How To: Reinstall Windows 10 Without Losing Your Files

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An unfortunate part of computer ownership always seems to be maintenance required to keep things feeling as fresh and as fast as the day you brought it home. Even with the improvements in speed and stability offered by modern hardware, computers do tend to slow down over time. A fresh installation of your operating system can clear up common errors and improve performance.

Here’s our summary for this process in Windows 10:

  1. Create your installation media
    • You’ll need at least an 8GB USB drive and the Windows Media creation tool (download here).
    • Your drive will be erased during this process, so make sure you don’t need anything on it.
  2. Run the downloaded Media Creation Tool on from within your working Windows installation with administrator rights
  3. Select the “Upgrade this PC now” option
  4. Be sure that “Keep personal files and apps” is selected
    • The remaining steps are automated and will reboot your PC a few times
  5. After complete, head to Settings -> Update & Security to check for the latest Windows Update
  6. Enjoy!

A big thanks to Techspot for providing a detailed guide online as well.

If you are looking for a completely fresh installation and a full reset of your PC, see our previous article here: “Slow PC? Time for a Reset”.


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