Microsoft updates device and performance health page to clarify the removal of Fresh start

A couple of days back we reported that Microsoft broke Fresh start on Windows 10 May 2020 Update. Windows Insiders have been complaining about the broken link for a while now but Microsoft did not take note of the issue and pushed the version 2004 update.

Now, Microsoft has quietly updated its device and performance health support page to clarify the missing Fresh start feature. According to the support page, Microsoft has removed the feature from Windows Security and has merged it with the 'Reset this PC' option under Recovery settings. If Windows 10 users on version 2004 or later want to use Fresh start, they will need to follow the steps below:

  • Navigate to Settings > Update and Security > Recovery > Reset this PC > Get Started > Keep my files
  • Select either Cloud download or Local reinstall depending on your preferences
  • Click 'No' when asked, "Restore preinstalled apps?"

Microsoft also noted that if "Restore preinstalled apps?" option is not available then the PC does not have any OEM apps that will be restored after resetting the PC. Following the aforementioned steps will get the same result as Fresh start on Windows 10 version 1909 and earlier.

Source: Microsoft

Windows 10 users who are still on version 1909 or earlier can access Fresh start from Settings > Update and Security > Windows Security > Device performance & health > Additional info > Get Started.

While it is good to have related features in one place, Microsoft could have done a better job at clarifying the changes made to Fresh start. With overwhelming feedback from Windows Insiders, it is hard to say that Microsoft did not know about the confusion it may cause to Windows 10 users. Furthermore, the 'Additional Info' option under Fresh start pointed users to the support page which did not mention that the feature has been moved. The support page was updated earlier today, presumably after the extensive reports from Windows 10 users who complained about the missing Fresh start feature.

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