Microsoft keeps improving Windows to include new features and to fix bugs in previous version, with the goal of enhance user experience. If you want to upgrade your PC to the latest Windows version, a clean installation is the best solution. This will clean up all the files from the old version, and give you a fresh start with the new Windows 10 build. This article will take you through the process of performing Windows 10 clean install, either from an older running version or a computer with no previous Windows installation.
Related: How to start Windows in safe mode?
Preparing Computer for Clean Install
Before you start the installation process, it is important to confirm that your PC meets the basic recommended specifications. In order to have the best experience with Windows 10, Microsoft recommends your PC to have at least:
- 1 GHz or faster processor.
- 1 GB (for 32-bit) or 2 GB (for 64-bit) RAM.
- 16 GB or 32 GB free HDD space for 32-bit and 64-bit respectively.
- 800 X 600 resolution.
If your computer meets the above requirements, you can do a clean install using one of the below two options:
- Install media (DVD or USB drive).
- Using Windows 10 Reset or Refresh (Start Fresh) tools.
Option 1: Windows 10 Clean Install from DVD or USB
Once you have the install media ready:
- Insert/ connect the DVD/ USB to your computer, and press the power button to power on.
- Press the F2/ F10 key to open the “BIOS Setup Utility” to change the booting sequence. Under the “Boot” select your applicable boot options, and set it as the first priority.
- Select “Apply” to save the changes, and exit the setup to continue with the installation.
- The system will prompt you to press any key on your keyboard to continue booting from your selected media.
- Windows 10 logo will appear with circular animated dots loading at the bottom of the screen and then the Windows Setup screen will show.
- Pick your language, time and input method format, and then click the “Next” button.
- This leads to a window with the install and repair options. Click the “Install Now” button.
- The setup will then ask you to enter the product key. Enter the 25-Character key or choose “I don’t have a product key” and then “Do this later” options to proceed.
- Pick the appropriate Windows 10 edition (Home or Pro edition), click “Next”, and then wait as the setup prepares to load files.
- Read the license terms, tick the “I accept…” box and then click the “Next” button.
- For the type of installation, select the “custom” option to perform a clean install.
- Select the drive where you want to install Windows and click on “Next”. Now wait as Windows installs. You will see the progress on your screen.
- Once complete Windows will automatically reboot, and resume setup.
- Customize your Windows by clicking “Customize” on the user experience screen. This allows you to create a user account, password/ PIN and configure privacy settings among other things.
Option 2: Clean Install using Windows In-built “Reset or “Start fresh” tools
- Windows 10 gives you the option to perform a clean install from a running version of Windows.
- Press the “Win +I” shortcut keys on your keyboard to open the settings app, and then go to the “Update & Security” settings.
- Click “Recovery” from the list on the left pane and on the right pane select “Get started” under the heading “Reset this PC”.
- For “Start fresh”, click the link below the tittle, “More recovery options” and then “Yes” on the prompt that appears.
- This will take you to Windows Security Center. Click the “Get started” button under “Fresh start”.
- Click “Remove everything” from the resulting window to start the fresh install.
- Follow the installation instructions to complete the process. Now you have fresh Windows 10 installed on your computer.
Note: This will remove any installed programs and files. Therefore, it is advisable to back up your files so that you can copy them back after the clean install.
- Once done, you need to activate Windows. Go to Windows “Update & Security” settings and select “activation from the list on the left panel.
- Click the “Change product key” option, enter your product key and activate. You may also activate using your digital license attached to your Microsoft account.
Windows 10 clean install gives you a fresh start with the latest version of Windows 10. This option eliminates the many upgrade issues that can result from programs carried from your older version of Windows. You can either perform a clean install on a PC that is running Windows or afresh on new PC. The two options above will get you to the new Windows 10 without any issues. However, your PC need to have the minimum requirement to support and efficiently run Windows 10.