When Microsoft announces a new update for Windows 10 users, it usually doesn’t then add any more features after the fact to surprise PC owners. But that’s exactly what has happened with the first of two feature-packed upgrades planned for this year, Known as Windows 10 May 2020 Update, the new software started to roll out worldwide last month, but this week, Microsoft has revealed a new change.
Microsoft is now informing Windows 10 users that is has moved the Fresh Start feature. As the name suggests, Fresh Start is designed to begin everything again. Start Fresh allows you to reinstall Windows 10 as if anew for the first time – wiping any bugs that a problematic previous update might’ve caused, any malware ruining the experience, or other gremlins in the code.
Microsoft warns that using the tool will mean “you may lose your digital licenses, digital content associated with applications, or other digital entitlements for applications as a result of using the tool, which may impact your ability to use apps you paid for or app-related content you paid for”. Of course, if your PC has become so unusable that you’re planning to use the Fresh Start feature, you probably won’t mind too much about the loss of the digital licenses.
However, if you’ve been desperately looking for the Fresh Start feature since updating your PC – don’t worry, it’s not you.
Microsoft has relocated the crucial option without warning. Until now, Fresh Start has been located in the Windows Security app. Clicking on the Additional Info option listed below the Fresh Start heading would display the Get Started button to kickstart the drastic reset process. Of course, if you haven’t updated to Windows 10 May 2020 Update yet, this remains unchanged – and exactly the process you need to follow to reinstall the operating system.
If you have updated your system, you’ll now need to head to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Reset this PC > Get Started. You’ll then be given the choice to select Keep My Files, decide whether these should be stored locally on your PC or in a preferred cloud storage option, and finally, whether to restore preinstalled apps.
Quite why Microsoft decided to add this extra twist to the operating system after its launch is unclear.
Bizarrely, there is still a Fresh Start option in the May 2020 Update, but clicking on the usual Additional Info no longer shows the Get Started option. Instead, it sends you to your default web browser and loads a webpage called “Windows Security Track device performance & Health” with extra info about performance over time. That’s it.