One of the problems of buying a new PC is that it typically comes loaded with junkware—usually trial or limited pieces of software that you don’t want or don’t need. And that software can slow down your computer and chew up memory.
You can try to uninstall each piece of junkware to clean up your PC. But that takes time and can still leave files, Registry entries, and other unwanted stuff behind. Instead, you can return your Windows 10 computer to a pristine state via a free software tool offered by Microsoft.
Microsoft’s Refresh Windows tool purges all applications that don’t come built into Windows 10 by installing a fresh copy of the operating system. That includes all third-party software, including unwanted junkware. It also includes software you may want to keep, such as Microsoft Office, so you’ll need to make sure you have the necessary media to reinstall such programs. Further, your Windows settings are reset to their default options. Finally, the tool can keep your documents and other personal files intact or remove them completely.
To access this tool in Windows 10, click on the Start button > Settings > the category for Update & security. From the Update & security window, click on the setting in the left pane for Recovery. Then click on the link in the right pane under “More recovery options” that reads: Learn how to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows.
Microsoft’s Refresh Windows tool can rid your Windows 10 PC of junkware and return it to a clean, pristine state.
Since the tool is accessible via a webpage, you can save time by simply launching your browser and directly opening this page. Click on the “download tool now” button to save the software on your PC. Then run the tool to install it.
The second screen asks you if you want to get rid of your apps and settings and keep your personal files or get rid of everything. Unless you want a totally clean machine, you’ll most likely want to retain your personal files, so choose the option to “Keep personal files only” and then click the Start button.
The tool then downloads and installs Windows 10 from scratch. You’ll want to take a nice, loooong coffee break as this process takes awhile to complete.
Finally, Windows delivers you to the Lock screen and then the sign-in screen. Log in as you normally would.
Windows will now set itself up. After the setup completes, you’ll see that Windows 10 has reverted to a clean state with none of the junkware that plagued it before.
Of course, you’ll have to reinstall any software or apps and re-establish any customized settings to bring Windows back to the way you want it. That’s why the best time to run the Refresh Windows tool, at least on a brand new PC, is as soon as you get it home and take it out of the box. That means less work for you and a PC unburdened by junkware or bloatware.