How to Refresh or Reset Your Windows 8.1 PC

windows 8.1 refresh

Windows 8.1 is notably the fastest version of Windows to date, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t slow down to a crawl. Fortunately, Windows 8.1 has two easy ways to clean up your entire computer, get rid of all nonessential applications and bring back its fast and responsive state.  These features are called the Refresh and Reset options.

Refreshing your Windows 8.1 computer is basically making the system reinstall itself and remove desktop programs. Once the procedure is over, you can see all uninstalled programs listed in your desktop. Refreshing Windows is more convenient than a full, clean reinstall, because your personal files, personalization settings and modern apps you installed from the Windows store remain intact.

To refresh your Windows 8.1 computer, press Start, type refresh and select Refresh your PC without affecting your files in the search results. Under the Refresh your PC without affecting your files, click Get Started and follow the on-screen instructions. You may need to insert your Windows installation or recovery media to proceed.

On the other hand, resetting your computer completely erases everything and restores Windows to mint condition. All settings go back to their defaults, and all your apps are erased.

To reset your Windows 8.1 computer, press Start, type reset and select Remove everything and reinstall Windows in the search results. Press the Get Started button under Remove everything and reinstall Windows and follow the on-screen instructions. Similar to refreshing, your computer may ask you to insert your Windows installer media.

During the reset process, you can choose either quick or thorough data erasure. The latter option is useful especially when you want to sell or hand over your computer to another person. It reduces the chances of any recovery software to extract personal data from your computer. However, it does need a longer amount of time to finish.

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