[Tip] Reinstall or Repair Windows 8/8.1 Computer Using “Reset PC” and “Refresh PC” Options

Almost all Windows users install and test new software, games, etc regularly in their computer systems. There are also many customization lovers who love to install new themes, transformation packs in their computer to change Windows look-n-feel.

Many times when we install such kind of things, our computer system starts slowing down and we start facing problems and random error messages. Sometimes it might be due to a missing or corrupt system file or an incorrect Registry value. Many times we can fix these kind of problems by uninstalling those problematic software or transformation packs as given here and here but sometimes reinstalling Windows might be the last option to do.

Formatting hard disk and reinstalling a fresh Windows is the ultimate solution to fix almost all PC problems but it requires some expertise and valuable time because you'll need to first install Windows and then you'll have to reinstall all device drivers, favorite software, games, etc. Oh yeah, you'll also need to customize all your settings again.

If you are using the new Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 OS, here is something interesting information for you. Although many Windows 8 users might be aware of this built-in feature but there are many people who don't know about it. So today in this tutorial, we are going to share simple steps and information about a cool built-in feature of Windows 8/8.1 which helps you in reinstalling or repairing Windows quickly and easily.

Actually Microsoft has introduced 2 new features in Windows 8 which are called:

  • Reset PC
  • Refresh PC

How to Use "Reset PC" Option in Windows 8/8.1?

"Reset PC" feature is similar to "Reset to Default" or "Restore Factory Settings" feature found in mobiles and tablets. This feature removes everything from your PC and reinstalls Windows 8/8.1 from scratch. So if you use this feature, make sure to take a backup of your important data first.

Reset PC option deletes everything from your computer including personal documents, settings and Metro style apps. It first formats the hard drive partition and then reinstalls fresh Windows. Once you use this option, you'll get absolute new Windows as you got it when you purchased your computer or when you installed Windows 8 for first time.

To use this option, follow these simple steps:

1. Move your mouse cursor to top-right corner to show Charms Bar. Alternatively, you can press Win+C keys together to access it.

2. Now click on Settings and then click on "Change PC settings" option.


3. It'll open new Metro Control Panel screen.

For Windows 8 Users:

Click on "General" tab and in right-side pane, you'll see "Remove everything and reinstall Windows" option.


For Windows 8.1 Users:

Click on "Update and recovery" and then "Recovery" tab and in right-side pane, you'll see "Remove everything and reinstall Windows" option.

4. Click on "Get started" button and Windows will show you Reset PC wizard.


5. Just follow the instructions given on screen and your Windows 8 computer will reset to default settings i.e. it'll reinstall Windows from scratch.

How to Use "Refresh PC" Option in Windows 8/8.1?

If you are facing problems in Windows 8/8.1 but don't want to reset everything to default, then "Refresh PC" option will help you. It doesn't remove everything from your PC. It reinstalls Windows but keeps your personal files, settings and Metro style apps, so you'll not lose them if you use this option.

You don't need to worry about your personal data and apps, "Refresh PC" option will automatically take care of them. It first copies your data to a different location and then reinstalls Windows from scratch. After reinstalling Windows, it restores the copied data. So after using this option you'll have a brand new Windows 8/8.1 OS along with your personal data and settings.

To use this feature, follow these simple steps:

1. Similar to "Reset PC" option, "Refresh PC" option is also present in new Metro Control Panel screen. So first follow the same 1-3 steps given above.

2. Now in right-side pane, look for "Refresh your PC without affecting your files" option.

3. Click on "Get started" button and Windows will show the Refresh PC wizard.


4. Follow the instructions given on screen and it'll repair Windows without removing your files, settings and apps.

How to Use "Reset PC" or "Refresh PC" Options When Your Computer Can't Boot?

Now one question arises if your Windows 8/8.1 computer can't boot, how will you access "Reset PC" or "Refresh PC" options to reinstall or repair Windows 8/8.1? Here is the answer!

Windows 8/8.1 allows you to use both these options from troubleshooting screen as well which is shown when Windows 8/8.1 can't boot. Its a part of the new advanced boot loader or advances startup screen introduced in Windows 8. You can read more about it in following topic:

How to Access and Use Windows 8 Metro Boot Loader and Advanced Boot Options?

So we can say that Reset and Refresh PC options are really very useful features present in Windows 8. Did you know about them? Have you tried them in past? Feel free to share your feedback and experience about them in your comment...

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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 8 / 8.1

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