How to Refresh Your Windows 7/8/8.1/10 PC Without Affecting Files

Is your Windows PC stuck and in need of a good refreshing? This article will show you how to refresh your PC in such a way that your system files will not be affected.

Apr 23,2020 • Filed to: Windows Computer Solutions • Proven solutions

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Every user likes to use a fast system, one that completes tasks and functions in the quickest of times. However, if your computer has been getting overworked, it may act like a human: become “tired” in a manner of speaking. Now, just as humans need to refresh after overworking themselves, so also your computer needs to refresh once its functions begin to get affected.

This article has been designed to help you know how to refresh your system, and not just that, but to be able to do this without affecting your files. You will also be introduced to a tool that will help you recover your files if, for some reason, they get missing after refreshing.

Why Do You Need to Refresh Your PC?

What are some factors that will prompt you to refresh your PC? Discussed below are some of the reasons why you will need to refresh your PC:


What Happens When You Refresh a Windows PC?

After you have refreshed your Windows PC, you can be sure to get the following benefits or results:


How to Refresh your Windows 7 PC Without Affecting Files

You may have noticed that Windows 7 does not have a function to “Refresh your PC” or “Reset” it. This is unlike the other versions of Windows that will be discussed here: Windows 8,8.1, and 10. However, there is a way around this. You can perform a nondestructive reinstall of your system to restore everything to a good condition without affecting your files. If you can still access your desktop, then follow the steps below to reinstall Windows 7, thereby refreshing:

  1. Startup your PC, install either the USB disk or installation DVD.
  2. The “AutoPlay” Windows will appear. From here, choose “Run Setup.exe”. Alternatively, open “Windows Explorer” and launch your DVD drive, then find the “Setup.exe” and double-click
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  4. You will be led to the install page of Windows 7. Choose “Install now”
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  6. Select the option to “Go online to get the latest updates for installation” from “Get important updates for installation”, the dialog box that pops up.
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  8. The next window will ask you which type of installation you want, choose the option “Upgrade”
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  10. You may have to input the “Product Key”. Now, select “Next”
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  12. Choose the tab “Use recommended settings”
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  14. Choose the current location of your Windows, check to ensure your time and date settings are in order. Finally, wait as your installation is completed.

How to Refresh your Windows 8/8.1 PC Without Affecting Files

The steps for refreshing Windows 8 and 8.1 are the same, which is why they are both combined in this section. The steps are outlined as follows:

  1. First, locate the “Settings” button.
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  3. Next, click “Update and Recovery”
  4. Choose the option “Recovery”
  5. Select “Get started”, an option beneath the tab “Refresh your PC without affecting your files”
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  7. A new window will appear with the caption “Here’s what will happen”, under the heading “Refresh your PC”. This way, you will know what will happen once you do the refresh
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  9. Your computer will restart a few times as it refreshes. Sometimes, you will see a screen displaying the progress of your system refresh. The system you are using will determine how long the process will take. The more files you have that you wish to be kept safe, the longer the refresh process will take.

It is important to note that you may need to reconfigure your system to its originally preferred state after you have done the refresh. Some programs that may require reconfiguration and set up include Google Chrome, desktop shortcuts, reset file associations, and so on.


How to Refresh your Windows 10 PC Without Affecting Files

When refreshing your Windows 10, it will be reinstalled and in the process, any apps you may have installed will be deleted. It is important to note that previous versions of Windows 10 contained “Refresh Windows” in the “Windows Defender” window. This has been removed from the newest version of Windows 10, perhaps because of the identical “Reset this PC” feature. With this feature, you can decide whether to keep your personal files or not. Since this is the goal here, follow the steps below to achieve this (as well as refresh in such a way that you don’t lose installed apps):

  1. Connect the installation disc of Windows 10 to your computer. You can also download the latest ISO file of Windows 10 or any previous version
  2. Open the ISO file or installation disc and run “Setup.exe” at the root directory. Alternatively, go to “Resources folder” and run “Setup.exe” from there
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  4. After a brief moment, the Windows 10 Setup window will appear. Choose which updates you wish to download and ignore those you don’t wish to. Choose “Next” option
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  6. The option “Change what to keep” should be chosen under “What needs your attention”
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  8. Of the three options under “Choose what to keep”, select the option to “Keep personal files, apps, and Windows Settings”
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  10. Select “Install”. The refresh process will start. You can know that there is progress when your system keeps restarting
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What to do When Data Gets Lost After Refreshing Your PC

Refreshing your PC comes with the advantages that have been mentioned above. However, in some cases, one or two data might get missing in the process. Now, if you did not back up your files before the refresh, you will need a powerful tool to help you get back those missing files. Today is your day! Why you ask? Well, a powerful enough tool has been provided for you and it’s the Recoverit Data Recovery tool, an application that can scan through hard drives, SD cards, corrupted or damaged systems, crashed systems, and so on, to retrieve files that you may have lost due to one reason or the other. If you have mistakenly or purposely deleted your files and formatted your hard disk, this app can find the files contained in them and recover them for you.

This app can be used in all the versions of Windows that have been discussed in this article i.e. Windows 7, 8,8.1, 10, as well as Mac systems. It can also retrieve files of different formats of videos, images, audios, zipped files, and other documents.

Step 1: Select a Location

Begin with choosing the location from where your file or data is missing. Next, click “Start” and the scanning process will begin

recoverit interface

Step 2: Scan the Location

The time Recoverit Data Recovery will spend in finding the lost files will depend on the size of the files and how heavy or light they are. You can either pause or stop the process by clicking the icon representing each of these functions at the top right of the app’s interface

operations during scanning

Step 3: Preview and Save

The preview feature found in Recoverit Data Recovery comes in handy after your files have been recovered. With this tool, you can view all your recovered files to be sure everything is in order before you click “Recover” and save them.

preview recovered photos


The Bottom Line

Once in a while, a little system refresh s required to clean up your PC and return it to its former glory, free of instability. After using the steps for refresh that applies to your own version of Windows, you will need the assistance of a professional recovery tool to get back any data that may have got lost during the recovery process. Recoverit Data Recovery is the tool you need.

Theo Lucia

chief Editor

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