The intrusive and many times unnecessary software that comes installed on a brand new Windows device can seriously degrade the operating systems performance on brand new hardware or if you ever needed to restore that system using the OEMs recovery disks/software.
Commonly referred to as bloatware, Microsoft has recognized the negative impact this experience can have on the perception of Windows and a few years ago they began a program called Signature Edition to deal with this issue.
Signature Edition PCs from the Microsoft Store cost you nothing extra and come with just Windows installed nothing more and nothing less. That means your system will perform much faster and you will likely not experience any issues due to problems that could be induced by the OEM software that comes pre-installed on so many devices.
As Microsoft continues towards the release of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update this summer they have introduced a new tool that will now put this choice in the hands of consumers running Windows 10.
The Windows 10 Refresh Tool, which has just entered public testing as part of Windows 10 Build 14367 which was recently released to Windows Insiders in the Fast Ring, will perform a clean installation of Windows 10 and remove apps that came pre-installed on your device including support apps and drivers. As part of the clean install process it will also remove any apps and desktop programs you may have installed as well.
While Windows Insiders have several caveats relating to the testing of the new Refresh Tool for consumers it will be more straight forward once the Windows 10 Anniversary Update is released in July.
So you might ask why you can't just go ahead and use the Settings>Windows & update>Recovery>Reset this PC option to get a clean install.
While resetting your PC using that option will give you a fresh system and options to keep your personal files, it will also restore your system using the recovery image installed by the manufacturer of the device. That means any bloatware they pre-installed will be right back on your system and interfering with its performance.
The Windows 10 Refresh Tool does not depend upon that pre-installed recovery image. Instead it will download a clean copy of the Windows 10 operating system that you are using on your system (i.e. Home or Pro) and the restored operating system will be free of any OEM bloatware.
As mentioned above you will likely need to update your drivers through Windows Update but more OEMs have started uploading their drivers regularly to Windows Update and that should help you get back up and running quickly. An alternative option for missing drivers is to visit the support site for your PCs manufacturer and grab the driver downloads there.
The Refresh Tool, once it is released, will give you an option to retain your personal files during this clean installation process. However, once the process is done you will need to manually reinstall your apps and desktop software so make sure you have the installation media for that.
This tool may seem like an insignificant thing but in this era where we have seen security issues with OEM software and tools, it finally gives consumers a choice to get rid of the unnecessary layers of software and expiring trials and use their Windows 10 system with its best performance possible.
What do you think of the concept of Windows 10 Refresh Tool?