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How to Freshen Up Windows 10

For those of you who are searching for help because your Windows 10 installation isn’t running as quickly and cleanly as it was when you first installed it, I have what could be a pretty simple fix for you.  Occasionally things happen with your computer that can cause your Windows installation to become corrupted.  Boot files may get overwritten or replaced during an update, file permissions can get out of whack, your registry will accumulate random pieces of information from toolbars or programs that you used once a year or more ago, and got left behind during the uninstallation.  A lof of people like to use registry cleaners or tune-up applications.  These are usually destructive in my experience, and cause more problems than they solve.  The very best way to get Windows running properly is to backup files and data, reformat and wipe the computer, then reinstall from scratch, copy your data back onto the computer, and reinstall your programs.  But who has time for all that?  Keep reading for the fix below.
screenshot of Microsoft's page
An alternative to a complete reinstallation is to do an “in-place upgrade” which is basically reinstalling the same Windows operating system that you currently have installed over top of your existing installation.  When you do this, you don’t have to reinstall your programs, you don’t lose your data, but a lot of the things that weren’t running correctly on your computer you’ll find will be fixed and replaced by pristine Windows files.  In order to perform an “in-place upgrade”, follow these steps:
  1. Backup your data to an external hard drive to be extra safe (you can skip this step at your peril).
  2. Create a bootable Windows 10 Installation USB key using Microsoft’s link and directions at the following link (choose Download Tool Now and run it):
  3. Start the Setup.exe file on the USB flash drive you created in step 2.  Do this on your computer while Windows is running.  Do not boot from the USB flash drive; if you do so your only option will be to erase Windows and start from scratch.  You have to start the file from within Windows if you want to upgrade your existing computer.
  4. Follow the prompts, choose to keep your existing data, and let the process complete.  It may take an hour or more to do this, but when you’re finished the computer will reboot and welcome you to your fresh, squeaky clean Windows installation and your computer will be all set to use.

Feel free to let me know if you need help with this, or if you come up with some questions during the process.  It absolutely won’t fix every problem with your computer but it is a great place to start and it costs you nothing to try.  If after all this you are still having problems or if you do not feel comfortable doing this on your own give me a call of contact us to schedule an appointment and we can get it done for you.

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