A repair upgrade fixes Windows system issues while preserving your files, apps, and settings.
When your Windows 10 installation gets funky or slow, you will try anything to get it fixed: system file checker, DISM, check disk, just to name a few. Usually, the last resort ends up being a clean install, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. We all know, Microsoft’s reinstall options for Windows 10 include Start Fresh, Reset, and a clean install from setup media such as DVD or USB. But another handy option is the Repair Upgrade.
What exactly is a repair upgrade, though?
It is simply a way to perform a fresh install of Windows 10 without deleting your apps, files, and settings. In this article, we take a quick run through the process of performing a repair upgrade.
Perform a Repair Upgrade Using your Windows 10 Install Disc
What are the benefits of a Repair Upgrade?
Apart from preserving your personal files, apps, and settings, a repair upgrade can repair stubborn problems such as a corrupt Windows Installer service, Windows Update issues, registry entries, and corrupt system files.
Before you perform a repair upgrade, make sure you have reinstall media that corresponds with the edition of Windows 10 you have installed. So, if you are running the Windows 10 Anniversary Update or the Creators Update, make sure you have that version, along with the edition and architecture (Home, Pro, 32-bit, 64 bit). To find that information, press Windows key + X, click System, then review your system details. If your system came preinstalled with Windows 10 Home or Pro, you could follow the instructions to download Windows 10 and use that to perform the repair upgrade. Check out our guide for instructions on how to download and create bootable media.
Start the Process
You don’t necessarily have to create a bootable copy—the ISO itself will be sufficient. Just double-click the file to mount the ISO or right-click on it, choose Open with, and File Explorer. Once your install media is ready, you should be prompted to start the installation.
Go through the installation wizard as you normally would when installing a new feature update.
Remember to choose the option: Keep personal files and apps.
When you are ready, click Install to begin.
This will be your screen for a little while. After the installation is complete, you will be asked to sign in and finish up the install.
One thing you will notice is your Windows 10 installation will be reset back to its original release. So, for example, instead of having the latest cumulative update installed, you will see something like 15063.0 installed. If you were connected to the Internet during installation, Windows 10 setup might intelligently download and install those updates before reaching the desktop. If not, you can follow our guide to download the latest cumulative update to get your system current.
As a precaution, you should follow some of our pre-requisite tasks, such as disabling security utilities, disconnecting non-essential peripherals, before starting the upgrade. This can reduce the chances of conflicts occurring during the upgrade.
That’s pretty much all there is to a repair upgrade. Not only do you get to perform a fresh install, but you preserve your files and apps and repair any damaged system files or services while doing it.
Have you ever performed a repair upgrade? If so, let us know how it went in the comments.