In Windows 8, you have three main options for restoring your operating system: update, reinstall, and repair. While all of these options can be used to restore Windows, they all work in different ways.
Each of the following Windows 8 recovery methods performs a specific type of operating system reset:
By choosing the appropriate recovery method for your specific scenario, you can save time and properly reinstall Windows. Here are some tips for using each of the basic recovery methods.
Refresh – you can refresh without losing photos, music, videos and other personal files
Update – You can update without losing photos, music, videos, and other personal files
The Windows 8 update option allows you to keep Windows up to date while preserving the personal files and data you’ve saved on your computer. As described in Windows 8, when you update your PC, the following will happen:
Refresh your computer
- Your files and personalization settings will not change.
- Your PC settings will be returned to their default values.
- Windows Store apps will be saved.
- Applications that you installed from disks or websites will be removed.
- The list of applications will be saved to your desktop.
To update your computer in Windows 8, first open the charms menu and click the list of settings. Then select the Change PC Settings option.
Scroll down to the General list and click the Get Started button under Refresh your computer without affecting files.
You can also check out my other post on creating your own Windows backup image, which will allow you to install all your applications and programs, create your own image, and then restore it without losing all your programs.
Reinstall – Remove Everything and Reinstall Windows
Reinstall – Remove everything and reinstall Windows
The Reinstall Windows 8 option allows you to completely reinstall the operating system without having to manually reformat your hard drive and install using a Windows 8 disc or USB drive. When you reinstall Windows 8 using the Reinstall option:
- All your files, data, applications, programs, and Windows settings will be removed. Windows will be completely reinstalled and a fresh installation of Windows 8 will be completely restored to your computer.
- No previous PC data or saved data will not migrate to a new installation.
To reinstall Windows 8, launch the Charms menu and select the list of settings. Select the “Change PC settings” option from the menu.
Scroll down to the general list and select it. In the right submenu, find the option “Remove everything and reinstall Windows” and click the “Start” button.
Recovery – restore Windows from an earlier time (system restore point)
Restore – restore Windows from an earlier time (system restore point)
The Windows 8 Restore option lets you restore or roll back Windows to an earlier state when the System Restore point was created. This option returns Windows to the system restore point state. Here are some details on how the Restore option works:
- System Restore does not affect any of your documents, images, or other personal data.
- Recently installed programs and drivers may have been removed.
Read my post on how to enable / disable and use System Restore. To restore Windows 8, launch Control Panel. In Control Panel, scroll down to the recovery list and click to select it.
In the Restore window, select the Open System Restore option.
The System Restore panel will open, where you can select the system restore point to which you want to return Windows.
These are the three main ways to restore the operating system in Windows 8. Also check out my other post on how to clean install Windows 10 Enjoy!