How to Perform a Fresh / Clean Install of Windows 10

How to Perform a Fresh / Clean Install of Windows 10

In this post, we take a look at performing a fresh/clean install of Windows 10. This includes starting a clean install from within a running version of Windows or a hard disk/SSD with no previous Windows installations.

Once you have your Windows 10 installation media ready, all you need to do is boot from the disc or USB thumb drive to begin setup. If you don't have install media, see instructions: How to download official Windows 10 ISO files

  1. Once your computer is set to boot from the DVD, you should see this option. If you are installing from a retail Windows 10 USB thumb drive, you will be asked to select either 32 or 64 bit Windows 10.


  1. The Windows logo will appear on screen, this might be here for a while, as long as you see the animating dots, everything should be ok.


  1. Select your Language, Time and Keyboard method then click Next.


  1. Click Install now


  1. Windows 10 setup will prompt you for a product key during installation a couple times. Click 'I don't have a key' and 'Do this later' .

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  1. Setup will also prompt you to select the edition you have a license for - Home or Pro. Please make sure you choose the right edition. If you choose the wrong edition, your only option will be to perform a clean install again.


  1. Wait while setup prepares to copy files


  1. Accept the license terms then click Next


  1. Click Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)

NOTE: Sometimes Windows 10 setup can become confused if it see's a thumb drive. You might get a driver missing error or something to that effect. If you do, restart setup, but this time, when you arrive at the following screen, disconnect your thumb drive then go through Custom options. When setup is ready copy files, it will prompt you to reconnect the installation source (your USB).


  1. Select the drive then click New

NOTE: If you have multiple partitions listed, select each one (starting at the bottom), then click delete until there is only a single (one) unallocated drive displayed in the window.


  1. Select the unallocated drive listed, click New, click Apply then OK


  1. This will split the drive into multiple partitions, select the Primary partition then click Next.

NOTE: The System Reserved partition is where recovery files are kept for diagnostics and repairing damaged Windows 10 files; or even reinstall Windows 10.


  1. Wait while Windows installs


  1. When this phase of setup is complete, Windows will automatically restart then reboot into setup again.


  1. Windows is detecting and installing your hardware. After this is complete, Windows will restart one last time.


That'all, Congratulations!