One of the features I envy on Apple’s line of computers is Internet Recovery. It lets you reinstall OS X from the Internet. All that’s needed is access to a wireless network and you can have a new copy of OS X with the latest updates installed. For Windows PC’s, this has been a pipe dream; until now. Microsoft’s latest flagship devices, the recently launched Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book, include an exclusive option to reinstall Windows 10 from the web. It’s called: “Recover from the Cloud”.
Recover from the Cloud is especially handy if your recovery partition is corrupt. Microsoft has not documented the feature anywhere on its official Surface web page. So, we thought we’d show it to you. Microsoft does note, the feature is not exclusive to the Surface devices; OEMs can enable the feature on their systems, too.
Access Recover from the Cloud in Windows 10
The first thing you need to do is boot into the Windows Recovery Environment…a more robust version of Safe Mode. Shut down your device and press and hold the volume down button, and then press the power button to start the device; do not release the volume down button. When the Surface logo appears on the screen, you can release the volume down button.
Once booted into the Windows Recovery Environment, work through the onscreen instructions. Choose your language and keyboard layout.
After that, select the Troubleshoot option.
Then select Recover from the Cloud.
If your Surface device is encrypted, enter the recovery key to unlock it then click Continue.
Now select the obvious choice: Windows 10.
Click Reinstall to begin the recovery. This might take some time, so make sure your device is plugged in.
Remember, this will do a clean install and wipe the drive of your files, user accounts, apps, and settings.
Then wait while your device is recovered from the cloud. Again, this can take quite a while and each user’s experience will vary.
Some early adopters of Surface Book and Surface Pro 4, have reported needing to perform a Recover from Cloud, in order to have the device function properly. Apparently, out of the box configurations might have issues with Windows 10 image used at the factory. If you bought a Surface Pro 3 preinstalled with Windows 10, the Recover from the Cloud feature might be available on your device, too.