The Windows 10 upgrade process is dragging old settings, applications and files from your previous Windows OS to your new one. However, Microsoft is allowing you to make a Windows 10 clean install, even if the activation process is a bit confusing.
This article is also useful for the ones who have purchased a new Windows 10 PC which includes annoying manufacturer-installed applications that you don’t really need. Keep in mind that if you perform a clean install, you will not be able to get the free Windows DVD Player application. However, don’t worry, because you can always install an application such as VLC, which will allow you to play DVDs without any problems.
How to reset and remove everything from your computer
There is an alternative to clean-install and can be done by using the “Reset feature” which allows you to reset your Windows 10 OS back to its fresh state.
If you have installed the Windows 10 OS by yourself, this will give you a fresh Windows system and you will not need to worry about this. However, in case you’ve purchased a computer that came with Windows 10 pre-installed, by performing a “Reset”, you will once again get all the annoying applications that we were talking about above.
According to reports, this is not the perfect solution, as some users said that this helped them and the Windows 10 was working like a charm after doing the reset. However, other users claimed that this didn’t fix the corruption issues. In case this didn’t work for you, we suggest you to perform a real clean install.
In order to reset your Windows 10 OS, open the Settings->Update & Security->Recovery and click on “Get started” button. After that, you will select “Remove everything” and this will remove all your files (make sure that you have backups of those files).
If you want to upgrade your Windows 7/Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, but want to make a clean install, then you will need to do some extra work. First of all, you will need to upgrade your Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 license to Windows 10 and in order to do this, you will need to perform an upgrade directly from your old OS to the new OS. With other words, you will not get a Windows 10 activation key and instead, you will upgrade directly from Windows 7/Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. Once you do this, your computer’s hardware is registered with Microsoft’s servers and whenever you will try to re-install the Windows 10 OS, the servers will recognize your PC as having a Windows 10 OS license.
Keep in mind that if you don’t take advantage of the upgrade process first, the registration will not happen and you will not be able to install Windows 10 OS on your computer.
To upgrade from Windows 7/Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, you will need to download the Windows 10 Media creation tool and tell it to “Upgrade this PC now”. Then, it will automatically download the Windows 10 OS and upgrade your Windows 7/Windows 8.1 to Windows 10.
Once the upgrade is complete, make sure that Windows 10 is activated by going to Settings->Update & Security->Activation. If you see there “Windows is activated”, then you can perform a clean install right away.
Downloading The Windows 10 OS And Creating The Installation Media
In order to perform a clean install, you will need to download the Windows 10 media creating tool from Microsoft. This tool will download the Windows 10 installation files for your system and it will allow you to create a bootable USB drive or DVD. Once the Windows 10 installation files are downloaded, select “Create installation media for another PC”, but keep in mind that here you will see two versions: Home and Professional. Make sure you select the version that your PC has license for and select either 32-bit or 64-bit (nowadays 64-bit is more common).
Now, finally insert the USB Flash drive or DVD and restart your computer. Be sure that you boot from either USB Flash drive or DVD and you will notice that the installation process of Windows 10 will begin. To perform a clean install, you will need to select the “Custom” option and partition your system drive however you want. In case you have a single Windows partition, you will be able to tell the installer to overwrite it. But if you have many partitions, you can also ask the installer to delete them all and install Windows 10 in the unallocated space.
Just follow the prompts and when the installation is complete, you will see that the Windows 10 OS is activated. Some users have reported that the Windows 10 didn’t activate right after the installation and it seems that this happen because the Microsoft servers were overloaded. Just wait a few hours and you will most likely see your Windows 10 activated.
HINT: When you reach a screen asking for your Windows 10 product key, skip it if you’ve used the Windows 7/8.1 upgrade. However, in case you’ve purchased a new Windows 10 OS, enter the key.