Reinstalling Windows 10: What to watch out for?

Do you immediately start installing all kinds of software after a clean installation of Windows? It is better to check some parts first and perform some specific tasks. In this article you can read tips to keep in mind when you reinstall Windows 10.

The 'classic' method for a clean installation is as follows: you download the installation media and put it on, for example, a USB stick of at least 8 GB, after which you start the installation from the stick. This is easiest with the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.

Start the tool and agree to the license terms. Tick ​​the option Create installation media (USB stick, DVD or ISO file) for another PC at. In the next window, select a suitable Windows version, for example Dutch, Windows 10, 64-bit (x64). click on Next one and check (for example) USB flash drive. Then refer to your plugged in, empty USB stick. Confirm with Next one and exit the tool after the process with Complete.

You start the installation with this stick from the special boot menu or on older PCs by adjusting the boot order in the bios. In the Windows installer, choose Install now. Moments later, the activation screen pops up. If you previously installed and activated Windows 10 on this PC, click I don't have a product code: After installation, activation is usually taken care of automatically. Those who previously updated Windows 7 or 8(.1) to Windows 10 did not receive a key, but only a digital license. Otherwise, enter your Windows 10 key. When asked which installation type you want, click on Amended.

Clean installation

If you have previously upgraded your system to Windows 10 and now want a clean installation, there is an easier method. Boot into Windows and open Institutions with Windows key+I. Select Update & Security, System Restore.

In the right panel you can now access Reset this PC click on To work, giving you the choice to keep your personal files or delete everything. In the latter case, you will lose all installed apps and settings. The factory settings are restored. Any apps supplied by default from the manufacturer will also be placed on the PC again.

However, there is another option available. Choose at More recovery options in front of Start over with a clean install of Windows and click Yes, Get started. Your personal data will be preserved in this case, as will some Windows settings, but most apps will now be removed, including Microsoft Office, third-party antivirus tools, and bloatware. This is most like a clean install.

Activate and update Windows 10

Your fresh Windows is neatly ready for you, but you do want to be sure that the activation went well. To that end you open Windows Settings and choose you Update & Security, Activation. If all goes well, you will read here that Windows has indeed been activated. If the (automatic re)activation does not succeed, a few reboots can help. If necessary, open the command prompt as administrator and try to force activation with the command slmgr.vbs /ato.

If you encounter an error message, restart your PC and try again. If you did not enter a product key during the installation while you wanted to, you can still do so at via Activation, Update Product Key, Change Product Key.

Immediately after a Windows installation, check whether new updates are available. Go to Settings, Update & Security and choose Windows Update. click on Find updates and have all updates installed. Restart your PC and repeat this procedure until there are no more updates.

To avoid being interrupted by updates at inconvenient times, click Change operating times, put your GAutomatically adjust operating times on from and click Modify Bee Current operating times. You can then specify a time frame within which your PC will not just be restarted.

If you prefer to have more control over the update process, you can postpone the update process for up to five weeks. All you have to do is click on Windows Update Pause updates for 7 days. Of Resume updates you cancel this interruption.

Installing drivers and troubleshooting

During the update process, Windows checks the drivers and retrieves the updates if desired. Often this works fine, but sometimes Windows misses an update or, worse, installs a driver that doesn't work optimally or even causes conflicts. In any case, what we recommend is a manual check of the Windows Device Manager: press Windows key+R and enter devmgmt.msc from.

Several problems can arise here. An exclamation mark next to an item means that Windows has recognized the device, but the correct driver is not present. Dives the type Other devices, Unknown device then Windows has no idea what device it is. And finally, it cannot be ruled out that on some devices, such as monitors, Windows has installed a general driver that often offers fewer options than the manufacturer's.

As for problematic or generic drivers, it's a good idea to look for and install driver updates on the manufacturers' websites yourself. That certainly applies to your graphics adapter – for example, it happened to us that Windows placed incomplete updates on our system, which we then had to remove with a tool like Nvidia DDU or AMD Cleanup Utility.

Identifying an unknown device can be tricky. A free tool like Unknown Device Identifier can help. After a scan, it lists all detected devices and highlights the unknown ones. Through the part Detail you can, among other things, request the so-called PnpID and then enter it as a search term at Google. There is a good chance that you will find the right driver this way.

You can also request these IDs from the Device Manager itself. Right click on the relevant device and choose Characteristics. Go to the tab Details and click Hardware IDs in the drop-down menu. Google the top value first. If that doesn't work, try the second one, possibly accompanied by the make and model of your computer.

Secure account

If you chose a local account when installing Windows, the ID data will be stored securely locally. However, if you work with a Microsoft account, then you would do well to secure it with so-called 2FA. That stands for 2-factor authentication and basically means that you need an additional confirmation from a mobile app on a trusted device for your registration. You can set up 2FA at, where you Two-step verification set and follow the instructions.

Windows also lets you link your Microsoft account with other apps. You arrange that from Wwindows Settings, where you Accounts choose and then Email & Accounts, Add an Account selects.

Check Windows 10 privacy settings

It is an open secret that Microsoft wants to know as much as possible about its users. If you don't feel comfortable with that, you can reach most privacy-related options via Settings, Privacy, where you go through all the sections and parts and set them as desired.

Or you can use a portable tool such as Windows Privacy Dashboard. Start the app as administrator and preferably click the circle icon first to create a restore point. Then you choose Privacy, after which you get an overview of several dozen privacy settings that can be switched on and off,

In the main section blocker you can also disable Windows telemetry functions, if the Windows Defender Firewall is active. Disabling telemetry automatically creates firewall rules that block outgoing traffic to specific Microsoft servers.

Points of attention

Your new or updated Windows installation is almost ready to use. However, there are still some parts that deserve your attention. For example, after a major update, Windows System Restore may no longer be active. So you check that. Tap recovery in the Windows search bar and choose Create a restore point. You can read the status of each disk drive here. Via the button Configure you can enable or disable system restore per drive and further configure it.

Furthermore, you can of course set your desktop background completely to your liking and make sure that the action center displays the buttons of the apps you use most. Click on the action center button (the thought cloud) on the far right of the Windows status bar and right-click on one of the buttons at the bottom. Choose Edit quick actions and decide for yourself where which buttons go.

You also want to determine which apps are allowed to provide notifications. You arrange that down to the last detail via Windows Settings, System, Notifications & Actions. Continue to open the section Concentration aid, because here you can set times when you will not be disturbed by such notifications.

You are now all set to put all your favorite programs on your system and you might find Ninite, with several dozen popular and free tools, a nice starting place…

Dive deeper into Windows 10 and take control of the operating system with our Tech Academy. Check the Windows 10 Management online course or go for the Windows 10 Management bundle including technique and practice book.

Recent Posts

$config[zx-auto] not found$config[zx-overlay] not found