How to Reinstall Windows 10 or 11 Without Losing Files –


Is your Windows computer taking a long time to boot, overheating, or perhaps infected with malware? One may consider reinstalling Windows as the best solution. However, a common concern is the possibility of accidentally erasing all your personal and important files. This guide will show you the correct settings to reinstall Windows without losing your files.

things to keep in mind

Reinstalling Windows while keeping your files is not as easy as it seems. You have to focus on the process. There are a few things you need to keep in mind before reinstalling Windows:

  • If things don't work then backup all your files and device drivers.
  • Make a list of all installed software so that you don't have to remember the applications you have after the installation is complete.
  • Make sure you have the product keys for Windows and any other relevant software you plan to reinstall.

tip: Here's how to back up Windows 11 to the cloud before reinstalling the operating system.

Reinstall Windows 10 or 11 using the built-in method

The steps to reinstall Windows 10 or 11 are straightforward, and you can do it without worrying about losing your files. Here's how to do it using the built-in method:

1. On a Windows 10 PC, go to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery,

Recovery Screen (Windows 10)

Whereas, on Windows 11, navigate to Settings > System > Recovery,

Recovery Options (Windows 11)

2. Under the Reset this PC section, click get started On Windows 10 and reset this pc button on Windows 11 to start the process.

Start or Reset PC button

From this point on, the steps will remain the same for both Windows 10 and 11 OS.

3. From the Reset this PC screen, select keep my file Option.

Select Keep my files option

4. After that, you can choose either cloud download Or local restore Option.

Cloud Download: Internet connection is necessary as it fetches the latest available Windows builds from Microsoft's servers to install on your computer. This is useful if your system files are corrupted and you need a fresh install of Windows. It takes more time.
Local restore: You can reinstall Windows using the system files on your computer. Useful if you want to restore Windows offline without using data. Takes less time.

Cloud download or local restore option

5. On the following screen, hit next button.

press next button

6. Then, hit reset button to start the restore process.

press reset button

Reinstall Windows 10 or 11 using the Windows Recovery Environment

If you are unable to reset Windows via the above method, you can try the Windows Recovery Environment method. Please note that Windows Recovery Environment in Windows 11 slightly different from recovery environment of windows 10, This is how it works:

1. go to Settings > System > Recovery, Under Recovery options, click restart now button next to Advanced Startup.

Click on Advanced Startup button

2. Confirm your decision by clicking restart now button again.

Press the Restart Now button again

3. When your computer restarts, select troubleshoot problems Choose from the available options.

Select Troubleshooting Options

4. click on reset this pc Pick and choose options keep my file Option.

Reset this PC while keeping my files

5. beach selection cloud download And local restore,

Cloud download and local restore

6. Finally, start the Windows restore process by clicking reset button.

Click the reset button

How to activate Windows 10 or 11 after reinstalling

If you were unable to activate Windows during the setup process, you can try the following method to manually enter the product key and activate Windows on your laptop or PC.

1. On Windows 10, go to Settings > Update & Security > Activation and click change product key,

Click on Change Windows 10 Product Key

Whereas, on Windows 11, navigate to Settings > System > Activation and then hit Change button next to Change Product Key.

2. After that, enter product key and hit next,

enter product key

3. click finally Active,

Click Activate

That’s it! Once the activation is successful, you will receive the message “Windows has been activated.”

windows activated

frequently Asked question:

1. Can I reinstall Windows 10 or 11 without a product key (legally)?

Yes, if Windows 10 or 11 came pre-installed on your laptop or PC, or if you upgraded for free from a genuine Windows 7 or 8 version, your Windows will be automatically activated upon reinstallation. Windows license information is tied to the hardware through the digital license of your Microsoft account. However, if you have a retail license, it may ask you to enter a product key. So keep it safe.

2. How long does it take to reinstall Windows 10 or 11?

Reinstalling Windows 10 or 11 may take anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours depending on several factors such as CPU performance, available RAM, SSD speed, and Internet connectivity.

Refresh Windows without losing files

Due to corrupt system files, software conflicts, or malware, your computer's performance may begin to degrade. Instead of opting for a clean installation of Windows, consider the reset process, which allows Windows to be reinstalled without losing data. We hope that the provided guide will prove helpful in this regard. Before you go, take a moment to explore the effects of resetting your Windows PC.

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By Ranjan