Windows 10: Use Refresh Windows Tool in Windows 10  

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    Use Refresh Windows Tool in Windows 10

    Use Refresh Windows Tool in Windows 10

    How to Start Fresh with Clean Install of Windows 10 using Refresh Windows Tool
    Published by Category: Installation & Upgrade
    31 Mar 2017
    Designer Media Ltd

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    How to Start Fresh with Clean Install of Windows 10 using Refresh Windows Tool

    information   Information
    Microsoft has heard from many of you that are attempting to perform a clean installation of Windows 10 that it can sometimes be hard to get started. To help, Microsoft has announced a new tool that enables an easy and simple way to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows. You can 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.

    Use this tool to install a clean copy of the most recent version of Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro, and remove apps that you installed or came pre-installed on your PC. Youíll have the option to keep your personal files.If youíre looking to upgrade your existing Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 PC, go to Get Windows 10 to learn more about upgrade options.

    If youíre on an Enterprise or Education edition, the tool wonít work for a clean installation. Please see the Volume Licensing Service Center for more information.

    This tutorial will show you how to download and use the Refresh Windows Tool to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows 10.

    You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to run the Refresh Windows Tool.

    Note   Note
    Before you begin

    Review the following important notes:
    • Using this tool will remove all apps that do not come standard with Windows, including other Microsoft apps such as Office. It will also remove most apps installed by your PCís manufacturer such as your manufacturerís apps, support apps, and drivers. You will not be able to recover removed apps and will need to manually reinstall them later if you want to keep them.
    • You may lose your digital licenses, digital content associated with applications, or other digital entitlements for applications as a result of using the tool, which may impact your ability to use apps you paid for or app-related content you paid for. For this reason, we donít recommend using this tool 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.

    Please make sure you have the following:
    • An internet connection to download the tool and the Windows 10 image. Internet service provider fees may apply.
    • Sufficient data storage available on the computer you are clean installing. Note that the download and image is over 3GB.

    Check these things on the PC where you want to clean install Windows 10:




    Here's How:

    1. Open Settings, click/tap on the Update & security icon, click/tap on Recovery on the left side, and click/tap on the Learn how to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows link on the right side for the download page at Microsoft. (see screenshot below)
    Note   Note
    If you do not see this link, then you can also click/tap on the link in step 2 below to manually download the tool.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    2. Click/tap on the Download tool now button at the Start fresh with a clean installation of Windows 10 Microsoft webpage, and save the RefreshWindowsTool.exe file to your desktop.

    3. Run the RefreshWindowsTool.exe file, and click/tap on Yes in the UAC prompt. (see screenshot below)

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    4. Click/tap on Accept to agree to the license terms. (see screenshot below)

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    5. Select (dot) what you want to keep, and click/tap on Install when ready to start. (see screenshot below)
    Note   Note
    Keep personal files only - Your setting and apps will be deleted, but your files in will be kept. This would be the files in your "C:\Users\<username>" profile folder.

    Nothing - Everything will be deleted, including your files, settings, and apps.

    warning   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.

    This tool will only affect the partition that Windows 10 is installed on, and will not affect any other drive or partition.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    6. The tool will download to start installing Windows 10 automatically. (see screenshots beow)

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    7. If you chose to Keep personal files only in step 5 above, and the build of Windows 10 currently installed is more recent than the build available through this tool, you will be prompted to choose to keep Nothing. Click/tap on Next to continue, or close Windows 10 Setup to cancel if desired. (see screenshot below)

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    A) Click/tap on Yes to confirm. (see screenshot below)

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    8. The tool will now check for updates and make sure your PC has enough space. (see screenshots below)

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    9. The tool will now start installing Windows 10. (see screenshots below)
    Note   Note
    If you like, you can click/tap on Cancel at anytime until your PC restarts to cancel if needed. Once your PC restarts, it will be to late to cancel.


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    10. Your PC will restart several time. This might take a while. (see screenshots below)

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    11. When installation has finished, select your country/region, language, keyboard layout, and time zone, then click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

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    12. You can now pick up and continue at step 16 here to finish setting up Windows 10. (see screenshot below)

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    Tip   Tip
    You can reinstall your Windows Apps that are available in the Store using your Microsoft Account.





    That's it,
    Shawn


  1.    16 Aug 2016 #1

    Update: this tool has been incorporated into 10 Anniversary for All Users (admin's), not just Insiders. Just hit the link under 'More Recovery Options' will take you to the page in Brink's Step 1 where you can download the Refresh Windows Tool with the latest copy of Windows 10 and follow the rest of the Steps.

    {edit: removed screenshot, updated by Brink in post 1}
    Last edited by mrgeek; 17 Aug 2016 at 17:03.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 20,696
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 16199
    Thread Starter
       16 Aug 2016 #2

    Tutorial updated.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 34
    Windows 10 Anniversay Update Version 1607
       24 Aug 2016 #3

    Hi to anyone that can help. I've been having major problems with Windows 10 on this laptop (Acer Predator G9-591), gaming laptop, supposedly high quality; from BSOD to not being able to boot without power plugged in (even though battery is good), 'not responding' in file explorer, start button, notification button, etc... not working and other things.

    Have decided to try and do a clean, fresh install of Windows 10 again. I'm running this refresh windows tool (RefreshWindowsTool.exe) from the website. It was doing its work but for over half an hour now it is stuck on the "Getting Updates", "Checking for updates" blue screen. It is just constantly spinning with no hard drive activity, not progressing anywhere. What can i do? Should i exit and quit?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 20,696
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 16199
    Thread Starter
       24 Aug 2016 #4

    Hello ttrance7,

    If you haven't had any progress by now, then yeah close and cancel the process.

    You are also able to refresh Windows 10 natively from within Windows 10 or in advanced startup options at boot.

    Refresh Windows 10

    If needed, you could create a Windows 10 installation USB to boot from and use to refresh as well.

    USB Flash Drive - Create to Install Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 34
    Windows 10 Anniversay Update Version 1607
       24 Aug 2016 #5

    Brink said: View Post
    Hello ttrance7,

    If you haven't had any progress by now, then yeah close and cancel the process.

    You are also able to refresh Windows 10 natively from within Windows 10 or in advanced startup options at boot.

    Refresh Windows 10

    If needed, you could create a Windows 10 installation USB to boot from and use to refresh as well.

    USB Flash Drive - Create to Install Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums
    Thanks very much for your help and reply Brink. I ended up using the Media creation tool to create a bootable usb to re-install a clean windows 10. It has installed now but was having a few problems also, after the first reboot it would go back to the 'setup windows' screen and make me do it all over again, it kept booting from the usb drive i think and trying to start the whole install process from the start again, was driving me crazy. I went back into BIOS to change boot order and i think it helpled.

    Thanks alot again, appreciate it alot.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 20,696
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 16199
    Thread Starter
       24 Aug 2016 #6

    It sounds like you set your UEFI/BIOS boot priority settings to always boot from the USB first instead of the Windows hard drive.

    Other than changing the above, you could also unplug the USB during the first reboot as a workaround, and connect it back when you see Windows Setup continuing.

    Are you not able to refresh Windows from within Windows? This way you don't have to worry about the USB.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 34
    Windows 10 Anniversay Update Version 1607
       24 Aug 2016 #7

    Brink said: View Post
    It sounds like you set your UEFI/BIOS boot priority settings to always boot from the USB first instead of the Windows hard drive.

    Other than changing the above, you could also unplug the USB during the first reboot as a workaround, and connect it back when you see Windows Setup continuing.

    Are you not able to refresh Windows from within Windows? This way you don't have to worry about the USB.
    It seems like it's installed correctly now but i haven't really tried much yet, i've had constant problems since i got the laptop, especially since the anniversary update. I'm hoping all my drivers are up to date and compatible/stable with this version of windows.

    I noticed in my BIOS/UEFI, i have both options of uefi and bios i think it was called, but the interface still looks very simple and like the old school bios UI. I saw there was an option for 'secure boot' i think which was ENABLED. For the system to run more stable, is it better to have secure boot disabled or enabled? Any other bios settings or windows that would make the laptop run more smoothly?

    Just worried about having more BSOD and 'not responding' down the track. Want to try and get the system as stable and trouble-free as possible.

    Thanks for all your help again, really appreciate the quick replies. All the best.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 20,696
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 16199
    Thread Starter
       24 Aug 2016 #8

    It sounds good so far then.

    You'll be using UEFI since you have the secure boot option available.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9.    26 Aug 2016 #9

    Here's an interesting thing.

    I had a PC (actually a VM) on which I'd loaded some software into a Provisioning Package, which is one recommended method for OEMs to install their software onto Windows 10 devices.

    Then I ran this Refresh Windows tool, using the option to keep files.
    As expected there was no software remaining when the process finished.

    But then I ran a Reset.

    And because I'd opted to keep the files earlier, the provisioning package containing the software hadn't been deleted, and it was used to reinstall the software, which came back again following the Reset.

    So if I had an OEM PC, and used this tool hoping to wipe out OEM-provided software, I might get a surprise if I subsequently ran a Reset and the OEM software came back, but this could easily happen.

    The cure (if I didn't want the software to come back) would be to delete provisioning packages from C:\Recovery\Customizations (although with the risk of also deleting some important drivers).
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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