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Reinstall Windows 10 (and fix your problems) with these quick steps

Whether you’re trying to fix a serious update problem, get rid of a virus, or prepare to give away your PC, you may eventually need to reinstall Windows 10. This can be a little confusing for newcomers since there are several ways to reinstall Windows, each of which comes with its own set of benefits. And so, let’s take a look at the best reinstallation options, and how to get there!

How to back up your data

We strongly recommend that you do this. Windows 10 even makes it easy, so you don’t need to search for an additional backup tool. Just follow the basic File History steps below.

Step 1: Type “Windows update” into the Windows search bar and select Windows Update settings from the list of results. Alternatively, click on the Action Center icon in the lower-right corner of your screen, select All settings, and look for Update & Security. Once there, select the Backup tab.

If you see an on-off indicator in the next window and it’s it’s toggled to the “On” position, then that means File History has been automatically backing up your files — including your contacts, desktop files, and files housed in your OneDrive folder — meaning you probably don’t have to worry. The feature will back up your libraries as well, but it may not back up all general folders, so place valuable folders into a library to save them as necessary.

Step 2: If your File History tool is off, then you will see an option to add a drive.

Click on the addition sign next to Add a drive, and Windows 10 will search for an external drive to use for the backup.

Select the drive that you want to use for File History. This will toggle File History on and Windows 10 will automatically start backing up versions of files in your libraries. You can click More options to change how often files are backed up and how long they’re kept for. You can also configure which folders and libraries are backed up. Depending on how much data you have, however, this can take some time, so get busy with something else and wait for the backup process to finish.

You can check on the status of your File History by scrolling to the bottom of the Backup options pages and selecting See advanced settings under Related settings. This will open the Control Panel File History window, where you can see the status and access additional options.

Of course, if you prefer to transfer everything to an external hard drive or utilize a cloud service for your backups, please do! Whichever approach you choose, make sure nothing valuable can be lost.

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