Windows 11 might soon offer users the ability to run an in-place upgrade directly from the Settings panel, which would be a convenient option for those needing a swift way to repair problems with their PC.
The option to do this was spotted in the latest preview build of Windows 11 (version 25284) by @PhantomOfEarth (via Windows Latest), a Twitter-based leaker who regularly shares bits and pieces on the topic of Windows. Note, however, that it’s hidden right now, so Windows 11 testers won’t see this function unless they use ViVeTool (a Windows configuration tool).
You will soon be able to run an in place upgrade to the same build without installation media it seems. Hidden in 25284 (new Fix problems using Windows Update option)vivetool /enable /id:42550315 pic.twitter.com/WiaLb0qjAvJanuary 25, 2023
The option is present in System > Recovery in the Settings app, and is labeled ‘Fix problems without resetting your PC’.
What this does is attempt to solve any issues you have with your system by fully reinstalling the current build of Windows 11. This effectively acts as a way to repair corrupt system files, for example, that may be causing your OS to misfire in one way or another, by replacing them (while leaving all your personal files and data, and apps, untouched).
Analysis: A feature that’s likely to make the cut
Naturally, reinstalling the current build of Windows is a fairly lengthy process, and as Microsoft notes in the text for the option, users should try running Windows troubleshooters before resorting to this method (and also don’t forget our guide to solving common problems with Windows 11).
Normally, performing a reinstall in this manner requires grabbing the appropriate installation media (the Media Creation Tool), so putting the option for an in-place upgrade (and repair) right there in Settings is a very convenient touch.
That said, this hasn’t even been enabled in testing just yet – it’s simply a placeholder option that doesn’t function, and as noted it’s hidden away to boot. However, there’s a good chance it’ll be sent live in a preview build before too long, as it seems like a useful addition for Windows 11 and one unlikely to cause any controversy. Still, there are many reasons features in testing may not pan out, so we can’t take it for granted that this is inbound for the release version of Microsoft’s OS.
Just keep those fingers crossed, because this would be a definite boon for users as an easy repair option when something has gone awry with Windows 11, and it’s not possible to figure out exactly what. Of course, those kinds of errors can be the most frustrating when Windows is behaving oddly and not giving you any sort of clue as to why.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).