How to reset Windows 10 with the Refresh Windows tool

Microsoft offers many tools to clean-install your Windows PC and clean it of junkware. With the Windows Media Creation Tool, it’s easy to download and install a fresh build on Windows on your current hardware supposing you have access to an external media drive. In the rare cases where you don’t have access to one of these drives, or for some reason have borked up your Windows install so bad you can only access the browser — Microsoft offers an alternative tool.

To carry out a clean install of Windows 10 with the Refresh tool, you won’t need any external media, or access to any apps other than your own PC and a web browser.

How to use the Windows 10 Refresh Windows tool

  1. Download the Windows 10 Refresh Tool from Microsoft’s site.
  2. Once you’ve downloaded it, double-click on it to run it.
  3. After accepting Microsoft’s EULA and terms and conditions, you can then choose whether to keep your personal files or burn it all to the ground before you begin the installation.
  4. The Windows Refresh Tool will now download and reinstall Windows for you, leaving you at the OOBE (Out of box experience) screen

However, its worth noting that you can sometimes receive an older Windows build than you’d like. I was shunted back to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update which wasn’t really what I’d term an ideal experience time-wise. You can get around that with Microsoft’s Windows 10 update assistant app, which brings you up to date to whatever the newest version is.