How to Reinstall Windows 10

How to Reinstall Windows 10

/ Shayne Sherman

If you’ve spent enough time around computers, it goes without saying that you should always back up your data before performing any action on system files. This includes the reinstallation of Windows 10. Windows is made to give the user a smooth and enjoyable working experience.

But sometimes, an error or a bug comes along, drags the whole process, and spoils it for everyone.

bsod error

If you’re experiencing similar difficulties with Windows 10, it might be time to consider reinstalling the Operating System.

give pc a fresh start

You can use a tool to create an installation media, either a DVD, USB flash drive, or an ISO file, and reinstall Windows 10. You can also reinstall the Operating System without the use of installation media by making use of the recovery method. In this article, we will look at all these options.

Method #1: Reinstalling Windows 10 without a CD

This is a viable option if your computer can still boot properly. Windows 10 comes with a Reset This PC feature. This feature allows you to choose whether you’d like to keep your files or remove them before reinstalling the OS. You don’t even have to download any files; Windows initiates the setup without using an installation media.

recovery reset this pc

Regarding capability, this method differs from installing Windows 10 with a CD.

Step #1

Go to the “Start menu,” select “Settings,” and click on “Update & Security.” Select “Recovery”

Step #2

Look for a “Reset this PC” option, and tap “Get Started.”

Step #3

If you want don’t want to lose your data, choose “Keep my files” and wait for a pop-up dialog informing you that apps have been removed.

Then In “Ready to reset this PC,” click “Reset” to start the reinstallation.

keep my files

Otherwise;

Step #4

Select “Remove Everything,” then choose “Remove files” and clean the drive.

Step #5

Click “Reset.” Windows 10 reinstallation begins.

Method #2: Using a Windows installation disk

USB Flash drive

Before beginning this process, please prepare a USB drive with enough size (About 3GB or larger). This method is used when booting the PC is not possible when the system has failed to start up.

You’ll need to make use of the media creation tool provided by Microsoft. This tool can help you upgrade your OS, create any installation media and use the ISO file for reinstallation.

what do you want to do

Step #1

On a working PC, download the media creation tool from Microsoft. Select a compatible type for your PC, either 32-bit or 64-bit, and run the downloaded tool.

Step #2

Choose “Create installations media” for another PC and click Next.

Step #3

Select the appropriate “Language, Edition, and Architecture” for Windows 10 and tap Next.

select language

Step #4

Choose “USB Flash drive.” Insert the USB drive into the PC and click Next.

It will take several minutes for the download process to complete.

Step #5

Afterward, connect the USB installation drive to your PC and run it in explorer.

Step #6

Click “Setup.” The “Ready to install” dialog shows up.

Step #7

On the “Choose what to keep tab,” select “Nothing.”

choose what to keep

Step #8

Click Next and wait patiently. A clean installation of Windows 10 will take place.

ISO file

If you don’t have an installation media, USB, or CD and need to keep your files after reinstallation, use the Windows ISO file option. We look at this last option.

If you want to keep your files when the system fails, try booting the PC several times so the Operating System can enter the WinRE.

choose an option

WinRE is a recovery environment that can repair common causes of unbootable windows systems.

Step #1

Windows 10 Reset pc option

Click “Choose an option,” then click “Troubleshoot.” The “Reset this PC” wizard appears. Select it.

After downloading the media creation tool from Microsoft;

Step #2

Open the downloaded tool. Select “Create installation media for another PC from the two available options.”

what do you want to do

(The other option is to Upgrade this PC now. It is only suitable if the PC you want to reinstall has an activated Windows 10 OS).

Step #3

Select the appropriate “Language, edition, and architecture” (64-bit or 32-bit) to proceed

Step #4

On the “Choose which media to use” wizard, select “ISO file.”

select usb flash drive

This action creates an installation ISO.

Step #5

You can mount the ISO file to install Windows 10 without installation media. Otherwise, it would help if you burned the ISO to a CD or a DVD much later.

How to mount the ISO file

Step #1

Locate the ISO file, right-click it and select “Properties.”

Step #2

Click “Change” under the “General” tab and select “Windows Explorer” to open this file. Click OK.

Step #3

Right-click this file and tap “Mount.”

Step #4

Afterward, you can double-click the ISO file and view the included files.

Step #5

Finally, double-click “Setup” to open the setup wizard.

Step #6

Choose to download updates after the installation is done. The updates will assist the installation in completing smoothly. They also contain essential drivers and fixes.

get important updates

Step #7

On the License terms, click “Accept.” The Setup will begin downloading updates.

Step #8

A “Ready to install” screen will appear when everything is ready. Click the link “Change what to keep” to bring up three options.

Step #9

Choose “Keep personal files, apps, and Windows settings.”

choose what to keep

The setup will go back to the installation screen.

Step #10

ClickInstall” to begin the reinstallation of Windows 10. Afterward, follow the instructions to customize your settings.

Command Prompt and ISO file

You can also open the windows setup from the partition containing an ISO file by using the Command Prompt.

select language

You can still install Windows 10 OS without using a CD or a USB flash disk. This method has its demerits since it will clean everything from your computer.

Clean reinstallation of Windows 10

A clean installation is usually the last option when all other reinstallation methods have been unsuccessful. This method will return your computer to the same state it was when you first turned it on. It should, therefore, be reserved for the most severe PC problems as a last resort.

install now windows 10

All data on your primary drive will be erased, and you will need to back up everything you want to save before you begin. Be prepared to back up your files and programs as well.

You need to ensure your computer is booting from the CD or USB flash drive, depending on where the installation media is. You can customize this in your computer’s BIOS.

Step #1

Insert the installation media and restart the PC.

Be keen to see if your computer has a boot override menu, usually accessed by one of the function keys.

Step #2

Once the Setup screen appears, select your settings appropriately. These settings include language, time, currency, and input method. Click Next

Step #3

Click the “Install now” tab.

Step #4

Enter the Windows activation key and accept the license agreement.

activate windows

Step #5

Select the “Custom: Install Windows only (Advanced)” option.

custom windows installation

All your hard disks and partitions will be displayed, and the PC will prompt you to select the primary drive. Since this is a reinstallation, the disks will have data labels such as ‘Recovery,’ ‘System,’ and ‘Primary.’

select disk partition

Step #6

Delete these partitions. Be careful not to delete the partitions with backed-up data.

Step #7

Select the correct drive and click “Install.”

Shayne Sherman
Meet the author

Shayne is an expert on all things Microsoft Windows and computer security. As a Windows user of over 30 years, he has been featured on Business Insider, Yahoo, Tech Republic, Hacker Noon, Techopedia, and many other publications. Aside from entertaining at his home theater, he enjoys spending time with his family, including his English bulldog, Fergie.