How to Perform a Clean Install of Windows 10 from Windows 8.1, 8, 7

Apr. 28, 2018 / Updated by Bessie Shaw to Windows 10

If your desktop or laptop is currently running activated Windows 8.1, Windows 8 or Windows 7 and you want to perform a clean install of Windows 10, you could take the instructions below to upgrade your computer to Windows 10. After Windows 10 clean installation is complete, we recommend you to backup Windows 10 to external hard drive in case of data loss, disk failure, BSOD, etc. If you have clean installed Windows 10 on your HDD but later would like to install Windows 10 on SSD for better performance, you can use AOMEI Partition Assistant which allows you to migrate OS to SSD without clean install Windows and applications.

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Create Installation Media before Performing a Clean Install of Windows 10

Before doing a clean install of Windows 10, firstly, you need to use the Windows media creation tool to create the installation media on a USB flash drive. This media creation tool could help download the right Windows 10 installation files for your PC.

Follow the steps to create the installation media for Windows 10, as below:

Step 1. Download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool from Microsoft page. Click the blue Download tool now button to get it.

Step 2. When the download is finished, run the Media Creation Tool.

Step 3. Select Create installation media for another PC.

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Step 4. Select Language, Edition and Architecture.

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Step 5. Choose to create the Media Creation tool on a USB drive.

Step 6. Select the USB flash drive where you want to save the installation files.

Note: Your USB flash drive shall have at least 6GB free space.

Step 7. Click Next to begin to create the installation media.

Step 8. Once the installation media is created, select Finish.

Note: With Media Creation Tool, you could create install media for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 10. Besides, it can identify your current installed version of Windows and then install the right version of Windows 10 for your PC.

Perform a Clean Install of Windows 10 From Windows 8.1/8/7

Once the installation media is created, you could prepare for a clean installation of Windows 10 from Windwos 8.1, Windows 8 or Windwos 7. Take the following steps:

Step 1. Power on your desktop or laptop.

Step 2. Plug in the USB flash drive you created to your computer.

Step 3. Power off your computer.

Step 4. Restart your computer.

Step 5. Press any key to boot from the USB flash drive and the Windows 10 upgrade will start automatically.

Step 6. Unplug the USB flash drive before the first time the installation reboots your computer.

Note: If you don't unplug it in time, your computer will boot from the USB flash drive again and will reboot the whole installation process.

After a PC restart, you may be required to change the boot order in the BIOS settings or UEFI settings. BIOS settings allow you to run a boot sequence from a floppy drive, a hard drive, a CD-ROM drive or an external device. The first device in the order list has the first boot priority. You need to set the boot priority for your USB flash drive. Here’s how to.

Step 1. Once your PC is turned on, press a particular key (like Esc, F1, F2, F8, F10, F12, Delete, etc.) immediately to enter the BIOS Setup. The key is different depending on your BIOS manufacturer.

Step 2. The BIOS Setup Utility appears.

Step 3. Select the BOOT tab via the up and down arrow keys. System devices appear in order of priority.

Step 4.Move the hard drive device to the first position in the list.

Step 5. Expand the hard drive device to display all hard drives.

Step 6. Move the USB device to the top of the list of hard drives.

Step 7. Save and exit the BIOS setup utility.

Step 8. The computer will restart with the changed settings.

Step 9. On the Windows 10 Install page, select Next.

Step 10. Select Install Windows.

Step 11. On the Enter the product key to activate Windows page, enter your Windows 8.1, 8, or 7 product key.

Step 12. Select I accept the license terms on the License terms page, and then click Next

Step 13. Select Custom on the Which type of installation do you want page.

Step 14. Select your required partition on the Where do you want to install Windows page. Select the formatting option you want to perform and then follow the instructions.

Step 15. Select Next when the formatting is finished.

Step 16. Complete the Windows 10 installation according to the follow the instructions.

Windows 10 Drivers Download and Update

A clean install of Windows 10 is different from Windows reset or refresh. It removes everything, including drivers and programs. After the clean install is complete, you need to download and install the correct Windows 10 drivers to make your hardware devices to normally communicate with your Windows system. You could try the reliable and widely-used drivers download utility – Drive Talent to download and install the Windows 10 drivers automatically for you.

Click the Download Now button below to free download Driver Talent.

Download Now


Below are 3 easy steps to download and update Windows 10 drivers for your desktop or laptop.

1. Scan Your Computer

Click “Scan” to find out the missing device drivers.

scan your pc

2. Download and Install Windows 10 Drivers

Click “Repair” to download and install the appropriate Windows 10 drivers automatically within a few minutes.

download windows 10 drivers

3. Reboot Your Computer

Make a PC reboot to allow all changes to take effect.

Note: In addition to automatic drivers download and install, Driver Talent could also allow you to backup your drivers, restore drivers prior to your current version, perform a system restore, and a whole lot more.

If you run into any issues about performing a clean install of Windows 10, please make comments below the post for further assistance.

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