Microsoft has quietly added a handy new feature to an early version of Windows 11 that could make fixing problems with your PC much easier.
If you’ve been using PCs for a while, you’ll probably have found that if your computer starts acting weirdly and you can’t figure out why, reinstalling Windows can often fix things. However, this is usually a last resort, as the process can be time-consuming – and you have to make sure you have everything backed up, so you don’t lose important files.
As Neowin reports, Windows 11 build 25905 has rolled out to people who have signed up to the Windows Insider program to help test out early versions of upcoming Windows updates, and it comes with a new feature in the Recovery settings.
This new feature allows you to fix problems with your PC using Windows Update. It seems that if you select this option, Windows 11 will download the latest available update and do a ‘fresh’ install of that, while keeping your apps, files, and settings.
A great idea, but with some drawbacks
This new feature is probably one of the better ideas Microsoft has had, and if it works, it really could make fixing some Windows 11 problems a lot easier.
In the past, doing a clean install of Windows could be a right pain, as it essentially meant wiping your hard drive and starting again. In the bad old days, this also meant digging out your installation disks and activation code. If you lost those, then you were in trouble.
Even in later versions of Windows, such as Windows 11, which added an option to reset Windows, which was similar to doing a full reinstall but without much of the inconvenience, such as having to use installation media, it was still a lengthy process, as you had to reinstall many of the applications you use.
If this feature works as promised, the process should be even more streamlined, with all your apps and documents remaining untouched, and could mean the process of fixing any annoying problems is pretty fast and painless.
There are some drawbacks, however, as it appears to enable the feature you’ll need to boot into Windows 11 first – which isn’t much help if your PC is refusing to boot. It’s not clear if you can access this feature via safe mode either.
If the problem has been caused by the latest Windows 11 update, then reinstalling that update might not fix the problem, either.
Still, I’m always happy to see Microsoft introduce new ways to help fix problems, and while the company seems to have kept this new feature quiet, it could end up being one of the most useful additions in recent years. Hopefully, it’ll roll out to all users in the coming months.