If you run into problems that you can’t easily fix on a computer running Windows 11 , the operating system has an option that lets you “reset this PC” by reinstalling Windows. But, this reinstallation deletes all your applications and all your personal settings (as well as your files if you choose the “Delete everything” option).
Microsoft is currently testing a new system recovery tool that allows you to reinstall the operating system without removing apps, settings, or files .
Microsoft says an early version of the new “ Fix Problems using Windows Update ” tool is now available in the Settings > System > Recovery menu for members of the Windows Insider Preview program who are using Canary Channel builds of Windows 11.
If no major issues are found, the feature could eventually roll out to Dev, Beta, and then Stable channels.
The ability to reinstall Windows without having to reinstall all of its apps and reconfigure its settings and preferences could be a huge time saver. I imagine that this will not necessarily solve all the problems that one can encounter with a PC. But, it might help fix issues related to accidentally deleted system files, registry changes, or other issues.
Of course, like the current “Reset this PC” options, the new tool will only work if you manage to boot into Windows 11 . More serious issues may require a clean install using Windows installation media.