Windows 10 has a reset option; it’s normally used when users need to factory reset their system but do not want to install the OS all over again. It is as near to a fresh install a user can get without actually installing Windows 10 from scratch.
Windows 10 Reset
The reset option utilizes files that are already present on your system to give you a new Windows 10 installation however, the reset can fail for a number of reasons, one which can be the files on the system that are needed for the reset are corrupt.
Up until now, if a Windows 10 Reset failed continuously, the only option was to create installation media and use it to perform a reset. If you have Windows 10 2004, a new reset option called Cloud Recovery is available.
Windows 10 Cloud Recovery
Windows 10 is available on the Windows 10 2004 version.
- Tap Win+R on the keyboard to open the run box.
- In the run box, enter ‘winver’, and tap the Enter key.
- On the About Windows window that opens, make sure you’re running version 2004. If the version is correct, you can use Cloud Recovery to reset the system.
- Open the Settings app.
- Go to the Update and security group of settings.
- Select the Recovery tab and click the Get Stared button under the Reset this PC section.
- Select if you want to keep your files, or if you want to delete them.
- On the next screen, click Cloud Recovery.
- Windows 10 will now download fresh files from Microsoft’s servers and use them to reset the system.
Cloud download vs local reinstall
A cloud reset can be initiated from the desktop via the Settings app, and it can be initiated from the troubleshoot menu. A cloud download requires an active internet connection so that new files can be downloaded to the system. Your system must also have the free space on disk to accommodate the new files that will be downloaded, and also have enough space for the files to expand during the reset. Finally, the cloud reset will take more time since new files have to first be downloaded.
The local reinstall doesn’t need to download files, so it will begin much sooner than the cloud reinstall. If your system has lost internet access, the local reinstall will still work, provided the files on the system aren’t corrupt.
If you’re short on time, go with a local reinstall. If the local reinstall fails, the cloud download is the quickest option you have if you still want to reset the PC.
The cloud download fetches fresh files, and they are far less likely to be corrupt however, if there’s a problem on your system, e.g., problems with the disk, the cloud recovery option can also fail. Cloud recovery isn’t foolproof since it is subject to the condition of the system it is going to be used on, but it’s an option worth trying when the local reinstall fails.