Windows Insiders are told of new tool for squeaky-clean install of Windows 10
June 19, 2016 by Nancy Owano
(Tech Xplore)—Windows Insiders can be happy over a tool for them which will offer the chance to live in a Microsoft world slimmed down from PC bloatware.
This tool at the moment available to Windows Insiders, will only work on recent Windows 10 Insider Preview released builds (build 14342 or later). It is a Windows 10 tool designed to deliver a clean install of Windows 10 and you can say this with the accent on clean.
The new tool not only installs a clean version of the most recent version of Windows but also can remove apps that came pre-installed or that you installed on your PC. Softpedia's Bogdan Popa reported on Friday that "Microsoft has just launched the Refresh Windows app that lets you clean-install Windows 10 with just a few clicks in anticipation of the Anniversary Update coming next month."
Zac Bowden of Windows Central on Thursday also called the tool "Refresh Windows" and also pointed out who can take advantage of the tool. "Right now," said Bowden, "the tool is in testing with Windows Insiders, so it only works on machines running Insider build 14342 or later, but the end goal is to have it working on the public release of the Anniversary Update."
Wayne Williams is BetaNews' managing editor and he similarly said that "the new tool only works on Windows 10 Insider builds, although it will also work on the Windows 10 Anniversary Update when it's released at the end of July."
The official word was posted on Thursday from Microsoft via the Microsoft Answers Community page:
"Hello Windows Insiders!
We are happy to announce a new tool that lets you start fresh with a clean installation of Windows. Use this tool to install a clean copy of the most recent version of Windows, and remove apps that came pre-installed or that you installed on your PC."
The Community page also is the site where you see a download link for the tool.
Brad Linder, Liliputing, on Friday said, "Now Microsoft is introducing a new tool that truly makes it easy to perform a clean install, even if you don't have a Windows 10 disc lying around."
Senior Contributing Editor Woody Leonhard, InfoWorld, was also one of the Windows watchers who on Friday discussed this clean-start option:
"Microsoft released the latest beta test version of Windows 10 for those on the Insider Fast ring," he said, and the one new feature drawing a lot of attention was the start-fresh option.
Leonhard commented how this might impact bloatware. Might others in the computer industry feel the burn?
"With the "start fresh" option in Anniversary update, Microsoft is making it easier to create a non-bloatware-addled system. They're circumventing the hardware manufacturers in the process."
Leonhard explained how key manufacturers of hardware make sales profits in part "by sharecropping out screen real estate on new PCs and selling it to the highest bidder. It remains to be seen if the 'start fresh' option will eat into their revenue."
Another point which was made, in addition to who can currently use this tool: Trying out a tool which is part of an early build carries its own risks so be aware of that. The Community page said that "like your current Windows Insider Preview installation, trying out an early build (and an early new tool) like this can be risky. That's why we recommend that you don't install the preview on your primary home or business PC. Unexpected PC crashes could damage or even delete your files, so you should back up everything. See the Windows Insider Preview FAQ for more details."
They stated that "we don't recommend installing the preview on any PC where you wish to ensure all of your applications and application-related content (including Microsoft applications such as Office) remain properly installed and licensed."
Tom Warren in The Verge wrote on Friday that "Windows 10 testers will welcome the tool, especially as the Anniversary Update is nearing finalization before it's released broadly next month. Microsoft has released two Windows 10 test builds ... to testers, and the company is running a 'bug bash' to try and discover as many bugs as possible before it finalizes the Windows 10 Anniversary Update."
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