Over time, your Windows-powered machine will accumulate digital "filth" that will slow it down and lower your productivity. Here's how to make it running like new and remove all your software woes at the same time!
It goes without saying that it is ALWAYS better to back up your files, especially important ones if you plan to do some digital cleaning. Even you opt to KEEP MY FILES (which will be discussed below), there is still a remote chance you might lose some data.
So prep up your external HDD and copy those files, just to be on the safe side.
After this is over, you'll need to install all the software and apps you are using right now. Check and list them down if necessary. If you have third-party software (MS Office, Adobe, Chrome, etc.), have the installers ready; better yet, download the latest versions. Some apps (Netflix, iTunes, Twitter, etc.) need to be downloaded again from the Microsoft Store after this process; there's no way to save the installer files (.exe) beforehand.
From the Start Menu, Head over to Windows Settings (Shortcut - Windows + I keys) > Update and Security > Recovery > RESET THIS PC
You'll be greeted with two options. You're better with Option #1 - Keep My Files.
As described, it will remove all apps and settings but keep your personal files. This process is faster and almost always fixes any known problems including viruses and malware, registry errors, missing system files, etc. After finishing the process, try out your system how it performs and responds.
If your system still feels sluggish and/or the problems you had before is still present, repeat the previous step. This time, choose Option #2 - Remove Everything.
If you haven't BACKED UP your files, you should do it now. This option will surely erase Personal Data and the process irreversible.
Doing this path requires a longer process and will take time to finish. It is also the most secure and safer way to clean your system. This is also helpful if you're planning to sell your machine and you need to not only delete, but wipe the drives and remove all traces of your personal files.
"Reset This PC" has been one of the most useful tools Microsoft added way back in Windows 8. It's built right into Windows' own Settings; no need to use any third-party software or installing the OS again from scratch, all the while keeping your personal files intact. It's easy and fast, saving you time, guesswork, and headache!