Restoring your Computer with ‘Reset this PC Keep my Files’ option in Windows 10
If you’re having problems with your PC, you can try to refresh, reset or restore it. This in effect is a clean installation of Windows 10 to your Device.
Activation must have happened previously on the device you are carrying out ‘Reset this PC’ on, when you complete the reset it will be Activated again automatically once it is connected to the Internet and it communicates with Microsoft’s Servers without need for an Activation Key to be re-entered.
You do not need to have or know your Windows 10 Product Key for Activation for this procedure if you have Activated the Operating System on the same device previously!
This process uses a hidden recovery partition (recovery environment) to carry out the clean installation of the Windows 10 Operating System and therefore you do not need to use a Windows Setup DVD or USB disk for this procedure, it works much like the Factory Reset feature of a Smartphone and thus installs the Operating System as new.
Refreshing your PC re-installs Windows as fresh, so you have a like new PC again.
Refreshing your PC re-installs Windows, with ‘Reset this PC Keep my Files’ it also allows you to keep all your personal files like Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music and Downloads and install Windows as fresh, in effect giving you a completely clean system and install Windows 10 like new.
This video explains using the option to reset and refresh your PC and keep any personal files and some of your settings. Following the procedure detailed in the video above, all of your personal files will remain intact and it will just refresh Windows 10 as a clean setup retaining your personal data and some settings.
We have another video which details the procedure to follow to ‘Reset this PC Remove Everything’ which will completely refresh your PC and Remove all your Personal Files and Settings which you can view here.
In some rare cases, often due to Malware infection or other data corruption, the Recovery Environment might be damaged and as a result the ‘Reset this PC’ process will fail. In these cases to return your System to a clean Windows 10 installation you will need to create either a Windows 10 Setup DVD Disk or USB Disk and use that to clean install Windows from scratch. We have a video which covers creating a Windows 10 Setup DVD Disk here and one for creating a Windows 10 Setup USB Disk here.