So you want to clean install Windows 10?
Clean installing Windows 10 is when you remove all your unwanted files and applications from your Windows 10 PC. And it is said to make your computer totally fresh just like a newborn baby.
It will take your Windows to the original state just the same way when you bought it for the first time.
And there are many reasons why you might want to clean install Windows 10. This is can be because you want to sell your Windows 10 PC to someone or either way your PC has various unwanted applications installed which are showing unwanted ads in your PC.
The one good thing which I really like about when you clean install or reinstall your computer is that it will make your computer faster (In most cases). As you will have deleted all the unwanted files you have on your PC, thus your computer’s hardware is much healthier.
So if you’re truly interested in clean installing your Windows 10 PC, then in this guide of ours I’m going to show you step by step on how you can exactly clean install/reinstall your Windows 10 PC. Stay tuned!
Precaution: So if you have any important files in your Windows 10 PC, then make sure to back up all of those files. And you can back up your files by going through the following steps…
How To Back Up Files Before Clean Installing Windows 10
So backing up your PC is key before starting the process, as in case you might lose some important files. And there are various ways on how you can back up your Windows 10 PC, you can either use a cloud back up or use a service like GoodSync in case.
But in this method, I’m going to show you a free method through which you can back up your Windows 10 PC for free. And to implement this method just go through the following steps…
In this method, all you need is an external hard drive (With a minimum storage of 250 gigabytes or more depending on the number of files you want to back up).
So all you do is connect your PC to your external hard drive. And then press your Windows key and open up your search box and over there you see a small gear icon which is your “settings” option. And then you go to settings.
After that, you will open up your settings tab. And from there you click on this option which says “Update & security“.
You will then be taken to another tab and there in your left sidebar you will see this option which says “Backup“, and you click on that. And then click on the “Add a drive” option and select your external hard drive.
After your external hard drive is connected to your computer, you will see this option named as “Automatically back up my files” toggled on by default. You can keep it as it is if you want.
And then you click on “More options” underneath that.
After that, you will be taken to another screen and from there all you do is select and exclude all the files that you want to back up in your external hard drive.
And after selecting the files you wanna back up, simply click on this option named as “Back up now” and the files are gonna be backed up in your Windows 10 PC (It can take some time, depending on the size of files you want to back up).
And by this method, you can easily back up your files before a Windows 10 clean installation.
Restore your backed up files after clean installing Windows 10…
Well, in many cases after you clean install Windows 10, you might have a few files which you might want to restore from the back up which you made.
And if you want to restore files from your back up, then simply go through the following steps.
Firstly press your Windows key or either click on the little windows icon on the bottom left. And then, you open up your settings option again (Click on that little gear icon).
From there you go to “Update & security“.
You will then be taken to another tab. And there you will see this option named as “Backup“. All you do now is connect the external hard drive where you made that back up. And then click on “More options”.
After that, you scroll to the bottom of your screen and then click on this option named as “Restore files from a current backup” under the header “Related Settings“.
And from there you simply select the files you want to restore. After you select them, simply click on the green icon which resembles a restart option.
And then you will have successfully restored your files from the back up which you made in your external hard drive.
Clean Install Windows 10 via your settings
This is one simple method which you can use to clean install your Windows 10 computer via your settings. And to execute this method you don’t need to download anything or whatsoever. And this process is totally FREE.
Note: This method is applicable only if you are using your Windows 10 operating system (Anything below it such as Windows 8 or Windows 7 is not suitable for this method. And we have mentioned a step by step process to clean install Windows 10 in a Windows 8 or Windows 7 operating system further below).
To execute this method just follow the above steps…
Firstly you click on the Windows icon on the bottom left or press your Windows key in your keyboard. And then you click on that little gear icon (your settings option).
After that, you will be taken to another new tab. And from there click on this option named as “Update & security“.
After that, you will see this option named as “Recovery” in your left sidebar. So you click on that.
And then click on the “Get started” option.
And then you get two options…
- Keep my files
- Remove everything
In my personal opinion, you can choose the “Remove everything” option. If you select this option you can get relieved off all the files in your PC. And if there are any important files that you would want to keep, then you can probably back them up either in an external hard drive or in a cloud storage platform
And after selecting your desired options. Then you will be taken to another new tab.
And over there you will see two different options.
Just remove my files (This is when you want to fast remove all the data in your computer. And this is most suitable when you want to use your computer in future purposes and you’re simply clean installing your PC just to make it faster).
Remove files and clean the drive (This is applicable if you don’t to use your computer any longer and you’re planning to sell it. If you select this option, then you will have a really hard time to get back your deleted documents by using a recovery tool).
And depending on your scenario choose the option wisely.
After selecting your desired option, you will be taken to another new tab. All you do now is simply click on the “Reset” option.
And once that’s done, it will take some time based on the number of files you have to delete all your files.
Once it’s done your computer will restart itself. And then you will be taken to the setup menu to set up your Windows 10 PC.
And this is probably one of the easiest methods to clean install Windows 10.
How To Clean Install Windows (For Operating Systems Below Windows 10)
This a more approved method which I prefer. And to implement this method you need a USB drive or an external hard drive (With a minimum of 6 gigs is preferable).
Note: Your USB drive must be totally empty and if there are files stored within it, then it will be deleted during the installation process.
And to implement this method…
Firstly you download the Windows 10 media creation tool. You can do it by going to this link here.
And once you download the file. You simply open it up and as you go through the old-fashioned fashion installation process, you will see two options…
Upgrade this PC now
Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD or ISO file) for another PC
So you choose the second option. And make sure you have your USB drive connected to your computer.
And after that click “Next“.
After that, you will choose your Language, Edition and Architecture. And by architecture, it means which type of system is your computer operating in. Either it is the 32bits or the 64bits. And to check it out simply follow the above steps…
Firstly go to your search box and type in control panel and then you click on your control panel application. And after that click on “System and security“. And then click on this option named as “System“. Over there you will see your OS in the “System type” line.
And after knowing your system type, simply choose the architecture which you have.
Then you click on “Next“. And then you choose this option named as “USB flash drive“.
After that, you select your USB drive. And then you click “Next” and the downloading process will start.
Once the downloading process has finished, you simply connect your USB drive to your computer. And then you turn it on and press your boot menu key (Its usually something like f8, f12, f13 and it can vary based on your manufacturer) once you see your initial startup menu.
Then you simply choose your USB drive which you just connected as your boot up device. And it will start your Windows 10 installation.
And as you go by your old school installation you will see this tab open up asking for your product key. You simply choose this option named “I don’t have a product key“.
And then you can set up the rest manually which is pretty easy.
Once the installation process has begun, it won’t take you more than thirty minutes or so to have successfully clean installed Windows 10.
Once the set up has been made, then you will see your Windows 10 PC asking for a “product key” and is asking you to activate Windows. And unless you activate Windows, you won’t be able to customize your computer.
Well, you can read this step by step guide of ours on how to activate Windows 10 for free which teaches you step by step on how you can exactly activate your Windows 10 PC after clean installing it.
So these are two simple and easy methods which you can use to clean install Windows 10.
I hope this guide of ours helped you and if it did please give it a small social share.
Also, if you have any sort of queries please feel free to comment down below.