Writing these instructions on how to reinstall Windows 10 seemed daunting at first, but it’s actually pretty easy once you get started. We’ve had to reinstall Windows 10 ourselves on more than one occasion, and we’ve learned from our mistakes along the way so that we can share them with you! This guide will walk you through all of the steps involved in successfully reinstalling Windows 10 and getting back to work as quickly as possible.
Step 1 – Back up your data
The first step to reinstalling Windows 10 is backing up your data. This is important because it ensures that you won’t lose any important files during the process. There are a few different ways to back up your data, such as using an external hard drive or cloud storage service. We recommend using both so that you have a backup in case one fails. To back up with an external hard drive, plug in the hard drive and go to This PC on your computer’s desktop. Right-click on the desired folder and select Copy. Navigate to the location of your backup destination and paste the file into this folder. To use a cloud storage service like Dropbox, open it and click on Selective Sync from Dropbox’s menu bar. Click on all of the folders that you want to sync with Dropbox and then hit Sync Now at the bottom of their window. Once these folders are synced with Dropbox, they’ll be backed up onto their servers. Step 2 – Make sure there’s enough space: Next, make sure there’s enough space on your hard drive to install Windows 10. You can check how much space is available by going to Control Panel > System and Security > System > Storage (under Computer Management). Here, look for Total Space on the right side of the screen and make sure it says more than 6GB before continuing. If not, you may need to delete some files or find an external hard drive to move some of your data off of your primary hard drive temporarily. Step 3 – Download Windows 10: Finally, download Windows 10 from Microsoft’s website. If you don’t already have a Microsoft account, create one for free! Once downloaded, double-click on the setup file to launch its installation wizard. When prompted, choose whether to keep personal files, apps, and settings or only apps and settings. In most cases, you should choose to Keep personal files, apps, and settings since this will preserve all of your data instead of wiping everything clean. After choosing to Keep personal files…, enter your product key when prompted; if you bought Windows 10 digitally from Microsoft Store online (not installed through a disc), then enter the 25-character code found under Settings > Update & security > Activation. If you’re installing a retail copy of Windows 10, insert the disk and follow the prompts onscreen. Note that you’ll also need to agree to Microsoft’s terms and conditions as well as input your email address.
Step 2 – Put your system into Recovery Mode
To enter Recovery Mode, you need to restart your computer and press a key combination while booting up. For most computers, this key combination is F8, but it may be different for yours. Once you’ve pressed the key combination, a menu should appear with various options. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to select Recovery Mode and press Enter. Your computer will now boot into Recovery Mode. From here, click or tap Troubleshoot at the top of the screen and then select Advanced Options from the list that appears. Next, choose Command Prompt from the list of available options. Finally, type in Diskpart without quotes and hit Enter. Type in list disk without quotes and hit Enter again to see which disk number corresponds with your C: drive (typically Disk 0). Type in select disk x where x is replaced by the number of your C: drive (e.g., if Disk 0 corresponds with C:, type in select disk 0) followed by clean. Type in exit without quotes when finished to close Command Prompt window. You’ll be prompted to confirm whether you want to create a System Restore point before proceeding. Select Yes. Choose Yes when asked whether you want to continue because there’s no going back once you continue. You’ll now have successfully put your system into Recovery Mode and can move on to Step 3 – Get Ready for the reinstallation process! If you plan on continuing, we recommend unplugging any external devices and any unnecessary cables so they don’t get in the way during the installation process. Now, connect your flash drive to your PC. Click or tap Change what to keep from the following screen after entering Setup mode and make sure only Keep personal files is checked before pressing Next. When given an option about how much space you want to dedicate for the system partition, allocate as much as possible since this will affect performance later on down the line.
Step 3 – Clean Install Windows
Now that you have a bootable USB drive or DVD, you can reinstall Windows. To do so, insert the media into your computer and restart it. Then, follow these steps:
- On the Install Windows page, select your language, time, and currency format, and then click Next.
- On the Install Windows page, click Install now. 3. If prompted, type in your administrator password to continue.
- Click Accept when prompted by User Account Control (UAC).
- When asked which type of installation you want, choose Custom: I will install later on my own (advanced) and click Next.
- Click Drive options (advanced) if available on the next screen; otherwise, skip this step.
- Choose where you want to install Windows from and where it should be installed (e.g., C:\Windows).
8 . Click Format when prompted for confirmation of deletion; this will erase all data from the hard drive before installing Windows 10 from scratch! If you’re sure, click OK.
- After formatting is complete, the Windows setup will continue with the installation until completion. You’ll then see a screen asking for your username and login information; enter those details to log in to your newly-installed copy of Windows 10!
Congratulations on installing Windows 10! Depending on how you’ve configured your computer, you may now need to perform additional steps before re-downloading missing drivers or programs (which you’ll learn how to do below). Once you have done that, it’s time to take an important next step: setting up password protection and a backup plan. There are many different methods of protecting your account. We recommend either downloading KeePass or BitLocker – both free tools that offer protection against attackers accessing your account through software like keyloggers. KeePass offers additional features such as the ability to generate strong passwords while BitLocker ensures only someone who has physical access to your computer can access any personal files.
We also recommend creating a recovery key with Microsoft’s Password Reset Tool so you won’t lose access to any important documents stored in OneDrive – something else you’ll want to download following these three easy steps! The next steps in our guide will show you how to restore a previous version of Windows, troubleshoot problems that arise during the initial installation process, and more. You’ll find links to those guides at the bottom of this post. But first, let’s talk about getting your missing programs back. If you ever made use of WPI when using Windows XP, then you’ll know just how helpful this next tool can be. System Restore enables users to go back in time to a point in the past when their system was working properly. While there are a few other ways to accomplish the same thing, we think System Restore is the easiest. Just head to your Control Panel and open the System.
- Select System Protection and click System Restore.
- In the left column, you’ll see two submenus: one titled Restore points and another titled Cancel a system restore. Click the latter option to cancel any active restorations (don’t worry, none of your data will be lost). Then, click the Add button to add a new restoration point.
You’ll be prompted to give your new restoration point a name. This can be anything you want, but it’s best to make it descriptive (i.e., before Windows 10 update).
Next, you’ll need to tell System Restore when the computer was running fine and therefore what date/time period you’d like it to return the computer to.
Once you’ve done that, click Create and then Reboot your computer when prompted. System Restore will automatically delete any unneeded temporary files and replace them with ones from the time when your system was working well!