Remember when you had to factory reset a Windows computer from a CD or DVD? Windows 10 adds a partition with a reset image so you don’t have to keep up with anything. However, what happens if that gets corrupted? From personal experience, that does happen. Luckily, the May 2020 Windows update introduced a new reset option – the Windows 10 factory reset cloud option.
Reset from the Cloud
Before the May 2020 update, you had to do a local reinstall. This uses the hidden partition on your computer. Of course, if you made a separate backup image to reinstall from, you could do this, too.
However, things happen and that partition with a clean copy of Windows 10 isn’t always safe. A virus can easily corrupt it, or something can go terribly wrong with a Windows update. You don’t realize there’s a problem until it’s too late.
By adding a cloud option, you’re able to download a fresh copy of Windows 10 for your device. This isn’t a hack to get Windows 10 for free if you don’t already have it. Instead, Microsoft will see that you currently have Windows 10 installed.
Before you do anything else, back up your files, if possible. While the Windows 10 factory reset cloud option does allow you to keep your files, this doesn’t always go smoothly. It’s always better to have a backup just in case. Of course, this isn’t possible if you’re erasing everything and starting over anyway.
Also, the reset process will take longer than usual. This is due to having to download around four gigabytes to replace your current copy of Windows 10. The exact time depends on your Internet connection.
Make sure you have a reliable connection during this process to prevent any issues or additional corruption. Also, make sure you have at least four gigabytes of free space for the download.
Reset Windows 10
Using the Windows 10 factory reset cloud option feels like a familiar process if you’ve ever had to reset Windows 10. However, there’s a new option to choose from.
Go to Settings and select “Update & Security.”
Select Recovery on the left and press the “Get started” button under “Reset this PC” on the right.
Next, select whether you want to keep your files or remove everything. Remember, if you choose to remove everything, all of your files and apps are deleted. If you need to back up your files first, press Cancel.
Next, choose how to reset your computer. To use the Windows 10 factory reset cloud option, choose “Cloud Download.”
Press Next to confirm you want to proceed with the cloud download.
Finally, review your settings and press Reset.
It may take a while for everything to complete. Keep your computer on and plugged in during this time. It will turn on and off by itself as it goes through the reset process.
When the lock screen appears, you’re finished. If any apps couldn’t be reinstalled for any reason, you’ll see a Removed Apps file on your desktop. Open this to see what you may need to reinstall manually.
Unless your reset partition is corrupted, it’s still easier to reset from your computer. It’s faster and you don’t have to worry about any connection issues. But use the cloud as a backup option should that part of your hard drive get corrupted.
Cloud Option Missing
If you don’t see the Windows 10 factory reset cloud option, you’ll need to update Windows to the May 2020 update. Go to “Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Update.” Download the latest updates. You should see Version 2004 as an available update. This must be installed before you can use the cloud reset.
If you can’t update, you’ll have to download Windows 10 again. Microsoft has a tool to step you through the process. Microsoft also provides guidelines on how to ensure your license lines up with the new copy.
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Image credit: Open Start Menu (Windows 10 operating system) on an Asus laptop. by DepositPhotos