Windows PC not working properly? Try a clean install

You are diligent in keeping your PC in good working order. You are aware of safe download practices and watch which links you click. And of course you know better than to go to questionable websites or open unsolicited emails.

While this is all commendable, you may find that your desktop is still not working as it should. Slow response times, unusual error messages, freezes or crashes – they are all indicators that it is time to update your operating system.

But updates inherit your computer’s old files and settings from previous versions, so the updates themselves could be the cause of the problem. The solution? Tap or click here for 10 ways to fix the most common Windows 10 problems. But that is not everything. Sometimes you need a clean install.

Warning: A clean install of Windows will erase everything on your hard drive. To avoid loss of important files and existing programs, back up all data and make sure you have the necessary software installation discs or programs before you begin. This tip is brought to you by IDrivea sponsor of Kim’s national radio show.

Back up critical files

There are several options for backing up your files. While it is time consuming, you can manually copy your data to a secondary drive or go the easier route and sync them with a cloud service like IDrive. Save 90% on 5TB cloud backup now! That’s less than $8 for the first year!

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It works with Windows PCs, Macs, iPhones and Androids. You can back up all your devices in one account, making it easy to find what you need.

Not sure how to backup? Tap or click here for instructions.

Perform a clean install

A clean install should be your last resort. Once you’ve exhausted all other troubleshooting options, it’s time to back up your files and programs, then move on to the install. Remember: this process will wipe your computer completely. There will be no saved images, files or even software.

Your computer will become a piece of plastic and metal until the new installation is complete. So once you’re sure everything has been backed up, start with the clean install.

Because individual steps vary by operating system, it’s essential that you consult your PC’s documentation, read all instructions, and maybe even print before starting, or contact a technician for help. The following instructions are specific to Windows 10.

Refresh Microsoft’s Windows utility

the downloadable Refresh Windows utility from Microsoft’s website will remove all third-party software and return your system settings to their default options. It can also erase digital licenses for applications you have installed, so make sure you have a backup of these licenses somewhere.

After clicking install, launch Refresh Windows Tool and let the program modify your system. Accept the license terms to continue.

Select your option to keep only personal files or Nothing (which will delete everything). Choose Nothing to ensure a crystal clear installation. Click Start to start the installation. A clean version of Windows 10 will be installed automatically. You have the option to cancel the process at any time before restarting your PC.

Note: All apps will be removed during the clean install process. If you choose to keep personal files, only your personal files will remain intact, not apps.

Once the installation is complete, you can reinstall your applications and your computer should work like new.

Reinstall Windows from scratch

Windows 10 offers an additional built-in clean install option called Reset this PC. This handy method of reinstalling Windows from scratch can also keep or delete personal files.

Note: Regardless of the option you choose, backup all personal files before proceeding to ensure nothing is lost forever.

Open Settings to use this option.

Select Update & Security.

Click Recovery and then Get Started.

Choose Keep my files or Delete everything.

Apps to be uninstalled are listed. Click next.

The reset is ready to begin. Click Reset.

The installation process will take some time, but once it’s done, your computer will be ready to reinstall all the apps you want. Once that’s done, it’s like having a new PC.

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