Refresh Windows is a new program for Windows 10 that enables you to reset Windows by downloading it and installing it on the PC.
Microsoft revealed back in May 2016 that it was working on a new tool to refresh an installation of Windows.
The only built-in option that Windows 10 features prior to this Summer's Anniversary Update is to "reset this PC".
You find the option in the Settings application under Update & Security > Recovery. The feature will reinstall Windows on the machine, and the only option provided is to keep files. The process remove all setings, installed programs and other modifications
All settings, installed programs and other modifications are removed or reset during the process.
Refresh Windows is provided as a standalone application for Windows 10 on Microsoft's website. The program works only on recent Insider Builds and not current stable builds of Windows 10. This suggest that Microsoft plans to launch it around the time of the Anniversary Update for Windows 10.
The program displays an UAC prompt on start, and after that Microsoft's Software license terms.
The next page reveals what the tool does -- install a clean copy of the most recent version of Windows and remove apps that were installed on this PC -- and provides you with options to keep personal files, or nothing.
This is identical to what "refresh this PC" offers when you select it to start over.
Once you have made the selection, Refresh PC will download the latest image of Windows 10 from Microsoft before the new installation of the operating system commences.
It is interesting to note that Refresh Windows does not add anything to the process that is not available already.
The Media Creation Tool for instance downloads an ISO image of Windows 10 and installs the operating system afterwards on the computer.
One of the downsides of Refresh Windows is that you cannot select an ISO image that is already available locally. The tool will download Windows 10 from Microsoft regardless of that.
The core difference between Reset Windows and Refresh This PC is that the former downloads the latest image of Windows 10 from the Internet, while the latter uses what is on the computer to install the operating system anew.
Refresh Windows is not out yet and is only available for Windows 10 Insider Builds and not stable versions of the operating system.
For now, it does not really add any new option to Windows 10 that is not already there in one form or the other.
The tool may have its uses if the "refresh this PC" option does not work correctly, or when you prefer to install the latest version of Windows 10 as part of the reset so that you don't have to endure a lengthy updating process.
Now You: Fresh install or reset, which method do you prefer? (via Deskmodder)Advertisement
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.