Before starting the procedure by which to reinstall Windows 11, we suggest you make a backup of your data that may be present on your computer so that you can always access it in the unfortunate event that something should go wrong or if you choose to delete all files on the PC.
How to Reinstall Windows 11 Without Losing Data
We would like to explain to you how to reinstall Windows 11 using the system reset function, which allows you to restore the computer to factory settings without deleting either the personal files saved on the hard disk (personal files only mean the files contained in the main user folders, then Documents, Pictures, Videos, etc.) or applications downloaded from the Windows Store. To do this, just take advantage of a special feature attached to the operating system itself.
To do so, head over to the ‘Settings’ app from the Start Menu. Go to the ‘System’ tab and then click on the ‘Recovery’ tab. Now you have to click on the ‘Reset PC’ option on the ‘Recovery Setting’ screen. On the screen that is shown to you on your desktop, choose the Keep my files option.
Now stick to the appropriate wizard visible on the screen by pressing the Next button twice in succession, then clicking on the Reset button and waiting for the operating system recovery to be started and completed. In case of second thoughts, press the Cancel button.
The operation will take at least 10–15 minutes and when you re-enter Windows you will be shown a list of applications removed from your PC following the restore activity: these are software installed outside the Windows Store.
How to Reinstall Windows 11 Deleting Files or Drive
Now let’s see how to reinstall Windows 11 in a more drastic way, so to speak, i.e. by deleting the operating system and all the data on the PC. Even then, you can accomplish this by using the aforementioned Reset your PC feature.
To reinstall Windows 11 through the appropriate functionality attached to the system, head over to the ‘Settings’ app from the Start Menu. Go to the ‘System’ tab and then click on the ‘Recovery’ tab. Now you have to click on the ‘Reset PC’ option on the ‘Recovery Setting’ screen. On the screen that is shown to you on your desktop, choose the Remove Everything option.
Now choose between a ‘Cloud Install’ or ‘Local reinstall’. In the window that is shown to you at this point, indicate if you want to remove only your personal files or if you also intend to clean the drive.
In the first case, click on Remove only my personal files while in the second press on Remove files and clean the drive and then click on the Reset button. Keep in mind that the first option allows you to restore Windows 11 faster but is less secure while the second may take up to a few hours but will make it extremely difficult for third parties to recover files. If you have second thoughts, press the Cancel button.
In the first case, the procedure to reinstall Windows 11 is totally automated and also quite quick. The computer will be restarted several times and at the end of the whole operation, you will be shown directly the Windows desktop (in case you have set the automatic login) or the login screen to your account (you will then have to type the relative password to the same and click the button with the arrow).
If, on the other hand, you have chosen to reinstall Windows by removing all the files and cleaning the drive, the computer will restart and the initial configuration procedure of Windows 11 will start which could take up to a few hours.
Then you will have to set the geographical area, the preferred language for the apps, the keyboard layout and the time zone (if you have no special needs you can leave everything as it is), you will have to accept the legal info and you will have to choose whether to customize the settings or whether to use quick settings.
The system will then start the configuration and retrieve any updates after which you will have to create your account by following the simple on-screen wizard. Depending on your needs, you can associate your Microsoft account with Windows or create a local account. Once this is done, the procedure to reinstall Windows 11 will be completed and you will be shown the desktop.