How To Update/Refresh Windows 10/11 Without Data Loss (6 Tested Ways)

The big problem to repair a Windows 10/11 installation is to reformat and reinstall it, correct? The issue is that it erases everything from the storage, forcing the user to reinstall their apps and restore all their data from backups. Which is very time-consuming and slow. We don’t want that! This page goes over Six steps you can follow to update or refresh Windows 10/11 without losing any data.

6 Working Methods To Update and Refresh Windows 10 or Windows 11 Without Losing Data

Make a Backup 

This is seemed to be step zero of each process, especially when you want to run some tools with the potential to make changes to the system.

You need to take a complete image backup of the system before you begin. There are 2 reasons behind this:

  • User can recover their data from this, should they elect to proceed beyond step five and reformat and reinstall.
  • Now no matter what breaks in the following steps, users have the option to restore to their backup image always and be no worse off than they were, to begin with.

DekiSoft Note: These are safety net; one must take one before proceeding.

ALSO CHECK: Fix: Bootrec /fixboot Access Denied Issue.

Try Disk Cleanup

It might seem a bit odd to start with this as it does not repair anything on the surface, it only gets rid of unnecessary junk as well as files that are no longer required.

Now, depending upon what we experience, it is not common for all the junk to contribute to the problem. Browser caches, temporary folders which are full of old files and much more can have a lot of impact on your system.

However, there is another motive for doing this: disk space. Few steps we shall perform next might require, or at least work effectively, with an extra disk space provided by a good cleaning.

ALSO CHECK: Open CMD In Current Folder on Windows 10/Windows 11.

Keep Windows Updated

Various problems can be resolved by making sure that its completely up to date.

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Refresh Windows 10 Without Losing Data

For this:

  • In the first step, you need to go to “settings application”.
  • Select “updates and security”.
  • After this click on “check for updates” to let it do its things.

At times rather than being the solution, this is no problem, if it is not working for the same reason.

System File Checker works (most of the time)

You need to run an administrative command prompt or PowerShell, for this, you need to right-click on the start menu, click on the version which includes “(Admin)”. After this enter the following:

SFC /scannow

Followed by the enter button

Repairing Windows with SFC

This is used to check for the damaged or missing system files as well as repairs the problems which it finds if it cans.

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DISM which is abbreviated as Deployment Image Servicing and Management command is one on which we have spent so much time on but if SFC does not solve your problem then it is the next tool in our arsenal.

Windows 10 Repaired Without Data Loss

Now, again the administrative command prompt or PowerShell you need to enter the following:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Followed by the enter button.

It is used to check for some things above and beyond the file integrity SFC checked.

Start from scratch

Refresh install reinstalls its “on top of” existing installation. Makes sense? I hope it does.

The approach here is to pretend that you are upgrading the machine from a prior version of it. The upgrade tool does not notice that it is updating to the same version which is installed currently. It goes through all the motions anyway, refreshing the entire installation process.

Refresh takes some time plus configuration settings are lost often. We cannot tell you which, as what is affected and how it seems to change from one version to another.

Clean Install and Wipe Everything

All the steps which are explained above are intended to preserve what is there on the machine currently. Installed programs, data, and configuration settings should survive everything which has been done so far.

If nothing has helped to resolve the problem, it may be time to reformat and reinstall. You shall need to reinstall all your apps and restore data from the backup you started with or elsewhere.

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We admit it is harsh and painful, but at times it is the most effective and efficient way to bring this version to a clean state.

ALSO CHECK: How To Install Custom DeviantArt Themes on Windows 10/11.


In this guide, we showed you how to repair Windows 10 or Windows 11 without losing programs or data. This will totally refresh your PC and even make it faster. This can be a better app opening and boot times. Let us know your thoughts below and which step has worked for you?

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