If you have been running Windows 10 for a while and you would like perform clean or you plan to recycle a PC (giveaway to a friend, charity or resell), you should use the Reset this PC function. Previously we looked at using the Recovery Drive function which provides the same functions but it is intended more for situations where your PC might not be functioning or if you want to reinstall Windows 10 on a new hard disk. If your Windows 10 PC is working just fine, the Reset this PC function is all that you need in most cases. In this article we take a look at using it to perform a clean install.
Note: No product key is required when using the Recovery Drive to reinstall Windows 10. Once the recovery drive is created on a computer that is already activated, everything should be ok.
To find out your Activation Status: Click Start > Settings > Update & security > Activation
Click Start > Settings (or press Windows key + i) > click Update & security
Click Recovery then click Get Started under Reset this PC
Since we are performing a clean install, I will be selecting the option Remove everything, if you don't want to do that, you can click Keep my files
Reset offers two types of clean installs:
Just remove my files - this option is quicker and recommended if you just want a fresh start and you plan to keep the computer.
Remove files and clean the drive - if you plan to giveaway or resell your computer, this option ensures the computer is cleaned properly. Its takes a bit longer, but it is recommended if you plan to no longer use this computer.
Since I will be using this computer, I will choose the first option.
Click Reset to begin
Windows 10 will restart
Preparing to perform a reset
Resetting - this might take some time depending on the amount of data
Windows will check the drive for errors and fix them.
Windows 10 performs a clean install again
Out of Box Experience (OOBE)
The Out of Box Experience assist with personlizing your Windows experience such as creating a user account, connect to a wireless network and adjust privacy settings.
Choose your country, language, keyboard layout and time zone then click Next
Read and accept the End User License Agreement
If you want to customize your privacy settings, you can do so now. Please note, you can always do this after setup (Start > Settings > Privacy). For now, lets use Use Express settings
Wait while Windows 10 restarts
Don't be alarmed, this is just temporary
Setup your username, password and a hint then click Next
This too shall pass
There you have it, a clean installation of Windows
- How to: install Windows 10 from within Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 using Windows Update
- How to: upgrade from previous versions of Windows using Windows 10 ISO file
- How to: Perform a custom installation of Windows
- How to: Perform a clean install of Windows 10
- How to: Upgrade a dual boot installation of Windows and Linux to Windows 10 - Part 1
- How to: setup a dual boot configuration with Windows 10 and previous versions of Windows
- How to: Switch from 32 bit versions of Windows to Windows 10 64 bit
- How to: Complete the Windows 10 Out of Box Experience
- How to Perform an Easy Upgrade in Windows 10
- How to: Create a Recovery Drive for reinstalling Windows 10