In Windows 10 May 2020 Update, Microsoft has moved the Fresh Start recovery tool

Microsoft building in California

Windows 10 has always had a number of recovery options for when the time comes to reinstall the operating system. One of these is called Fresh Start, which gives you the option of reinstalling Windows 10 while retaining files and some settings and apps.

In Windows 10 May 2020 Update (Windows 10 version 2004), this handy recovery tool seems to have vanished. In fact, Microsoft has even updated its support pages to indicate that Fresh Start is only available in Windows 10 version 1909 and earlier. But the functionality of Fresh Start is still available -- you just need to know where to look.

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In short, Fresh Start has been moved into the Reset This PC feature of Windows 10 May 2020 Update -- although references are still made to it in the operating system. If you open Windows Security from the Update & Security section of Settings, in the "Device performance & health section" there is still a "Fresh start" heading and description of the tool. But it's not really there.

Over on its support pages, Microsoft notes:

Fresh start is available for Windows 10 versions prior to 2004.

But all is not lost, as the company goes on to explain:

For version 2004 and after, Fresh start functionality has been moved to Reset this PC. To reset your PC, go to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Reset this PC Get Started. Then select Keep my files, choose cloud or local, change your settings, and set Restore preinstalled apps? to No.

If you don't see the option to Restore preinstalled apps, it means your PC doesn't have preinstalled apps configured and won't restore apps from your PC manufacturer.

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