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Refresh vs Reset Your PC

Windows 8 brings two new (kind of) functions: Reset and Refresh Your PC

There are two key differences between these settings. Refresh your PC is like a Repair Install. Reset your PC is like reformatting your drive and reinstalling the Operating System.

When refreshing a PC in Windows 8, Windows will preserve the following data and preferences:

  • Your personalizations such as backgrounds, wallpapers, etc.
  • Your downloads, documents, data, music, pictures, videos, etc. Basically all your data will be preserved.
  • Windows Store Apps
  • Your BitLocker and BitLocker To Go settings
  • Your wireless network connections
  • Any mobile broadband connections
  • Drive letter assignments that you have configured.

On the other hand, Windows will not preserve the following during a refresh:

  • Desktop applications that are not included with Windows. A file will be created on your desktop listing the applications that were removed.
  • File type associations
  • Display settings
  • Windows Firewall settings
  • Network sharing settings.
  • Machine wide Windows settings

To perform a Refresh of a Windows 8 machine:

Start typing and the Search function will come up. Search for Advanced Settings and click on Advanced startup options

Once in the Advanced Settings panel, click on Refresh Your PC

You will be presented with a rundown of exactly what will occur. Choose Next

The following screen will come up which will automatically start the Refresh process

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