Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get about Windows 10 Refreshes and Resets at Micro Center:
Q: What is the difference between a reset and refresh of Windows 10?
A: A reset will remove all files and programs from the operating system installation disk. A refresh will only remove all programs from the operating system installation disk.
Q: How can I tell which option is a refresh and which option is a reset?
A: In the windows settings, select update & security. Click on recovery on the left. Under reset this PC, click on the Get started button. There are two options given: Keep my Files or Remove Everything. Keep my Files is the refresh option while Remove Everything is the reset option.
Q: Will all my Office documents be deleted?
A: Any created documents are set up as personal files. Those files will not be affected when doing a refresh. If a reset is being done, personal data will be deleted. We recommend backing up the system using an external hard drive.
Q: When is it best to do a refresh?
A: The best time to perform a refresh is when you notice any malware on the system. Things like Slim Cleaner Plus, Driver Support, and Driver Update are a few examples of programs that are malware. If everything seems slow and you cannot figure out why, a refresh can be used to clear up some background files and speed up the computer performance.
Q: When is it best to do a reset?
A: The best time to perform a system reset is if you are giving away or selling your computer and want to be sure all your data is off of it. If your system is crashing and a refresh did not work, a reset can be used to create a clean install of Windows and clear up any software and driver issues.
Q: How long does a refresh and reset typically take?
A: A refresh is typically a 30 minute to 45 minute process. A reset typically lasts 1 hour to 3 hours.
Q: Will I still have my account after a refresh or reset?
A: You will only have your account after a refresh. Once the refresh is complete, Windows will take you back to the log in screen to sign in. This is not true for a reset. Windows will walk you through the initial setup process. In this process, you will have to set the account back up.
Q: Can I view what programs were removed after a refresh?
A: Yes, once the refresh is done and you have signed into the account, there will be an HTML file called “Removed Apps” that is located on the desktop. Once opened, the file will show the names of all the programs that were on the computer before the refresh.
Q: Can I view what programs were removed after a reset?
A: Unfortunately not. Once a reset is done that information is gone. The only way to get programs is to remember what you had and reinstall the programs.
Q: How do I start a Windows refresh?
A: Open Windows Settings and then select Update & Security. On the left side select Recovery. On the recovery screen select reset this PC and then select Get started. When prompted, select Keep my files.
Q: How do I start a Windows reset?
A: Open Windows Settings and then select Update & Security. On the left side select Recovery. On the recovery screen select Reset this PC and then select Get started. When prompted, select Remove everything.