It’s not a secret anymore that Windows 8 bundles so many new tools, but here’s something that can really prove to be a great timesaver:
the computer reset and refresh utility.
In fact, there are two such tools, one for resetting the computer and another one for refreshing it, as they have different purposes and work in a slightly different way.
‘Why would I need to reset my system?’ you may ask. Oh well, imagine that you’re struggling to save your files after a massive malware infection or you’re simply planning to give your computer to somebody else and you don’t want him or her to recover your data.
What’s more, these two goodies can be easily used as troubleshooting options, as they could lend you a hand whenever you’re trying to deal with some apps slowing down your machine.
So let’s start with the resetting option.
There are several ways to launch the resetting utility, but the easiest is to launch the Start Screen and type "reset
." Hit the “Remove everything and reinstall Windows” option
and you’re good to go.
Once you start the resetting process, all your personal files and the installed applications will be removed, while the PC settings will be changed back to their defaults.
The system resetting option first lets you know that it will remove your all personal files and apps and then lets you choose which drives to clean.
The process is pretty simple and doesn’t require advanced computer knowledge. You can remove all files from all drives or only the drive where Windows is installed, with two different cleaning options at your disposal: complete cleanup or just a quick one, but the latter may allow others to recover your data.
The computer will then boot into the so-called “Windows Recovery Environment” and will completely format the selected hard drive (based on your options). Then, it automatically installs a fresh copy of Windows, it boots up and asks you to perform the initial configuration process (the one with the username, colors and other personalization options).
The refreshing tool is a bit simpler and much faster.
Again, if you wish to launch it as quickly as possible, open the Start Screen and type “refresh.” Hit the “Refresh your PC” menu entry
and that’s it for now.
Basically, a computer refresh won’t change your files and personalization settings and will also keep your Windows Store apps, but instead it will remove all third-party programs. All PC settings will be changed back to their defaults, while a list with the removed apps will be saved on your desktop.
Refreshing your PC won’t remove files and personalization options, but instead will uninstall all third-party applications.
The process is, as we said, much faster, so the computer launches the Windows Recovery Environment and selects the data to be saved, including settings and Modern apps. A fresh copy of Windows is automatically installed, and after that it restores the previously-saved content.
Of course, you have to configure the system once again, but that shouldn’t be a problem at all, as everything takes just a couple of minutes.