In this Windows tutorial, you will find step by step instructions on how to clean install Windows 10 from USB drive or stick. So, if you’re looking for a fresh start, then this tutorial is really helpful for you.
Windows 10 is available for download and if you still had not upgraded from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, then your computer might be showing you message to upgrade. In case, you want to perform a fresh install of Windows 10. You just need to follow steps in right order to complete the process.
The process of clean installation of Windows 10 is very simple until you have a valid license. Here is how you need to do:
Minimum System Requirement for Windows 10
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
- RAM: 1 GB for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
For Windows 10 with Anniversary Update: 2 GB for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit.
- Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS
- Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
- Display: 1024×600
Things to Keep in Mind
Backup your important data: Clean installation of Windows 10 will remove all your personal data, so it’s recommended to backup all your important data.
If you purchased the copy of Windows 10: You must keep or note the license key somewhere, as it is required during the installation.
If you’re previously a Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 user: If you’re currently using Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, then you must upgrade to Windows 10 using the official method and then try to clean install Windows 10 to transfer your license. Once it’s done, from now onward whenever you install Windows 10 it should activate automatically.
Steps to Clean Install Windows 10 from USB Drive or Stick
1. First, you require, Windows 10 ISO file. For that, check my previous tutorial on:
- Get Direct links to download Windows 10 from Microsoft
- Download Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft using Freeware tool
You can also use Media Creation tool to download ISO image of Windows 10 and create installation media. Alternatively, check the article on Creating Windows 10 Bootable USB Drive from ISO using Command Prompt.
2. Now you need to boot your Windows 10 USB Drive. You can normally do this by pressing F12 or another key at startup, then select your USB stick from the list that appears.
3. Setup will start copying the files, once done the screen will appear in which you need to select:
- Time and currency format
- Keyboard or input method
Once done, Click Next.
4. In this screen, you will see an Install button. Click on it to continue the installation.
5. The next screen will ask Enter the Product key to Activate Windows. Enter the right key and Click Next. You can also click on Skip link and enter the product key later if you don’t have the key at the time of installation.
6. In this screen, you need to select which edition of the Windows you wan to install. After selecting, Click on Next button.
Note: If you enter the product key in step 5, the Setup will not provide you the screen that let you select the edition of Windows 10 which you want to install on your computer or laptop.
7. Now the screen will show you License Agreement, just read it, check mark I accept the license term and click Next.
8. The next screen is which type of installation do you want? In this screen, you will see two options:
- Upgrade: Use this option, if you want to upgrade the current operating system to latest one, keeping all the files, apps, and settings.
- Custom: Use this option, If you want to recreate partitions or clean or fresh install of Windows.
This tutorial is about the clean installation of Windows 10, then you need to select Custom: install Windows only (advance) option.
In case, you’re confused about which option to select, then you can click on Help me decide link
9. The next screen is drive selection screen. Here, if you have already installed any version of Windows, then you need to format it to free up space. To format, you need to select the partition and click on Format option which is available on the screen.
After that, select the partition in which you want to install Windows 10 and click Next.
In case, you’re using the fresh hard drive in which you haven’t created any partitions, then you can also create a new partition by clicking on New button. Make sure to allocate a minimum of 20-30 GB depending on your hard disk and click Apply.
You will see a popup telling you that:
To ensure that all Windows feature work correctly, Windows will create an additional partition for system files”.
You just need to click OK. In most of the cases, it allocates 100mb-500mb depending on the operating system.
Note: Above step will remove the data on the entire partition, so make sure to format only the drive in which you want to install Windows 10.
10. Select the Drive in which you want to install the Windows 10 and click on Next button to continue the installation.
Now the installation of Windows 10 will start and take upto 15-20 minutes depending on your system configuration and installation media.
Note: During the installation Windows 10 reboot two or three times. So when your system preparing for a reboot, eject the USB drive and after successful reboot, insert it again. If not, the system will start the process again.
11. Once the installation is done. The screen will appear with two option labeled as
- Use Express Settings
You can click on Use Express Settings button to skip the additional customization steps to enable and disable different features, apps, privacy, and settings. You can also do that later. Or click on Customize button to go through the process and make the desired changes.
In a couple of minutes, you will see Windows 10 desktop. That’s it!
In case, you skip the step 5 of the guide, then go to settings -> Update and security -> Activation -> Enter Product key to activate the Windows.
Why don’t you try out this tutorial and let me know in the comments if you face any issues or have a query?