How to Refresh or Reset Windows 8.1

REFRESH VS RESET WINDOWS 8

When there is something wrong with your PC, you may want to refresh or reset Windows. Refresh and Reset are two different options to recover Windows 8. Refresh keeps your personal files and settings intact, but replaces Windows system files. Apps that came with your PC and apps you installed from the Windows Store will be re-installed. Other apps that you installed from other websites or CD will get deleted, but Windows puts a list of the names of those apps on desktop.

Before you start refresh or reset Windows process, we recommend you to keep the Windows installation DVD or thumb drive that was supplied with your PC, as Windows may need it to replace a damaged system file with the original one. If your PC didn’t get one, don’t worry, as the manufacturer might have included it in the recovery partition itself.

How to Refresh Windows 8.1

1. Get the charms by swiping in from the right edge of the screen or by moving the mouse to the upper right corner. Click “Settings”, and then select “Change PC settings” located at the bottom of the charms.

2. Click “Update and recovery”, and then click “Recovery”.

Update and Recovery_1

3. Under “Refresh your PC without affecting your files”, click “Get started”.

Refresh Windows

4. Follow the on-screen instructions to refresh Windows. Note that, if your PC was originally shipped with Windows 8, then refreshing your PC will restore Windows 8. You will need to upgrade to Windows 8.1 after the refresh has finished.


How to Reset Windows 8.1

Reset performs complete delete and reinstall of Windows, implies you will lose all personal data, and your settings will be reset. It’s like resetting your computer to the factory state. Regarding Apps, only apps that came with your PC will be reinstalled.

1. Get the charms by swiping in from the right edge of the screen or by moving the mouse to the upper right corner. Click “Settings”, and then select “Change PC settings” located at the bottom of the charms.

2. Click “Update and recovery”, and then click “Recovery”.

Update and Recovery_1

3. Under “Remove everything and reinstall Windows” click “Get started”.

Reset Windows

4. Follow the on-screen instructions to wipe and reinstall Windows. Note that, if your PC was originally shipped with Windows 8, then resetting your PC will restore Windows 8. You will need to upgrade to Windows 8.1 after the reset has finished. At some point of installation, Windows will ask you to choose whether you want to erase data quickly or thoroughly. Both the types are same as far as Windows installation is concerned. It only affects the personal data that was stored in your PC. If you choose to erase data quickly, some data might be recoverable using Recovery software, as it is same as Delete in which the data is never wiped, but hard disk sector is just marked as over-writable. If you choose to erase data thoroughly, this will take longer as Windows wipes the hard disk using special algorithm, hence makes recovering data almost impossible.

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Kiran Kumar

Hi there! Kiran Kumar is an Engineer by profession, and loves blogging primarily on Microsoft Windows operating system and also enjoys reviewing software and products. Currently, he is exploring Windows 10 and you will see a lot of articles on know-how about it. When he is not writing for TWP, he enjoys time with his Family, listens to lot of music, enjoys Biking, and occasionally plays racing games on Xbox One.