Using the recovery partition or reinstalling Windows manually is a possible course of action following a crash or when the drive is severely corrupt. Similar to these are another set of tools called ‘Reset this PC’ or ‘Refresh this PC’ to reinstall Windows and resume operation.
They can be used when the drive is corrupted or when your PC is infected by virus/malware. It can also be used when there is any damage caused to your PC due to third-party apps or you encounter a crash.
In Windows 8 are 2 options ‘Reset this PC’ and ‘Refresh this PC’. Both these methods reinstall Windows, except that with ‘Reset this PC’, all your personal data, settings & apps are removed.
On the other hand, with ‘Refresh this PC’, your personal data, apps, and settings are saved when Windows is reinstalled.
In Windows 10, however, there is only one option called ‘Reset this PC’. If you are thinking about personal data; you are given a choice during the process to keep it or delete it.
How ‘Reset this PC’ works?
The following steps are involved when you perform ‘Reset this PC’. The steps are the same whether you select ‘keep your personal data’ or ‘delete data’ except that your personal files are scanned and saved prior to formatting if you choose ‘keep your personal data’.
- Your PC boots into recovery mode
- Windows Reset erases and formats all the partitions on the hard drive
- A new copy of Windows is installed
- As a final step, your computer restarts into the new Windows install
How to use ‘Reset this PC’ in Windows 10?
‘Reset this PC’ is easily accessible and can be done from within Windows itself. If you are using Windows 10,
- Go to Settings > Update & Security
- Click Recovery
- Find ‘Reset this PC’ and click on Get Started
Once you start the process, you will get an option to ‘keep my files’ or ‘remove everything’. Ideally, you can select ‘keep my files’ if you want a new Windows installed due to a problem with drive or virus attacks.
However, if you’re selling the computer and hence using ‘Reset this PC’ to clear everything, you will select ‘remove everything’. This will erase all personal files and restore your computer to factory state; to the state, your PC was when it left the factory.
Use ‘Reset this PC’ in Windows 8
The process to ‘Reset your PC’ is similar even in Windows 8. Go to Change PC Settings > Update & Recovery > Recovery. Here you will find both ‘Refresh this PC’ and ‘Reset this PC’. Select the one based on your need and proceed.
To be on a safe side, it is better to have a complete backup of your system prior to attempting any of these procedures. In case you don’t have a backup and your data is lost, data recovery program is your friend. Remo Recover is a wonderful tool to recover files after a format, factory reset, Windows reinstallation etc. If you want to know more, refer how to recover files after factory reset Windows 10.