Reinstalling any operating system is a little annoying. It’s not something most of us do for fun, and it’s almost always a multi-step headache. Windows users will have an easier time of it in the near future, though, thanks to a feature in the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build allowing users to reinstall Windows 10 via a cloud download.
Windows 10’s new cloud reinstall feature is located in the “Reset this PC” menu in the Recovery area of your Windows settings menu. It’ll reinstall the exact same build and version of Windows that you’re resetting from. That’s a nice feature for those of us who might be avoiding an update because of the way it messes with our particular hardware configurations.
If you were going to reinstall Windows previously, the options were less convenient. The “Reset this PC” feature previously used local files to re-build and reinstall windows, which doesn’t always work. The other option is to obtain a copy of Windows. You could get it on disc—a feature appearing less and less often on modern desktops—or go through the process of building a flash drive installation. With the convenience of cloud connectivity everywhere, even thumb drives are starting to seem a bit old school.
A Fresh Start
When using the feature, you’ll end up with a fresh Windows installation. The reinstall will wipe out all of your applications; if you click “Remove Everything,” then the reinstall wipes your user data, too.
Microsoft says the feature was inspired by feedback from users stating that they’d prefer to just skip the extra media and just go straight from the download to the installation. With the increasing speed of and access to broadband connections, the feature makes sense.
It’s worth noting that Macs have had a feature like this for years, so you could view it as Windows catching up. Either way, the Windows 10 cloud reinstall feature is sure to help many of us get up and running that much faster after a big reinstall.