After the computer has been used for a long time, the running speed becomes slower and slower. Reinstalling the operating system will make the computer performance better, but how to refresh Windows 10 without losing programs and files? This article will tell you the answer.

When and Why Do You Need to Refresh Windows 10?

Sometimes your computer will have some problems that cause your computer to not run smoothly. But when do you need to refresh my computer? I have listed some situations for you.

  1. When you move the mouse, the computer needs to react for a long time.
  2. It is very slow to open or close the program.
  3. The computer needs to be forced to shut down before you can use your computer normally.
  4. There is a problem after the Windows 10 update.

But why do you need to refresh Windows 10? Reinstalling the operating system can speed up the computer and remove viruses from the operating system. In addition, it can clean up system garbage.

How to Refresh Windows 10 Without Losing Programs?

Refresh Windows 10 is really good for your computer, but how to refresh Windows 10 without losing programs? A Microsoft user said that “I would like to reinstall Windows 10 only, and without losing any of my apps or data (I understand some may need to be reconfigured). How do I do that?”

There are two methods for you to refresh Windows 10 without losing apps and data.

Solution 1: Reset This PC

In fact, the Reset this PC feature that comes with Windows can help you reinstall your computer. It allows you to keep files but not keep applications, so you need to back up your programs before doing this.

Here are the steps of how to reset this PC:

Step 1: Click Update & security on the Settings page to continue.

Step 2: Click Recovery and click Get Started on the right to continue.

click Get Started to reset your PC

Step 3: Choose Keep my files to reset your PC.

options of how to reset this PC

Step 4: Read the subsequent messages and click Reset.

After the computer has restarted successfully, you have refreshed Windows 10.

Note: If you have some important files missing, you can use MiniTool Power Data Recovery to recover lost data.

Solution 2: Windows 10 ISO Image File

This method allows you to reinstall Windows 10 and keep programs, but only if your computer is bootable. And you need to download the Windows 10 ISO image file before proceeding (you can jump this step if you have a Windows 10 ISO image file).

Step 1: Find the location of the Windows 10 ISO file, then right-click on it and select Mount to continue.

click Windows 10 ISO file and choose Mount

Step 2:Open This PC, then right-click on the DVD drive. And then click Open in new window to continue.

click DVD drive and choose Open in new window

Step 3: Double-click setup at first, and then click Yes to continue.

double-click setup to go ahead

Step 4: Choose Download and install updates (recommended) if your computer is connected to the internet, and then click Next to continue.

choose Download and install updates

Step 5: Wait for a short time to check for updates, and then click Accept when you see the License terms to continue.

read the License terms and click Accept

Step 6: Wait for the computer to check for updates and make sure you are ready to install.

Step 7: At last, when the Ready to install screen appears, it shows that you have chosen Install Windows 10 and Keep personal files and apps, click Install.

click Install to begin reinstalling Windows 10

After these operation has been done step by step, then you just need to wait for the computer to restart.

Windows 10 Reset VS Clean Install VS Fresh Start, Detailed Guide!
Windows 10 Reset VS Clean Install VS Fresh Start, Detailed Guide!

Windows 10 reset VS clean install VS fresh start, what’s the difference? Read this post to learn them and choose a proper one for OS reinstallation.

Read More

Useful Suggestion: Using MiniTool ShadowMaker

If you feel that it is troublesome to reinstall Windows 10 without losing programs, or if you don’t want to reinstall the system, I highly recommend you to restore the system with MiniTool ShadowMaker. But only if you need to back up the operating system in advance using MiniTool ShadowMaker.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

MiniTool ShadowMaker not only backs up and restore system, but it also backs up disks and partitions. In addition, it also supports syncing files to avoid losing your data as much as possible.

Back up Windows 10

Step 1: Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker at firstn and choose Keep Trial.

Note: If you want to manage a remote computer, computers need to be on the same LAN.

Step 2: Go to the Backup page to continue.

Step 3: MiniTool ShadowMaker backs up the Windows operating system by default, so you just click DESTINATION to select the destination path.

click Destination

Step 4: Choose a partition as the location then click OK.

click OK


1. If you want to back up your files regularly, please click Schedule Settings in Options.

2. If you want to manage the space occupied by the backed up files by deleting the specified backup image file versions, please click Backup Scheme.

3. If you want to set more advanced backup versions, please click Backup Options.

Step 5: Click Back Up Now or Back Up Later. (If you click Back up Later, you need to click Back Up Now to restart the backup task on the Manage page.)

click Back up Now

Restore Windows 10

After backing up Windows 10, I will show how to restore Windows 10.

Step 1: When you enter the following interface, select the operating system you backed up to restore. Click Restore.

click Restore

Step 2: Click Next.

click Next

Step 3: Check MBR and Track 0 or else you can’t boot your computer, then click Next.

click Next

Step 4: Choose a disk to restore and click Next.

click Next

Step 5: After the operation is completed, click Finish.

After the operation progress has finished, you can refresh Windows 10 without losing programs.

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As you can see, this article is about how to refresh Windows 10 without losing program. Besides, you can notice that MiniTool ShadowMaker is really an efficient software to back up system and you can easily restore your operating system through MiniTool ShadowMaker.

If you have any confusion of have better advice, please don’t hesitate to send an email to [email protected].

Refresh Windows 10 Without Losing Programs FAQ

Can I reinstall Windows 10 without losing my programs?
Yes, you can. You can use Windows 10 ISO image file to reinstall your computer without losing your programs because there are three choice you can choose: Keep Windows settings, personal files, and apps; Keep personal files only; Nothing
How do I refresh my computer without losing files?
You should use Windows ISO file image to refresh your computer, and when you see the screen that says Choose what to keep, choose Keep Windows settings, personal files, and apps or Keep personal files only, then you can refresh your computer without losing files.
Will I lose programs if I reset Windows 10?
There is powerful built-in feature in Windows 10 named Reset this PC. If you use this feature to reset Windows 10, then you will lose programs because there are only two choices that you can choose: Keep my files and Remove everything
Will a clean install of Windows 10 delete my files?
Actually, when you perform a clean install of Windows 10, only the partition containing the operating system will be erased, so all your files that saved in the OS partition will be deleted when you run a clean install of Windows 10.
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