How to perform a repair installation for Windows 10


Apr 19, 2016

A repair installation for Windows 10 can repair a broken OS, undo any critical mistakes or bring an otherwise broken device back to life without wiping all your data. It takes time and patience but if you need to repair Windows without wiping the drive and starting again, it’s the only option. Here’s how to perform a repair installation for Windows 10.

You will need to be able to login and use Windows 10 to trigger the install. You will also need 8.9GB of free space on your hard drive and an ISO or USB installation media. That media must be the same Windows version and build as you have on the drive. It will not work otherwise.

Perform a repair installation of Windows 10

Log into the Admin account within Windows 10 and turn off all security apps such as spyware scanners, antivirus and anything that monitors file changes.

1. Mount the ISO file or insert the USB drive.
2. Select setup.exe from the media and run.
3. Select download and install updates when prompted and then hit Next.
4. Wait for the process to complete and complete the license terms when prompted.
5. Select Change what to keep when prompted.
6. Select Keep personal files and apps and click Next.
7. The install will now complete.
8. Set up Express or Custom settings as you like.
9. Once complete, you will see the initial sign in window once more ‘We’re setting things up for you’. Wait for it to complete.
10. You should now see the Windows 10 desktop and have access to your old data and settings.

The repair installation process takes a while but does a much better job of letting you know what’s going on than previous versions. Once installed and you have verified all your files and apps are there, it might be a good time to do a little disk cleanup.

Other troubleshooting guides for Windows 10 on Tom’s Guide:
How to rebuild the icon cache in Windows 10
How to turn USB notifications on or off in Windows 10
How to stop wake timers in Windows 10