Windows 10 Fresh Start: Everything You Need to Get a Fresh Start

By | March 23, 2018
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Windows 10 Fresh Start: Everything You Need to Get a Fresh Start

Fresh start is available in Windows 10 Creators Update version 1703 and newer versions of Windows 10.

Fresh start is a great way to rid a brand new computer of the pre-installed bloatware and trialware that manufacturers love to install on new computers, as they try to squeeze out an extra buck or two… or Fresh start may be just the ticket to fix Windows 10 computer that isn’t running very well or is barely running at all.

Fresh start clean installs an up-to-date copy of Windows 10, while saving your personal files and some of your Windows settings.

Before you do a Fresh start, just to be safe, we recommend that you have good backup of all your personal files. While Microsoft says a Fresh start will save your personal files and some of your settings, it’s better to be extra safe than extra sorry.

Remember this too:  If you do a Fresh start on a computer you’ve been using for a while, you’ll need to reinstall all the programs and apps you installed.  Anything that does not install with Windows will have to be re-installed.

Fresh start is different than Windows 10 Reset. Windows 10 Reset resets your computer with all the pre-loaded manufacturer bloatware, trialware and pre-loaded Windows 10 apps. It does not do a clean install of Windows.

Fresh start, saves your personal files and some of your Windows settings, wipes out everything else, installs a clean, updated copy of Windows and then returns your personal files and folders back to their previous locations.

With all that stuff out of the way… let’s begin.

Fresh start is easy to do.

Go to Settings > Update & security >”More recovery options” and click on “Learn how to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows.”

Cloudeight Windows 10 Tips

When you click on “Learn how to start fresh…”, you’ll see this:

Cloudeight Windows 10 Tips

Now, all you need to do is click the “Get started” button and you’ll see this.

Cloudeight Windows 10 Tips

If you want to continue with the Fresh start, click Next.

IMPORTANT: Fresh start will wipe out all the manufacturer’s bloatware and trialware and preinstalled apps. However, it will also wipe out any programs (antivirus, Office, etc.) that you installed on the computer. And though Microsoft claims Fresh start will keep your personal files and some of your settings, we highly recommend that you have a good backup of all your personal files (pictures, music, documents, videos, movies, etc.) before you begin the Fresh Start.

Fresh start really means a fresh start. Are you ready for a Fresh start?

11 thoughts on “Windows 10 Fresh Start: Everything You Need to Get a Fresh Start

  1. Cindy

    Do I need a product key for this? My Windows 10 was the free upgrade from Windows 7.

    I’ve had problems since the March 2018 updates and I’ve already tried a repair install but it did not solve everything.

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      Hi Cindy, Once Windows 10 is installed on your computer the Windows 10 installation key is hardcoded in the BIOS. However, you may want to hold off on doing anything since the March update KB4088776 was flawed and while it installed some users are getting an error message saying it was not installed getting error message “KB4054517 failed to install because of error 0x80070643.” I would not do a Fresh Start because of this failed update, it may well be installed. Type WinVer in taskbar search and if you see Windows 10 Version 1709 (OS Build 16299.309) then the March update was installed. You can read more about this problem with that update here.

      Again, we ware going to warn you that a fresh start will wipe out all your apps and programs – you’d have to reinstall and re-set them up again -including email programs, office programs, graphics programs – anything you installed or that same installed with your PC outside of what was installed with Windows will be removed in a Fresh Start.

      Reply
  2. Shirley Foey

    I had to reinstall Windows 10 because somehow during an upgrade, Windows was interrupted and then lost communication with my computer. I took it to a repair shop who took 3 weeks to reload everything and reinstall Windows 10. Yesterday when I went to use my email, I didn’t have my address book. I returned to the shop and he exported my address book from Comcast to my Outlook email. My Outlook email address book had annotated etries which were not on my Comcast email address book. WHERE are the files for my address book stored or hiding so I can resume using my original Outlook address book? Thank you for your response!

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      If your computer repair shop took 3 weeks to reinstall Windows and “reload everything”… they apparently didn’t reload everything. Outlook stores everything in a PST file. If the PST file is still on your computer then you should be OK.

      Since I’m sure you paid that repair shop a lot of money to do this, they should know how to get your contacts back. We don’t work on Outlook bug here’s where your PST file containing your contacts is stored.

      The location of your .pst file depends on your version of Outlook, your version of Windows, and how you set up your account or created the .pst file. You can find your .pst file in one of the following locations:

      Windows 10 drive:\Users\\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

      Windows 10 drive:\Users\\Roaming\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

      If you paid them to reinstall Windows and “load everything” then they should import your PST file without charging you more money. If you want to try to do it yourself here are the instructions from Microsoft.

      Reply
      1. Shirley Foey

        Thank you! I did take my laptop back to the shop and he did import my address book from my gmail account, but the files were not exactly the same. The other thing I noticed is a lot of my files in my folders are NOT the same as they were before this crash. Would those files also still be on my computer? I am looked for the files in a folder I made named MAGAZINES. Where can I find this data to download onto my current Outlook?

        Thank you for your help! I really appreciate it!

        Reply
  3. Patricia McCosker

    Fresh Start has destroyed my Thunderbird email and all my contacts therein. I cannot seem to get it back Please help

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      I am not sure why you did a Fresh start. Fresh start is not something you’re supposed to do if your computer is running well. It’s for those who have serious Windows problems or who have new computers with bloatware and trialware they want to remove before installing their own programs and setting it up for the first time.

      We warned you in the article that it will remove all the programs on your computer and save your personal files. You did a fresh start and it removed Thunderbird.

      Reply
  4. Shirley Foey

    Thank you! I did take my laptop back to the shop and he did import my address book from my gmail account, but the files were not exactly the same. The other thing I noticed is a lot of my files in my folders are NOT the same as they were before this crash. Would those files also still be on my computer? I am looked for the files in a folder I made named MAGAZINES. Where can I find this data to download onto my current Outlook?

    Thank you for your help! I really appreciate it!

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      Shirley, you had someone else work on your computer. We have no idea what they did or how they did it. These are the kinds of questions you should be asking them. As far as Gmail goes, Gmail keeps a copy of every email in a folder called “All Mail”. I don’t know how you set up your Outlook Mail. Outlook stores everything, including folder structure, mail messages, contacts, etc. in the PST folder.

      Reply
  5. Dawn Campbell

    Well I did a reset one day after they put the kibosh on getting the latest Win 10 upgrade free and now want like $119.00 or something. Can you tell I am beyond ticked! I didn’t realize that and went on my merry way. Now I have Win Home and could throw up all over it. I know my PC is on it’s end times but thought the reset would work as it wasn’t in that bad shape. It gave me a nice list of all the apps it had to remove etc etc etc. But having Win Home it won’t properly reinstall them correctly. Time to take it and throw it out the window. Next one may be a MAC when I can afford one! Bah humbug!

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      If you install a Windows 10 Version Update and things don’t go well or it causes major problems, you should not do a System Restore, a Fresh Start or a System Reset. You should strong>Go back to the previous version of Windows. This option is available for 10 days after a version update in Settings > Update & Security > Recovery.

      Fresh start is not something you use to go back to a previous version of Windows if a version update causes problems. I’ve updated an article we published last year. Read this post: “How to Go Back to the Previous Version of Windows 10”

      And for those who are thinking about upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to Windows 10 – it’s still free as long as you have licensed copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8. Windows 10 Home automatically upgrades to Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro automatically Upgrades to Windows 10 Pro.

      Reply

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