Microsoft Is About To Make Reinstalling Windows A Whole Lot Faster And Easier

If you're a DIY PC enthusiast, then you've probably re-installed Windows countless times. Often, it's simply the fastest and easiest way to fix a broken Windows install, and while you might think that an indictment of Windows itself, Microsoft clearly agrees given the prominence of its "Reset" option alongside "Repair".

Normally these options use backup system files stored elsewhere on your machine to replace the existing Windows install, but this can take a lot of time as the machine has to locate, unpack, and copy the files all using the same disk. Soon, however, there might be a much faster way to do this, assuming you have a fast internet connection: downloading the files from Windows Update.

system recovery windows11 update
Image: Microsoft

This option is more like the extant Repair option than the Reset tool, as it will keep all user settings and files. However, it does appear to be a complete reinstall of the operating system aside from that. Microsoft says "this feature will download and install a repair version of the OS," and that it is intended to be used for "keeping the device secure and up to date."

According to WindowsLatest, the new process should be considerably faster than doing it the old-fashioned way, especially if you're doing it from a recovery USB. Of course, it requires the ability to boot the machine that needs reinstalling, so that's one limitation.

Strictly speaking, this feature isn't completely new; it was introduced for Windows Insiders back in July. However, WindowsLatest is reporting that the feature could make its way into the next major Windows 11 feature update, known as Moment 5. That update is expected to drop in late February or early March 2024, so look out for it then.