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How to Reinstall Windows 10 without Losing your Files and Folders


Reinstalling Windows 10 can seem scary, especially when you want to ensure that none of your files and folders are lost in the process. Fortunately, Microsoft provides a way to reinstall the operating system without affecting your personal data.

This article will guide you through the steps to reinstalling Windows 10 while preserving your files and folders.


Before you begin the reinstallation process, it’s important to take a few preparatory steps:

  1. Backup Your Data: Although the reinstallation process aims to preserve your files, it’s always wise to create a backup. Use an external hard drive, cloud storage, or a dedicated backup software to copy important documents, photos, and other personal files.   
  2. Create a Recovery Drive: This step is optional but recommended. You can create a recovery drive on a USB flash drive, which can help you troubleshoot and recover your system if something goes wrong during the reinstallation. To create a recovery drive, type “Create a recovery drive” in the Windows 10 search bar and follow the on-screen instructions.
  3. Note Down Your Product Key: Your Windows 10 product key might be needed during reinstallation. You can find it on your computer’s original packaging or retrieve it using a tool like ProduKey.

Reinstalling Windows 10 Using the “Reset this PC” Feature

Windows 10 includes a built-in feature called “Reset this PC,” which allows you to reinstall the WIndows 10 while keeping your personal files and folders intact. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Open Settings: Click on the Start Menu and select the gear icon to open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to Recovery: In the Settings app, go to “Update & Security,” and then click on “Recovery” in the left-hand menu.
  3. Start the Reset Process: Under the “Reset this PC” section, click the “Get started” button. A new window will appear with two options: “Keep my files” and “Remove everything.”
  4. Choose “Keep my files”: Select the “Keep my files” option. This ensures that your personal files and folders are not deleted during the reinstallation. The process will also remove installed apps and settings, but it will keep your personal data intact.
  5. Follow the On-Screen Instructions: The setup will guide you through the remaining steps, which include confirming your choice and starting the reset process. Your computer will restart several times during the reinstallation.
  6. Complete the Reinstallation: Once the process is complete, Windows 10 will boot up, and you will be greeted with a fresh installation of the operating system. Your personal files and folders will still be in place, but you will need to reinstall your applications and reconfigure your settings.

Using the Media Creation Tool

Alternatively, you can use the Windows Media Creation Tool to reinstall Windows 10 while keeping your files:

  1. Download the Tool: Go to the Microsoft website and download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.
  2. Run the Tool: Open the downloaded file and follow the prompts. Choose the “Upgrade this PC now” option when prompted.
  3. Keep Personal Files: During the setup process, you will be asked whether you want to keep personal files and apps, keep personal files only, or keep nothing. Choose “Keep personal files only.”
  4. Install Windows 10: Follow the remaining prompts to complete the installation. This method will upgrade your system to the latest version of Windows 10 while keeping your personal files intact.

Reinstalling Windows 10 without losing your files and folders is a straightforward process, thanks to the built-in tools provided by Microsoft. Whether you choose the “Reset this PC” feature or use the Media Creation Tool, the key is to follow the instructions carefully and ensure you select the option to keep your personal files.

Always remember to back up your data before starting the process, as an extra layer of protection. With these steps, you can enjoy a fresh installation of Windows 10 without the worry of losing important data.

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