Historically, re-installing your Windows operating system is a complex and lengthy process, that is if you can even find the install discs and locate your product key. Windows 8 eradicates this issue with ‘Refresh & Reset’. It’s quick, powerful and easy to implement. Here's how it works:
• Refresh: This option allows you to keep all your personal files and purchased Apps from the Windows Store, whilst removing all downloaded and installed programs such as Java, Adobe and Games. Your PC settings will also revert to default.
• Reset: As with smartphones and tablets, think factory reset. No personal files, programs, Windows Store Purchases will be kept and your PC settings will be returned to default. Your Windows 8 OS will be fresh an exactly as you found it on day one.
Try not to mix the two up or you could lose all your family photos, personal files and those 1000s of MP3s and movies you purchased legally. Don’t worry too much though, Windows 8 does make the options clear at every step and there is an added layer of protection as you must be logged in with Administrative privileges to implement ‘Refresh and Reset’.
So now, you know all about Windows 8 Refresh and Reset, here's how to put it into practice.
Time to Re-freshen up: Windows 8 Refresh
You’ve packed your PC with every application you can think of including Skype, Adobe Reader, Photoshop and the last 20 versions of Call of Duty. It's taking forever to start up and is nowhere near as responsive as it used to be. It's time for a spring clean.
1. Hit Win-C (Windows key and C together), or point your mouse to the top right or bottom right corner of your screen for the Charms Bar to appear. Then click Settings > Change PC Settings > General.
2. Scroll until you see the option ‘ Refresh your PC without affecting your Files’
3. Click Get Started. The following options screen should appear:
4. Click Next and now it’s refresh time, this option can take up to 15 minutes so it’s time for a tea or a quick game of Call of Duty (on another PC, of course).
5. Once that's finished, your PC is 'refreshed' with all your documents and purchases intact. You even get a fancy document informing you of all the programs removed.