How to use the Windows Refresh Tool to clean install Windows 10

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Managing Editor
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If you’re experiencing issues on your computer running Windows 10, the cause may lie in various bottlenecks, bloatware, and other programs that slow down your computer’s performance. Luckily, Microsoft released a new cleaning tool for Windows 10 allowing you to safely bring your computer to its original state.

The new Windows Refresh Tool lets you reinstall Windows without using your own ISO file to complete the process. This tool can be used by Fast Ring Insiders only and basically installs one of the most recent Insider builds. Still, this doesn’t mean it’s the latest one. For the time being, the most recent build available to install with the Windows Refresh Tool is build 14342.

Although it seems strange, this tool doesn’t work on Windows 10 Threshold 2, but instead on the latest Insider Preview builds of Windows 10.

How to perform a Windows 10 clean install using the Windows Refresh Tool

  1. Download the Windows Refresh Tool from Microsoft.
  2. Launch the tool.
  3. Review and Accept the License Terms to continue the process.
  4. Select the files you want to keep.  If you want to keep your personal files, select the “Keep personal files only” option.
    If you want to remove all files, select “Nothing”.
  5. Click Install to start the clean installation. The process is automatic, however in case you change your mind, you can cancel the process while the Windows 10 Setup dialog window is still shown.

Irrespective of the choice you make at the fourth stage, this tool will perform a clean installation of Windows. This means that all applications installed on your PC will be removed, including paid applications. Only standard apps such as Mail and Edge will be kept.

If you want to make sure that important data is not removed, you can use an external storage device to back up data.