Reinstall to repair Windows 10 without losing your programs, settings and apps

You may face critical problems that cannot (or you think they cannot) be solved but only by performing a fresh Windows setup. As you know Windows offers an option to reset your PC, i.e. to keep your personal files (not even settings), if you want to, and reinstall the OS. It is not difficult though to reinstall Windows without losing your programs, settings and customizations. Here is what you need to do.

In case you already have an ISO image of Windows 10 (even old) you can use that, otherwise get a copy from Microsoft with its media creation tool. Whatever ISO image you are using, when the installer asks you just let the setup search for and download updates from Microsoft.

The crucial point in this repair comes when you are offered a choice of what to keep or discard. There is an option to keep “settings, personal files and apps”. This description may be misleading, because usually in our days “apps” are called only those we get from Microsoft Store. The truth is that any program is an application, from MS Office to Adobe Photoshop or your old Winamp player — and it is with this broad sense that also Microsoft uses the term “app” here.

Therefore, selecting this option you won’t keep only your Store apps but all your programs, you will keep any application and utility you may have, from MS Store or elsewhere, along of course with your personal files and custom settings. Take care: as always, when you make a change of that scale on your system, make sure you create an image of it to return to your current state if you need to. Enjoy!