How To Fresh Install Windows

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Option Two: Perform a Reset and Remove Everything

Option One: Create Installation Media and Install Windows from Scratch

  • A clean installation of Windows 11 is the process of completely erasing the computer's hard drive and applying a fresh copy of the OS to configure a new laptop or desktop computer.
  • Or you can use this method to resolve issues with an existing setup. For example, to fix memory, shut down, startup, apps, stability, and performance issues.
  • Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, a Windows 11 clean install can improve battery life and is the best method to get rid of viruses and other types of malware.

If you have a new computer, wiping out the current setup and doing a fresh installation is an excellent solution to deal with bloatware that comes preloaded with the original manufacturer image.

How to prepare computer for clean install of Windows 10

This method allows you to decommission the device safely without giving away your personal files. Also, this is typically the approach you will use to install Windows 11 when replacing the hard drive.

If you have had the same configuration for a long time, this would be the preferred option to upgrade from an older version (such as Windows 10 or Windows 8.1) while minimizing the chances of issues during and after the process.

In this Windows 11 guide, we will walk you through the complete process to do a clean installation, whether you are setting up a new computer or upgrading from Windows 10 or an older version.

Before you begin

A clean installation deletes everything on the target drive, which means that taking the necessary precautions to minimize the chances of issues and data loss is a must. If you already have a backup of the computer and files.

You have an activation key, or the current setup is activated correctly. The device can start from a USB flash drive, and you disconnected non-essential peripherals, then you can skip this part to the bootable media creation and a clean install process.

You should always have an updated backup of the entire device before proceeding with a clean installation to have a way to recover in case something goes wrong.

How to prepare PC for clean install of Windows 11

Unless, of course, you do not have anything important you want to keep. (The backup process should be similar on Windows 11, 10, and 8.1.). On Windows 11 or Windows 10, you can choose from many solutions. However, the easiest way to create a full backup is to use the legacy System Image Backup tool.

The tool is also available for Windows 8.1 and older versions. Source: Windows Central. If you need to backup your documents, pictures, and other important files, you can upload the data to OneDrive or another cloud storage service. In the case of OneDrive, you can also use the backup settings page to sync your profile folders (Documents, Pictures, and Desktop) to the cloud automatically.

To configure OneDrive backup, use these steps:. Click the OneDrive (cloud) button from the notification area. Click the Help & Settings menu.

Select the Settings option. Source: Windows Central. Click on Backup. Click the Manage backup button. Source: Windows Central. (Optional) Click to clear the folder you don't want to backup in the cloud. Click the Start backup button. Source: Windows Central. Once you complete the steps, OneDrive will backup the files inside the user profile folders into the cloud and across computers.

In the case that you have a lot of files, uploading to the cloud be expensive and it could take a long time.