How to reset Windows 11 and have a clean install on your PC

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Philippe Gloaguen
@philippegloaguen
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support.microsoft.com

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For those who love cloud-based installations, a hidden option is available via a restore. To work with this option, you must already be on a version of Windows 11. This will ensure a clean install for you whether on your device where Windows 11 was pre-installed or if you are having trouble upgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 11.

How to reset Windows 11 and have a clean install

Windows 11 recovery option (cloud download)

  • On your Windows 11 PC, go to “Settings -> System -> Reset -> Reset this PC”.
  • After a few simple on-screen steps, select "cloud download" as the new Windows 11 download source. This will ensure that the latest version of Windows 11 is installed on your PC via the cloud.
  • The PC will reset and download the latest version of Windows 11.
  • Your PC will reboot multiple times for the recovery and installation of Windows 11 to complete.

Windows 11 Media Creation Tool

You can also use the Windows 11 media creation tool but you will need a USB drive.



  • Download the 
  • As soon as you launch the media creation tool, a pop-up screen will open. Wait a few moments while it prepares.
  • You will be greeted with an “Applicable Notice and License Terms” document. Accept to proceed.
  • Select your language and edition of Windows 11, then click "Next" to proceed.
  • Choose the USB drive option as the media you will use to burn the media creation tool.
  • Insert a USB drive into your laptop / PC. It will be selected as the USB drive where the Windows 11 Media Creation Tool will be installed.
  • Sit back and wait for Windows 11 to download and install.
  • Start the computer using the USB created at startup, which, depending on the manufacturer, you will have to press: F2, F12, Esc, etc. You have to press the key very quickly while restarting your PC, so that it takes you to a blue installation screen.
  • Follow the onscreen instructions until you get to a screen asking you to allocate space for the Windows 11 drive on your PC.
  • Windows 11 installation starts as soon as you select a partition. You don't need to do anything else, as the installation is pretty automatic from here.

If the system asks you for a Windows license key, save it from the command prompt, then use this command on the command prompt before installing:



wmic path SoftwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKey

Note: Do not use this procedure if you have used registry editing to upgrade your Windows 10 to Windows 11 for upgrade compatibility. Use the first method with cloud download.


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