Windows 10 could soon allow you to factory reset your PC using the internet – in much the same way you can reset a Mac or MacBook using macOS’s Internet Recovery feature.
This is according to renowned Microsoft leaker WalkingCat, who claims that in a future version of Windows 10, you’ll be able to reinstall Windows from an internet download – rather than an image stored on your PC’s hard drive, or on a USB stick.
18950 bootux :How would you like to reinstall Windows? > Cloud download : Download Windows > Reset locally : Reinstall my existing Windows operating systemJuly 29, 2019
According to WalkingCat, this new feature would be present in Windows 10 build 18950 – which is still some way off from being made available to users. People testing early versions of Windows 10 on the Windows Insider Fast Ring are on build 18945, for context.
A better way to reinstall Windows 10
If this feature does make it to Windows 10, then it will be a welcome addition. Currently, if you want to factory reset your Windows 10 PC or reinstall Windows 10, you do so either from an image stored in the ‘recovery’ partition of your hard drive, or by using an image on a DVD or USB drive.
This isn’t always useful, because if your hard drive becomes corrupted, you won’t be able to use the image stored on it, and some laptop and PC makers either don’t include an image, or limit how many times you can use it.
Using an image from a USB drive means you have to keep it somewhere you can easily find – otherwise you’ll need to use another PC to download the image and turn the USB into a bootable drive if your main PC no longer works. These images aren’t always the latest releases, and may not have the drivers for all your hardware.
If Windows 10’s ‘cloud download’ restore feature works in a similar way to macOS’ Internet Recovery, then you’ll get the latest version of Windows 10 with all the drivers you need.
Internet Recovery is one of the most useful features of macOS – especially if you’re restoring your Mac to sell it on or to fix any problems – so we’re excited to see a similar feature (hopefully) coming to Windows 10.
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Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.