Reinstall Windows 10

If you have problems with Windows 10 on your computer, or you want a fresh copy of Windows 10 without unnecessary old files or applications, you can reinstall Windows 10 to try to fix problems and restore your computer to a more organized state.

Checking disk space

If your computer is not working as expected or if you are having problems with Windows 10, it may be due to a lack of disk space. Before taking the steps to reinstall Windows 10, first free up some disk space and see if it helps. For more info, see Free up disk space in Windows 10 .

Before start

  • Make sure you have a backup of your data
  • Make sure Windows 10 is activated
  • Before reinstalling Windows, you must link your Microsoft account to a digital license
  • If a significant hardware change has been made to your computer, you will need to reactivate Windows 10
  • You need to reinstall the version of Windows that matches your license

Windows 10 reinstallation types

The following table provides information about the different options you can choose for each type of reinstallation, including what happens to applications, files, personal data, and the amount of disk space required for reinstallation. This chart helps you choose the option to reinstall Windows 10.

We recommend that you first ” reset Windows 10 ” and ” reinstall Windows 10 using installation media ” if necessary, then try ” clean install Windows 10 using installation media ” if necessary .


  • Beginning with Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903), reinstalling Windows 10 using the installation media while selecting „do not change” (clean install) will automatically enable reserved memory if the partition to which Windows is reinstalled, is 20 GB or enlarged. Redundant storage allows you to isolate disk space for use by updates, applications, temporary files, and system caches, thereby streamlining the day-to-day operation of your computer by ensuring that critical operating system functions always have access to disk space.
  • For devices with redundant storage, resetting or reinstalling the system will first use the reserved storage space before using the remaining disk space. For more information, see How reserve storage works in Windows 10 .