Reinstall Windows 10 Home Edition

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Follow these steps to create installation media (USB flash drive or DVD) you can use to install a new copy of Windows 10, perform a clean installation, or reinstall Windows 10.

Reinstalling Windows 10/11 isn't always a perfect solution

Before you download the tool make sure you have:. An internet connection (internet service provider fees may apply). Sufficient data storage available on a computer, USB or external drive for the download. A blank USB flash drive with at least 8GB of space or blank DVD (and DVD burner) if you want to create media.

Backup Windows 10/11 to protect everything on it

Does reinstalling Windows delete files?

We recommend using a blank USB or blank DVD, because any content on it will be deleted. When burning a DVD from an ISO file, if you are told the disc image file is too large you will need to use Dual Layer (DL) DVD Media.

Check a few things on the PC where you want to install Windows 10:. 64-bit or 32-bit processor (CPU). You’ll create either a 64-bit or 32-bit version of Windows 10. To check this on your PC, go to PC info in PC settings or System in Control Panel, and look for System type.

System requirements. Make sure the PC meets the system requirements for Windows 10. We also recommend going to the PC manufacturer's website for additional info about updated drivers and hardware compatibility.

Language in Windows. You'll need to choose the same language when you install Windows 10. To see what language you're currently using, go to Time and language in PC settings or Region in Control Panel.

Edition of Windows. You should also choose the same edition of Windows.

To check what edition you're currently running, go to PC info in PC settings or System in Control Panel, and look for Windows edition.

  • Windows 10 Enterprise isn’t available in the media creation tool.
  • For more info, go to the Volume Licensing Service Center.

User Case

Microsoft Office products. If you just purchased a new device that includes Office 365, we recommend redeeming (installing) Office before upgrading to Windows 10.

How to reinstall Windows 10/11 without losing data

To redeem your copy of Office, please see Download and install Office 365 Home, Personal, or University on your PC.

For more information, check How to upgrade to Windows 10 on new devices that include Office 365.

If you have Office 2010 or earlier and choose to perform a clean install of Windows 10, you will need to locate your Office product key. For tips on locating your product key, check Find your Office 2010 product key or Enter the product key for your Office 2007 program.

Using the tool to create installation media:. Select Download tool now, and select Run. You need to be an administrator to run this tool.

If you agree to the license terms, select Accept. On the What do you want to do?

page, select Create installation media for another PC, and then select Next.

Select the language, edition, and architecture (64-bit or 32-bit) for Windows 10. This table will help you decide which edition of Windows 10 you’ll choose:. Select which media you want to use: USB flash drive. Attach a blank USB flash drive with at least 8GB of space.

Any content on the flash drive will be deleted.ISO file. Save an ISO file to your PC, which you can use to create a DVD.

After the file is downloaded, you can go to location where the file is saved, or select Open DVD burner, and follow the instructions to burn the file to a DVD.

For more info about using an ISO file, see Additional methods for using the ISO file to install Windows 10 section below.

USB flash drive. Attach a blank USB flash drive with at least 8GB of space. Any content on the flash drive will be deleted. Save an ISO file to your PC, which you can use to create a DVD.

After the file is downloaded, you can go to location where the file is saved, or select Open DVD burner, and follow the instructions to burn the file to a DVD.

For more info about using an ISO file, see Additional methods for using the ISO file to install Windows 10 section below.

After the installation media is created, follow the steps below to use it. After completing the steps to install Windows 10, please check that you have all the necessary device drivers installed.

To check for updates now, select the Start button, and then go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update, and select Check for updates.

You may also wish to visit your device manufacturer’s support site for any additional drivers that may be needed.

Note: Drivers for Surface devices may be found on the Download drivers and firmware for Surface page. Can I just reinstall Windows 10 without losing files?

I have an issue with my laptop and I was told to resolve that issue, I'd need to reinstall Windows 10. I don't recall where I put my CD, but I have my product key.

My question is, if I reinstall Windows 10, will it delete the data on my laptop or do I have to back it all up into a hard drive?

- Question from Microsoft Community.

When you've tried many solutions to fix system errors and none of them actually works, it may be the time to clean install Windows 10 and get all problems sorted out.

But does this process delete your important data? Can you reinstall Windows 10 without any data loss? Well, it depends on the approach you take:. By using Repair Install, you can choose to install Windows 10 while keeping all personal files, apps and settings, keeping personal files only, or keeping nothing.By using Reset This PC, you can do a fresh install to reset Windows 10 and keep personal files, or remove everything.By using installation disk to perform a clean install, your data won't be delete, but will be moved to Windows.old folder in the root directory of C: drive after installing.

In short, you definitely can, and have different methods to reinstall Windows 10 without losing data.

If you are pretty sure that all your files and applications are in good conditions and have no thing to do with the problem you are facing, then you can choose a way to reinstall Windows 10 without losing files and programs.

To do that, Windows will scan your C: drive and place all your personal data aside. And when the installation is complete, Windows will put these files and settings back.

If you are using a genuine Windows 10, Windows 10 will automatically get activated after the reinstallation.

  1. Quick navigation for Windows 10/11 reinstallation:.
  2. As mentioned above, there are 3 different methods you can choose to reinstall the system.
  3. Next, this article will show the 3 methods in turn.
  4. And the stepwise tutorial will be included for each method. You can choose any of these methods according to your own needs.

Please read on for more details. If your Windows 10 can boot and you believe all the installed programs are fine, then you can use this method to reinstall Windows 10 without losing data and programs.

If one or more of your programs are damaged, you'd better keep personal files only.

Download Windows Media Creation tool from microsoft.com and create an installation ISO file with it.

Double click to mount the ISO file (for Windows 7, you need to use other tools to mount it).

At the root directory, double-click to run the Setup.exe file. When the Windows 10 Setup is ready, you can whether to download updates or not based on your needs.

In the What needs your attention screen, click "Change what to keep" option. Then, you will access the Choose What to keep screen, you have three options, namely, "Keep personal files, apps, and Windows settings", "Keep personal files only", or "Nothing".

Choose the first option and click Next. Here you will go back the What needs your attention screen, confirm the option you select and click Refresh. This may take a while because it will spend extra time scanning your hard drive and moving files.

If you just want to keep your files where they are, then try the next method.

Windows 10 provides the feature "Reset this PC" to help you solve system problems by resetting your computer to factory settings. During the process, you can choose whether to keep your personal files or not.

Open Reset this PC from computer or boot. >> If it's a working computer and still bootable, please go to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Reset this PC and select Get Started under Reset this PC option.

>> If not, you can create a recovery drive and then boot from it, then choose language and other preferences and click Next > Repair your computer > Troubleshoot > Reset this PC.

Wrapping things up

After selecting Reset this PC, you have two options, "Keep my files" and "Remove everything", select the first option.

It will remove apps and settings but keep your personal files where they are.

  1. Then, in the Ready to reset this PC window, it will tell you all the changes during the process.
  2. Confirm it and click Reset. You can also reset Windows 10 from command line.
  3. The process is shown below:. Type “cmd” in the search box and press Enter. In the listed results, right click on the Command Prompt and select "Run as Administrator".
  4. Type “systemreset” (without quotes) in the command prompt window and press Enter. If you need to install Windows 10 and new updates, you can run command “systemreset -cleanpc”.
  5. If you prefer installing Windows 10 without losing data from USB drive or installation disc, you can choose to upgrade Windows 10 using this method.
Before you do, you need to make sure your C: drive has more than 16GB of free space. Insert your installation disc and boot from it.

If you do not have one, you can download the Windows Media Creation tool to create one. When it loads, select the language and keyboard, then click "Next".

Click "Install Now". Type your product key or skip it. Usually, your computer will be activated automatically when it's connected to a network if your install the same version of Windows 10 as before.

Select the installation type "Custom". At the following screen, just select the C: drive and click Next to proceed. Then, wait patiently until the installation complete 100%. As long as you do not format the C: drive in the Setup, you will not lose your data, but they are moved to another location.

After the installation, you can find a folder Windows.old in the root directory of C: drive. All your files are saved there. After copying all your needed files out from Windows.old folder, you can use Disk Cleanup to delete the Windows.old folder to free up disk space.

Method 3: Clean install Windows 10/11 without losing data

Though there are several methods to choose, they all have some shortcomings in practical use. For example, the first method will keep your programs, but won't fix problems caused by them.

And the other two methods can only keep your files, so you have to spend time and effort reinstalling these apps. That's why I say reinstallation is not a perfect way.

To avoid such trouble, you can use a free backup software to create a system image in case of possible system issues.

This way, even if your computer fails in any way, you can use this system backup to restore and use it normally without losing data.

For simplicity and effectiveness, I strongly recommend you AOMEI Backupper Standard to protect your Windows 10/11 PC. ✦ It enables you to backup file, partition, system or even the whole disk in a simple manner.✦ It can save you from manual operation with the scheduled backup on daily, weekly, monthly, etc.✦ With the incremental/differential backup mode, it will only backup changed files instead of all files, which greatly reduces the risk of the backup disk full issues.

✦ You can change the compression level, split backup images, use Microsoft VSS service and intelligent sector backup as you like.✦ It supports multiple Windows operating systems, such as Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista.

Download this software to create a backup image right now with the following steps. If you want to recover your computer easily and quickly without losing stored personal data and installed apps, you could consider creating a system image backup in Windows 10/11 with free backup software.

Note a single backup will only backup the items in the system partition when you create it, and changes made later will not be included. Thus, if you don't want to lose any important data, it's suggested to create an automatic backup in Windows 11/10.

Then, let's get the detailed steps. Launch this free backup software, click the "Backup" tab on the main page, and then choose "System Backup".

If you want to backup entire disk, you can choose "Disk Backup" as instead. Select a destination location to receive the backup image.

You can backup to any location (folder) that Windows detects, including external hard drive, NAS network location, local storage, etc. In the next screen, click "Schedule Backup" to configure scheduled backup settings if needed.

After that, click "Start Backup" to start the operation. Notes: System backup in AOMEI Backupper Standard can satisfy almost users' need.

Method 1: Repair install Windows 10/11 without losing any data

But if you have advanced needs like below, higher editions like Professional may serve you better.• Enable encryption for backup: This feature is useful for users who store sensitive data or business data on their computer to prevent unauthorized access.•USB plug in: This feature is designed for users who frequently use USB storage device, and make the backup task more convenient.

Once you create a schedule backup with "USB plug in", AOMEI Backupper will automatically start backup when USB connected to your computer.• Scheme: This is an indispensable feature for all users who don't want to miss any changes, but worry about disk space issue.

It can delete old backups automatically when backup versions reach the specified number.

In a short time, the backup will be created. With a backup, whenever you have problems with your system, you can easily restore from the backup.

Even when your PC fails to boot, you can restore from bootable CD. If you upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional or higher edidtions, you can create a specialized recovery environment for backup/restore without booting Windows.

You just need to go to Tools > Recovery Environment to enable it. To reinstall Windows 10 without losing data is surely possibly using these three methods mentioned above, and it can fix system issues that your computer may have.

But, honestly, it's not perfect. And it is obvious that restoring from a backup is easier and more convenient to solve Windows issues.

The basic version AOMEI Backupper Standard is enough to prevent unexpected disaster, such as, system crash, disk failure, virus, fire etc.

But if you want more advanced features, such as, USB plug in, incremental and differential backup, universal restore, you need to upgrade from the basic version. If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, AOMEI Backupper Technician is worth a shot.

The inbuilt AOMEI Image Deploy tool allows users to deploy/restore system image file on a server-side computer to multiple client-side computers over the network.

Method 2: Fresh install Windows 10/11 without losing personal files

What's more, you are able to create portable AOMEI Backupper that can run from a removable device on any computer. You can download this software to explore more features!

I'm Greg, an installation specialist, 10 year Windows MVP, and Volunteer Guardian Moderator here to help you. Windows MVP 2010-20. Millions helped via my tutorials and personally in forums for 12 years.

Now an Independent Advisor. I do not quit for those who are polite and cooperative.

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  5. Any behavior that appears to violate End user license agreements, including providing product keys or links to pirated software.
Unsolicited bulk mail or bulk advertising. Any link to or advocacy of virus, spyware, malware, or phishing sites. Any other inappropriate content or behavior as defined by the Terms of Use or Code of Conduct.
Any image, link, or discussion related to child pornography, child nudity, or other child abuse or exploitation. Details (required): 250 characters remaining Was this reply helpful? Sorry this didn't help. Thanks for your feedback.How satisfied are you with this reply?Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.How satisfied are you with this reply?Thanks for your feedback.