Sometimes, when troubleshooting critical bugs or performance issues with your Windows 11 system, you may need to reinstall the operating system.While the built-in recovery option allows you to reinstall the operating system and keep your personal files, it still removes all your installed apps.
This is where the Windows upgrade option comes in handy.You can perform an in-place upgrade, reinstalling Windows 11 without removing apps.Here, we show you two ways to repair your Windows 11 installation without losing any data.
How to reinstall Windows 11 without deleting apps
If you have a bootable USB drive or ISO image, you can use it to perform an in-place upgrade.It allows you to reinstall the operating system as an upgrade without deleting your data and applications.
Once you have the installation media ready, continue with the steps below:
1. Connect the bootable USB drive to your computer.
2. Once detected, open File Explorer and then open the USB drive.
3. Next, double-click the setup.exe file to start Windows Setup.At the "User Account Control" prompt, click "Yes".
4. In the "Install Windows 11" window, click "Change how settings download updates".
5. Then, select Not currently required.
6. Click Accept to agree to the terms.The installation wizard will run some checks to make sure you are ready to install.
7. In the Choose what to keep window, select Keep personal files and applications.
8. Click "Next" to continue.
9. In the "Ready to Install" window, review your settings.If you want to change your selection, click "Change what to keep".
10. Click the "Install" button to start the Windows 11 repair installation.This process will take a long time to complete, so leave your system idle and connected to a power outlet.
11. After the installation is complete, you can log in with your local user account or Microsoft account.
How to install Windows 11 with ISO image repair
Alternatively, you can use the Windows 11 ISO image to perform in-place upgrades and reinstall the operating system.It is useful if you don't have a spare USB stick with enough storage space to create an installation medium.
To repair your Windows 11 installation with an ISO image, here's how:
1. First, download aISO file for Windows 11and save it to your computer.
2. After the download is complete, right-click the ISO file and select Mount.You can also double-click the file to mount it on your computer.
3. In File Explorer, go to This Computer > Devices and Drives, and double-click the newly installed virtual drive.This will launch the Windows 11 setup wizard.
4. In the Windows 11 settings window, click Change how settings download updates.
5. Select Not currently, and then click Next.
6. Click Accept to continue.
7. If a warning appears about your display language, click OK.
8. In the "Ready to Install" window, click "Change what to keep".
9. Select Keep personal files and applications, and then click Next.Note that during installation, you will not be able to use your computer.So save all your work and close the application.
10. Next, click the Install button to start the process.The upgrade process will take a while to complete.
After the upgrade is complete, your computer will automatically restart.Then, go to Settings > Apps > Apps & Features and you should have all the apps and games installed.
The next step is to install the missing updates.To do this, go to "Settings" > "Windows Update" and click "Check for Updates" to install pending Windows and third-party updates.
Reinstall Windows 11 without deleting apps
Microsoft's in-place upgrade is a great system troubleshooting feature.It allows you to reinstall Windows 11 to fix system file corruption and other issues without removing your apps.
That said, in-place upgrades are useful when your system is in a bootable state.If your Windows is damaged to the point that it won't boot or repair itself, you'll need to use a recovery drive or a system repair disc to rescue your system.
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