Win 10 OS - Update or Clean Install


Curious what y’all do with Microsoft’s twice-a-year Win 10 updates… Do you let the thing update itself? Or do you manually download new versions and do clean installs yourselves?


I just updated to 1903 via the Media Creation Tool but I’ve also used Windows Update. Either is pretty reliable nowadays.


Iff you have a reliable backup, clean install is the best choice.


Windows 10 Feature Updates installation basically works like this:

  1. It moves the Program Files, Users and Windows folders to a new folder named Windows.old (it adds a number if the folder already exists).
  2. It does a Clean Install of the Windows 10 Feature Update.
  3. It migrates all the installed apps and user data from the Windows.old folder to the new install folders.

Thus to a certain extant, a Clean Install is already happening, it’s just step 3 that migrates things over that keeps it from being a new empty install.

So I don’t think there is any reason to do a Clean Install of a Windows 10 Feature Update instead of the regular update method.

Incidentally, it’s because of this clean install plus migrate method that many people lose some registry tweaks and some settings because the migrate step doesn’t always migrate everything.