Must-known Tips about Refreshing and Resetting Windows 8/8.1 PC

Many Window system problems could be fixed by reinstalling Windows. And in Microsoft's latest operating system Windows 8, you could choose either to refresh Windows 8 or reset Windows 8. Both refresh and reset will remove and then clean install Windows 8 in a very fast manner, returning the OS to its default configuration and fix Windows system problems.

This tips covered in this post apply to both Windows 8 PC and PC with the latest Windows 8.1 update.

Refresh Windows 8 V.S. Reset Windows 8

Refresh preserves your files and installed Modern programs, while Reset removes everything (personal files, apps, settings, etc.) on your system. The chart below might give you a general idea about what will happen after you refresh Windows 8 and reset Windows 8.

Refresh Windows 8 Reset Windows 8
Your Files and personalization settings won't change All your personal files and apps will be removed
Your PC settings will be changed back to their defaults Your PC settings will be changed back to their defaults
Apps from Windows Store will be kept  
Apps you installed from discs or websites will be removed  
A list of removed apps will be saved on your desktop  
Note: If you reset Windows 8 computer and get all personal files deleted, Data Recovery Professional could get all your lost files back with ease.

How to refresh or reset your Windows 8/8.1 PC

Before you get started, read the above chart carefully and then decide whether to refresh Windows 8 or reset Windows 8. Steps to refresh Windows 8 PC and reset Windows 8 PC are slightly different.

  • 1) Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.

    Note: If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.
  • 2) Tap or click Update and recovery, and then tap Recovery. refresh windows 8 pc

    To refresh Windows 8/8.1: Choose Refresh your PC without affecting your files, and then click Get started. Click Next and now it's refresh time, this option can take up to 15 minutes. Once that's finished, your PC is 'refreshed' with all your documents and purchases intact. You even get a document informing you of all the programs that have been removed.

    To reset Windows 8/8.1: Choose Remove everything and reinstall Windows, and then click Get started. You will get the following options.

    reset windows 8

Choose "Just remove my files" if you're just to reset the PC for your own use, which is faster. Choose "Fully clean the drive" if you are about to sell or give your PC to someone else and you want to ensure that they can't use a PC forensics utility to mine data off the supposedly erased hard drive. It's much more time consuming than the first option, but also makes your PC safe for transfer to a new owner.

Refreshing Windows 8 and resetting Windows 8 is not the only feature of Windows 8. If you are with Windows 8 now, you could use Microsoft account to log into your computer! And we have a post on How to Reset Microsoft Account Password, which tells you how to change this password for security concern and how to reset it when you forget it.

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