Is your Windows 8 beginning to run a little slow? If you’ve been working on your Windows 8 machine for more than 5 or 6 months, your computer may show signs of slowing down, quirky behaviors or even serious issues such as locking up or unable to shut down completely. If you are experiencing any of these, refreshing your PC may be just what it needs to get it running well again.
Before we begin, be sure to back up all your important files. Even though it won’t erase any of your personal data, it is always a good precaution to back up your information before performing the “Refresh” option.
Sign in to your Windows 8, and from the Start screen, move your cursor to the lower-right corner until the Charm bar becomes visible. Click “Settings” and then click “Change PC Settings.” Now, look to the left and click “General.”
On the right side, you’ll find several options to help restore your PC. Scroll down until you see “Refresh your PC without affecting your files,” then click the “Get started” button below.
A window will open and indicate exactly what changes will be made. First, your files and personalization settings won’t change. Second, your PC settings will be changed back to their defaults. Third, apps from Windows Store will be kept. Fourth, apps you installed from disks or websites will be removed, so you will need to gather any disks to reinstall your programs, and fifth, a list of removed apps will be saved to your desktop.
Click “Next” when you are ready to begin. Your computer will indicate that it is refreshing your PC and will reboot at least once. This process may take up to an hour or more to complete so leave plenty of time for it to do its work. When it is finished, look at the folder on your desktop to see what programs were removed so you can reinstall them if you desire.
If you receive a message to “Insert media,” it means that some Windows files are missing, and you will need to insert your Windows 8 disk or other recovery media. Once you insert your disk, it will copy the files needed and then resume the “Refresh” procedure.
If you receive a message that it cannot complete the process, it may be an indication that your computer has serious issues and you should consider reinstalling Windows 8 to resolve them.
Scott Lindsay actively promotes learning the computer, regardless of age, to better one’s life and circumstances and has helped thousands of people over the past 12 years to become better computer users. He can be reached at Scott@MicroScottPro.com.