How to do a Clean Install of Windows 10 - Easy Way

How to Clean Install Windows 10

This tutorial will show you step by step how to do a clean install of Windows 10 – instead of a upgrade or after a upgrade.

You will learn to download Windows 10, create a installation media (USB flash drive or DVD) and install or reinstall Windows 10. If you have the "Creators Update" you can easily reinstall Windows in just a few clicks.

Good news! You don't need to upgrade first, because since November 2015 you can also use Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 product keys to activate Windows 10 on your PC.

Why a Clean Install of Windows 10 after a Upgrade?

There are people who encountered some problems after upgrading Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 to Windows 10.

Problems like:

And other problems.

The Windows 10 upgrade drags programs, settings, drivers, and files from your previous Windows system to Windows 10 and this might cause problems.

The best solution to solve many problems, is to download and reinstall Windows 10. This is called a "clean install".

I think that it's always better to do a clean install of Windows even if you don't experience any problems.

Microsoft allows you to download Windows 10 from their website for free.

And:

Since November 2015 you can also activate Windows 10 with a Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 product key. This means that you don't have to upgrade first before doing a clean install.

You need to upgrade to Windows 10 first, because when you upgrade, the installer confirms that your Windows is genuine (legal), then it activates your PC for Windows 10 and registers your computer's hardware with Microsoft. This way you can always uninstall and reinstall Windows 10 on your PC (if necessary).

If you don't upgrade first, the registration of your PC's hardware will never happen.

You don't get a Windows 10 product key. Your PC's hardware is your (kind of) product key.

So it's important to upgrade to Windows 10 before you can perform a clean install.

How to Clean Install Windows 10 using the Microsoft Media Creation Tool

To download and do a clean install of Windows 10, you can use a free tool called "Media Creation Tool". It's a tool created by Microsoft and can be downloaded at the official Microsoft website.

This tool allows you to download the correct version and edition of Windows 10 (home or pro and 32-bit or 64-bit) and create a installation disc or drive that you can use to install Windows 10 on your computer.

You can download the Windows 10 media creation tool here. Just click on "Download tool now" (located at the bottom).

Before you begin:

You will need to check these things on your PC:

Important! Backup all your files before you start.

1. If you want to create a installation disc, then insert a blank DVD into the DVD burner drive of your computer, but if you want to create a installation USB drive, then connect the USB drive to your computer (USB must have at least 4GB of memory).

2. Open "Media Creation Tool".

3. Select "Create installation media for another PC" and click on "Next".

4. Select "Use recommended options for this PC".

Note: Like I said in the "Before you begin" chapter on this page, you should download the right version of Windows 10, otherwise it wont work and you can start all over again.

5. Click on "Next".

6. Select which media you want to use (USB flash drive or ISO file (DVD)).

7. Click on "Next".

8. Select your DVD or USB drive and click on "Next".

The "Media Creation Tool" will first download Windows 10 and then create the installation media. This may take a while. The time it takes depends on your internet speed.

9. When the installation media is ready, you will need to restart your PC.

Don't remove the USB drive or the DVD.

10. Boot from your USB drive or DVD.

11. If the Bios of your system is set to boot from a CD/DVD or USB drive, you will see "Press any key to boot from DVD (or USB)", but if you don't get this message, you will need to press the correct keyboard key to open the boot menu.

Common keyboard keys to open the boot menu are F9 on HP, F10 on Sony, F11 on MSI, F12 on Dell, Lenova and Acer, and Esc on ASUS.

12. Press within 5 seconds on any key to boot from a DVD or USB.

13. When the Windows installer starts, click on "Install Now".

14. Windows will ask for a product key. You will have the following options:

15. Follow the setup process steps (it's easy) until you reach the "Which type of installation do you want?" screen.

16. At the "Which type of installation do you want?" screen, you click on "Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)".

17. Select the drive/partition you want to install Windows 10 on.

Note: If you see multiple partitions and don't know which one to choose, then select the largest one, or the one that says "Primary".

18. Click the "Format" button.

Note: If the "Format" button is grayed out, click on "Delete", and then click on "New".

19. Click on "Next" to install Windows 10 on the selected partition.

20. Allow the installation wizard to guide you through the rest of the process (the following steps are easy).

Once Windows 10 is installed, you can install your favorite programs and apps and enjoy a fresh and clean Windows 10.

Tip: Create a system image backup after installing Windows 10 and your programs. A system image is a backup of of Windows, programs, settings and files. You can use this system image to restore Windows and programs when there is something wrong like a virus or malware, system or software that stops working, or other problems.

How to Clean Install Windows 10 using the "Fresh start" feature on the Creators Update

Start fresh with a clean and up-to-date installation of Windows.

Start fresh by reinstalling and updating Windows. This will keep your personal files and some Windows settings and remove most of your apps, including Microsoft Office, third-party anti-virus software, and desktop apps that came pre-installed on your device.

The "Windows 10 Creators Update" has a feature called "Fresh start" and this feature makes reinstalling Windows 10 easy.

Important! Backup all your files before you start. Even though they tell you that your personal files will be kept, you still should make a backup of your files – in case something goes wrong.

1. Open "Windows Defender Security Center".

Two ways to open this:

2. Click on "Device performance & health".

3. Click on the "Additional info" link located under "Fresh start".

4. Click on the "Get Started" button.

A "Fresh start" window will appear with the following message: "This will remove all apps and programs, except those that come standard with Windows. Any Store apps installed by your manufacturer will also be kept. Your device will also be updated to the latest version of Windows. Your personal files and some Windows settings will be kept. This process could take 20 minutes or longer depending on your device".

Note: Even though they tell you that your personal files will be kept, you still should make a backup of your files – in case something goes wrong. They also tell you that it can take 20 minutes or longer – be prepared that it may take longer than an hour and it not only depends on your device, but it also depends on your internet speed.

5. Click on "Next".

Now it will show you a list with all the programs that will be removed (uninstalled).

6. Click on "Next".

7. When you're ready, click on "Start" to begin the process.

Note: You won't be able to use your PC while Windows reinstalls itself.

Once Windows 10 is installed, you can install your favorite programs and apps and enjoy a fresh and clean Windows 10.

Tip: Create a system image backup after installing Windows 10 and your programs. A system image is a backup of of Windows, programs, settings and files. You can use this system image to restore Windows and programs when there is something wrong like a virus or malware, system or software that stops working, or other problems.

Maybe you're also interested in:

Reference(s):