Preview Home or Pro edition. (32-bit or 64-bit processor (CPU)) For the latest system requirements, check out the Windows 10 Specifications page.
- Reminder – like your current Windows Insider Preview installation, trying out an early build (and an early new tool) like this can be risky. That's why we recommend that you don't install the preview on your primary home or business PC. Unexpected PC crashes could damage or even delete your files, so you should back up everything. See the Windows Insider Preview FAQ for more details.
Also, please note the following conditions for the Preview version of this tool:
- During the Windows 10 Anniversary Update Insider Preview period, this tool will install a clean copy of Windows 10 from a recent Insider Preview Fast released build. The build installed by this tool is not guaranteed to be the latest build available to Insiders, and at times may install a Windows 10 build that is older that you had previously. Should this apply when you use the tool, you will be unable to keep your personal files, and will be notified during Windows Setup, with the option to cancel. After the clean installation, you can set your Windows Insider Program settings to rejoin your desired Insider Preview ring and get the latest build for that audience. Note that in the future, more recent builds will be made available as the clean installation target, including the official Anniversary Update after it is released. If you are in the Insider Slow audience and do not want to have a build installed that has not yet reached Insider slow, you should not use this tool.
- Using this tool will remove ALL applications that do not come standard with Windows, including other Microsoft applications such as Office. It will also remove most pre-installed applications such as OEM applications, support applications, and drivers. The tool does not give you the option to recover removed applications automatically and you will need to manually reinstall any applications you wish to keep. After the clean installation is completed, if you experience any missing drivers, go to Settings > Update & security >Windows Update to download the latest device drivers. We also recommend that you visit your PC manufacturer's website for info about updated drivers.
- During this preview period, we cannot guarantee your digital licenses, digital content associated with applications, or other digital entitlements for applications will be carried through after using the tool, which may impact your ability to use paid-for apps or apps-related content. For this reason, we don’t recommend installing the preview on any PC where you wish to ensure all of your applications and application-related content (including Microsoft applications such as Office) remain properly installed and licensed.
- Currently, the following 3 languages are supported: English (EN-US), Chinese (ZH-CN) and Japanese (JA-JP)
Ready to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows?
Follow these instructions to perform a clean installation of Windows 10 Anniversary Update Insider Preview:
Warning: Be sure to back up any data you want to keep before you begin and do not perform this on any PC that has applications you wish to keep. See the Windows Insider Preview FAQ for more details.
- Run the tool
- Review and Accept the License Terms. Declining the License Terms will exit the tool
- Choose what you want to keep. If you want to keep your personal files, choose the
Keep personal files only option
If you want to remove everything, choose the Nothing option
Warning: Regardless of your selection at this step, this tool will perform a clean installation of Windows. All applications that came with or were manually installed on your PC will be removed, including paid applications. Apps that come standard with Windows 10 (Mail and Edge for example) will be preserved.
- Select the Install button to start the clean installation. The rest of the process will be automatic, but you can cancel if needed while the Windows 10 Setup dialog is still shown, until your PC reboots.
- The tool will download to start installing Windows 10 automatically.
- If you chose to Keep personal files only, and the build of Windows 10 currently installed is more recent than the build available through this tool, you will later be prompted to choose to keep Nothing, and can cancel if desired.
- All steps are automated with buttons greyed out. You can close the tool to cancel the operation if needed.
- You can reinstall your Windows Apps that are available in the Store using your Microsoft Account.
And that’s it! As always – thank you for being Windows Insiders and make sure to send us feedback on any issues you run into in the Feedback Hub and post questions in the forums including “start fresh” in the post title. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.