Reinstalling Windows can be considered a last resort option in cases where you cannot diagnose the root of a problem in the OS. It can be dreadful to try this process yourself if you don’t have a good idea about it initially. If you’ve been wondering how to reinstall Windows, you’ll be glad to know that the methods to do so are quite simple, and depend on the user’s requirements.
In this article, we will take you through the entire process of reinstalling Windows depending on the condition of the computer. Some of the reasons to reinstall Windows include slowdowns, malware attacks, unorganized files, low storage space, and setting up a new computer.
Thankfully Microsoft offers built-in features to reinstall Windows with ease. Some of the options even let you reinstall Windows without losing your files and settings on the primary storage.
Try to ensure that you have made a backup before continuing with this process, and also try to have an active internet connection to download and install updates. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can reinstall Windows now.
Reinstall Windows Without USB/CD Installation Media
Using the ‘Reset’ Feature
Windows 10 offers you an option to reset your PC to the original state it came in while keeping your files and settings safe. You can use this option when you can still access the operating system, but things aren’t stable and the only option left is to reinstall the OS. You also don’t require any third-party tool or bootable installation media to initiate the process. Go through these steps to use this tool without any issues:
- Use the “Windows key + I” shortcut to directly access the Settings menu.
- Navigate to ‘Update & Security’ > ‘Recovery’
- Under Recovery, you’ll find the option ‘Reset this PC’.
- Tap on ‘Get Started’ to start the process.
- You’ll be presented with the options “Keep my files” and “Remove everything”.
The option you choose depends upon your reason for reinstalling Windows. If you are going through these steps to remove a malware infection on your OS, then you’d probably want to go with “Remove everything”. Make sure that you have made a backup before going through the process.
In case your files are safe, and you just want to reset Windows settings and features to their original values, you should choose “Keep my files”. This will reinstall Windows while not making any changes to your files.
- Once you’ve made the choice, tap on “Next” to go on with the reinstallation.
- You’ll be presented with a blue screen that highlights the things that are being changed.
- After verifying your choice, you can tap on ‘Reset’ to begin the process.
Once done, the computer will reboot and you can start fresh from this point. This process can fix most problems with the OS, except a few. Now let’s take a look at some of the other ways you can reinstall Windows.
Using Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE)
In case you can’t boot into your computer, Windows will take you to its recovery environment that has many tools to fix common boot-time problems. Note that you may need to reboot a couple of times to start this tool on a computer with Windows not starting. To get started with this process, you won’t need an installation USB or CD/DVD. Follow the steps to complete this process without any hiccups:
- On the blue WinRE screen, tap on “Choose an option”.
- Navigate to “Troubleshoot” from the menu of options.
- You should get the options – ‘Reset this PC’ and ‘Advanced Options’. Tap on the first one.
- From here, the steps are the same as the previous method. You just need to choose whether to keep your files or not.
This concludes the methods of reinstalling Windows without using installation media (USB or CD/DVD). Now, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can use a Windows ISO to create a bootable disk and reinstall Windows even in most severe cases.
Reinstall Windows Using Bootable Media
In this section, we will let you know how to create an ISO of the version of Windows you’re running, and how to use it to reinstall Windows from the ground up.
Microsoft includes a feature called ‘media creation tool’ that can be used to create installation media based on the version of Windows that you have installed. Follow the steps listed below to use this tool and reinstall Windows easily:
- Get the Media Creation tool using this link.
- Open the tool. You’ll be presented with the options – “Upgrade this PC now” and “Create installation media for another PC”.
- If you already have an activated license for Windows, you can use the ‘Upgrade’ option to retain your files and reinstall Windows directly. But, to continue with this process, tap on ‘Create installation media for another PC’.
- Next, you’ll need to choose the language and the architecture of the OS – x86 or x64 (32 and 64-bit). Most modern hardware runs on x64 architecture.
- Check the ISO option box to start creating the file.
- Once done, you can either extract the created ISO and run the “setup.exe” file to directly reinstall Windows, or you can flash this ISO file to a USB or CD/DVD to create a separate installation media.
After you have your ISO burned to a DVD or USB, you can open the BIOS settings in your PC, and change the boot order to load from the installation media. Once booted, you can continue the Windows setup like you normally would.
If you dread the idea of reinstalling Windows yourself, you can rest easy now as this article has all of your needs covered. Using the steps listed above, you can easily reinstall Windows without even losing your current files in most cases.
For severe problems, we have also listed how to create a bootable Windows installation media, and use it to recover from them. Overall, the method you use depends on the type of your problem, and whether you choose to keep your files or not.