How Windows 10’s “Reset This PC” Has Gotten More Powerful

The Reset this PC option in the troubleshooting menu at Windows 10 startup.

the "Reset this PC" function has been around since Windows 8, but that has changed a lot since then. Microsoft keeps making it better and it's easy to miss all the improvements. The cloud download is only the last, the most visible.

How to "Reset this PC" works

The Reset this PC feature makes it "almost like opening your PC for the first time," according to Microsoft's Aaron Lower, a Microsoft recovery project manager. Windows Webcast of Insider. If you sell or give away your PC, you can erase your files and even erase your drive so your data can not be recovered. If you have a problem with your computer or simply want a clean Windows system, you will get this new Windows operating system.

When you reboot your computer, you can choose to keep your personal files or delete them from your computer. Whatever it is, Windows will remove your installed programs and give you a new operating system.

To reset a PC, go to Settings> Update & Security> Recovery or choose the Troubleshoot> Reset this PC option. the Advanced Boot Options menu. This menu opens if you have problems starting your computer, but you can also open it by holding down the Shift key as you click the "Restart" option in the Start menu of Windows or on the login screen.

Under the hood, Windows will gather the necessary files and create a new Windows installation. It will migrate your personal files, if you wish, as well as the hardware drivers and preinstalled applications to the new system.

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Recovery without an image in Windows 10

Resetting a PC from the Windows 10 Settings application.

Windows recovery goes back a long way. The "recovery partitions" started under Windows XP and were also used by Windows Vista and Windows 7. These were separate partitions containing a compressed copy of Windows and the manufacturer's customizations. You can then restart your PC and start them to restore them.

In Windows 8, the "Reset this PC" feature exposed the recovery feature as standard: computer manufacturers did not have to create their own recovery features. Although Windows 8 did not use a recovery partition, it supported "recovery images"That he restored from. You can even replace the recovery image with your own, for example, uninstall

In Windows 10, the "Reset this PC" function has always worked differently than Windows 8. Windows 10 uses "no image" recovery. Instead of having a recovery image taking up space on the drive, Windows 10 creates a new copy of Windows by assembling the files present in the Windows installation. This means that no storage space has been lost on a separate recovery partition. In addition, all installed security updates are retained and not deleted. So you do not have to update everything once the recovery process is complete, as it was on Windows 7.

Fresh Start integration for Bloatware removal

Remove pre-installed manufacturer's bloatware when resetting a Windows 10 PC.Microsoft

"New start" is now integrated in Reset This PC. This allows you to restore a Windows 10 PC without having to restore all software provided by the manufacturer. Some may be useful, but most of them are undoubtedly bloatware that clutter and slow down your PC.

Previously, this feature was hidden. You had to go through Windows Security to find it. Lower said the project was a "parallel effort" alongside Reset This PC at Microsoft. It uses the same recovery technology as Reset this PC but does not restore the applications provided by the manufacturer.

To use it, you will be able to follow the reset process, access additional options, and disable the "Restore preinstalled applications?" Option. This will force Windows to "fresh start" without the software provided by the manufacturer, such as reinstalling Windows.

Microsoft calls Lower Windows security option "a secret entry point for squirrels" and said that Microsoft was going to abandon it. It makes sense that Fresh Start is integrated with Reset this PC rather than being buried in Windows Security, which is an almost entirely separate application.

For now, the Fresh Start option is still available in Windows Security> Device Performance and Health. Click on "Additional Information" under Fresh Start and click on the "Get Started" button.

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The recovery environment can uninstall the updates

Uninstalling updates from the Windows 10 Advanced Boot Options menu.

Starting with Updated October 2018, The Windows 10 Recovery Environment can now uninstall quality updates. Here are the smallest updates that Windows installs on Tuesday Patch, for example. If an update is causing a problem and your computer can not restart, you can use the Troubleshoot> Advanced Options> Uninstall Updates option on the Advanced Boot Options menu to restore it instead of searching in. a command prompt window and look for the latest version installed. KB.

The "Uninstall the latest quality update" option will uninstall the last normal Windows update that you have installed, while "Uninstall the latest feature update" will uninstall the previous major update every six months, as the Updated May, 2019 or update of October 2018.

This feature may seem quite technical and few people use it, but there is good news: Windows will automatically use it when it detects a problem with an update. Thus, if an update makes your Windows 10 system impossible to boot or causes another major problem, Windows 10 will automatically uninstall this quality update when it has completed the restore process. You do not even need to know that this feature exists.

Prior to this automatic feature, only seasoned administrators who knew what they were doing could uninstall updates from the recovery environment.

Available soon: Download Cloud

The download option in the cloud of Windows 10 allows to reset the interface of this PC.Microsoft

Cloud download is the last interesting feature. As Lower writes on Microsoft Blog, standard non-image recovery, now called "Local Recovery", "may take more than 45 minutes and can not always repair Windows if the installation is really bad or too corrupt."

The new download feature in the cloud will allow you to reinstall Windows from the cloud rather than using your local copies of files. If you have a fast Internet connection, it can be faster than using local recovery – and it can also be a more reliable way to recover Windows. It's like using the Media Creation Tool to download Windows to a USB drive and restore your operating system, but this one is integrated with Windows 10, and you can do it in a few clicks.

To use this feature after updating Windows 10 Update 20H1, go to Settings> Update & Security> Recovery> Getting Started. After selecting "Keep My Files" or "Delete All", you will be prompted to choose "Cloud Download" or "Local Rescue".

Lower explains how it works in more detail on the Microsoft blog. It works as you can imagine. Windows downloads the files it needs from Microsoft servers, creates a new root operating system folder, migrates files such as the drivers for your current installation, and then swaps the operating system root folder.

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The future of Reset this PC

Microsoft, Lower, said in the future that Microsoft would simplify the overall interface by removing the "secret entry points of squirrels", such as the Windows Security Fresh Start button.

In addition, he said he hoped to do more with Cloud Download – rather than using the machine's local hardware drivers during the reinstallation, he would like Windows to download the latest and most recent hardware drivers. It's just an ambitious goal and there is no guarantee that Microsoft will do it.

Lower also stated that he wanted to know if people would like Cloud Download to allow them to upgrade to newer versions or upgrade to older versions, making it another possible feature for the future.

Whatever Microsoft ends up doing, Windows recovery has already evolved a lot, even in the days of Windows 7, when you had to use a recovery partition provided by the manufacturer or simply reinstall Windows.

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