Last month, Microsoft revealed that it was working on a tool that would let users simply and easily start fresh with a clean install of Windows 10. This week, that tool has leaked, and it appears to be an online version of the Reset This PC that is built into Windows 10.
And because it is designed for Windows 10 with the Anniversary update, the only way to use this tool right now is with a recent build of the Windows 10 Insider Preview: It won’t work the current, shipping version of Windows 10 (1511).
So. What is this thing?
About a month ago, Microsoft revealed that it was working on a solution to a problem most people probably didn’t realize they had.
“Want a simple and easy way to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows?” a Microsoft employee identified only as Jason asked. “Looking for an easy way to do this? We’re working on a tool to make this possible.”
At the time, Jason said that final testing and validation of the tool was underway, and he promised additional information as Microsoft completed development. That information has never been provided, but given this week’s leak, it’s likely we’ll learn more soon.
Here’s my guess.
Because Jason’s note is aimed at Windows Insider, it’s likely that the Refresh Windows tool is designed to help those testing pre-release builds of Windows 10 quickly and easily wipe out their PC and grab the very latest Windows 10 pre-release build.
But I could see Refresh Windows benefiting normal users too: As you may have experienced, The Reset This PC tool sometimes fails and having a way to refresh or reset the PC separately is very useful.