Difference Between Windows 8’s Refresh your PC and Reset Your PC Settings

by Venkat eswarlu on September 17, 2011

in tips and tricks

Microsoft introduced two new settings Refresh your PC and Restore your PC  in Windows 8 developer preview lets you repair and reinstall windows without the need of Win8 installation disc. Further more System Restore feature is different from these which lets you restore your system to initial state/working  condition. Don’t get confused with these settings, here is detailed explanation on what changes will happen to your PC.

Refresh your PC vs. Reset your PC

With Refresh Your PC

1. Your files and personalization settings won’t change i.e. the below features stays the same

  • Personalization settings such as start menu background color and lock screen
  • Network setting such as your wireless network connection
  • Libraries settings
  • Windows Update settings
  • Customer experience improvement program settings
  • Windows error reporting settings.

2. Your PC settings will be restored to their defaults : Your PC will go back to most of its original settings. However this won’t affect any choices you made during Windows welcome, such as Computer name and user accounts.

3. Applications came installed on your PC and apps from windows store will be kept and other apps you installed will be removed. You need to manually install those removed apps after refresh.

With Reset your PC

1. Personal files and apps will be removed:  Windows installed drive will be completely  reset. Your files and apps will be removed from the drive, Windows will be reinstalled.

2.  Your PC settings will be restored to their defaults.

Refresh your PC  Reset your PC
Files and personalization settings will be kept Personal files and apps will be removed
Except Windows apps  and apps came with Windows other user installed apps will be removed All the apps including from the Windows app store will be deleted.
PC settings restored to defaults Same


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Meena Bassem September 21, 2011 at 3:11 am

so, apparently , reset your pc is like formatting – reinstalling the OS once more?


Venkat September 21, 2011 at 5:48 am



Nguyen Hoang Long October 12, 2011 at 8:53 am

Thanks for the useful information. I have a question: If I got Windows Developer Preview installed on partition C:, and my data stored on other partitions (i.e. D:, E:) . If I reset Windows Developer Preview, my data on partition D:, E: won’t be affected, will they?


Venkat October 12, 2011 at 11:33 am

They won’t be affected, reset is almost formatting OS drive and reinstalling it again.


Dick March 29, 2013 at 1:03 am

Great features. Thank you, Microsoft.

I hope this fixes my SoftAP issue.


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