Full Information: Cloud Download vs Local Reinstall

Cloud download vs Local reinstall on Windows 10, which is better? This article will give you a detailed description of the difference between the two. It also provides you with a way to protect your system.


by Yuka Updated on November 1, 2022

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Why and How to Reset Windows 10

If there are some Windows-related system errors on your PC and you fail using other troubleshooting, then you can choose to reset your PC. For example, suppose you are troubleshooting a major problem after a Windows update, and now your computer won't boot properly. You've done everything you can think of to fix the problem, searched the web for some suggestions, but you're running out of ideas. At this point, resetting this PC is your lifesaver - a guaranteed solution to a truly frustrating problem.

You can follow the steps below to reset your PC.

  1. Press Windows + I to open Windows Settings.
  2. Click Update & Security -> Recovery.
  3. Under the Reset this PC section, click the Get started button.

Get Started

  1. You will then need to choose to Keep my files or Remove everything.

Keep My Files or Remove Everything

  1. On the next screen, you will see the Cloud download and Local reinstall options.

Cloud Download vs Local Reinstall on Windows 10/11

The "Reset this PC" feature will reinstall the Windows operating system on your computer. It offers you two options: Cloud download and Local reinstall. Both options will replace your system files with new ones. Let's take a look at the differences between the two, each option has its advantages and disadvantages.

Cloud Download or Local Reinstall

#1. Cloud Download: Download System Files

When you select "Cloud Download", Windows will download new system files from Microsoft's servers and use them to reinstall Windows on your computer. This option is essential if your PC's system files are corrupted. You should note that the size of this download may exceed 4 GB, which may be a problem if you have Internet data limitations or a slow connection, and you may need to choose to Local reinstall instead.

#2. Local Reinstall: Uses Your PC’s Files

If you choose "Local Reinstall", Windows will reinstall Windows using the system files already on your PC. Windows needs to check and find the original files and then reassemble them into a new Windows system. If you have a fast Internet connection, this method may be much slower than a Cloud Download. According to Microsoft staff, a local reinstall can take more than 45 minutes to build a new copy of Windows from an existing installation.

Which Is Better: Cloud Download vs Local Reinstall

Both "Cloud Download" and "Local Reinstall" are different ways to reach the same state. However, in some cases, they each have unique advantages.

  • If you have a fast Internet connection and no data speed limitations, use Cloud Download. This may help you save some time.
  • If you want to avoid some unnecessary downloads, please use Local Reinstall.
  • If the Windows system files on your PC are corrupted, or if you have tried a Local Reinstall and failed, use Cloud Download.

Whichever way you choose, your PC will have a fresh install of Windows in the same place.

Backup Your Data Before Resetting Windows 10/11

Reset this PC feature can help you get back to normal when there is a problem with your computer, but it may delete all your personal files. Also, if you are worried that your important files will be lost for other reasons during the reset process, you can back up those important files first. To create a backup, you can ask for help from professional free backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard may be a good choice.

This free backup software is available for all Windows systems, such as Windows 11/10/8/7. It combines backup, restore, clone and sync to meet your various needs. Let’s see what outstanding advantages it has.

✨ Protect your operating system with System Backup, and recover your computer from system crashes or ransomware. It can back up disks/partitions/volumes at block level for more efficient backups.
✨  Incremental backup - back up only data that has changed or been newly added since the last backup.
✨  Automatic backup to create set and forget tasks in a daily, weekly or monthly mode.

If you are new to this software, you can refer to the following illustrated steps to backup your important files before resetting your computer.

  1. Click the download button below to install this freeware on your computer.
Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download
  1. Launch AOMEI Backupper, click Backup on the left tab and then select File Backup on the right.

File Backup

🌴 Tip:  You can also backup files to AOMEI Cloud with Cloud Backup feature and enjoy 1TB free storage in 15 days. 

  1. Click Add File or Add Folder according to your needs. Choose the files or folders which your want to backup.

Add File or Add Folder

  1. Click the second box to select backup destination. You can backup files to external hard drive, NAS network location, or other locations as long as it can be detected by Windows.

Select Destination

  1. Confirm everything is OK and click Start Backup to backup files.

Start Backup

🌴 Tips: Before clicking Start Backup, you can customize your backup by clicking on the three options in the lower left corner of the program.
🥥 Options: You can comment, enable email notification, set compression level, create pre/post-command, etc.
🥥 Scheme: 3 different backup schemes are supported – Full Backup, Incremental and Differential Backup. And you can also use this software to delete old backups to free up disk space while keeping the latest backup versions. But it is available on AOMEI Backupper Professional at least.

Configure Backup Method

Useful Tips: Backup Your System after Resetting Your PC

After you reset your computer, your Windows is brand new and the system files are intact. At this time, it is recommended that you create a system backup using AOMEI Backupper. This way, when you encounter any system problems again, you can use the System Restore feature of this software to restore your computer to a normal state.

You can also use this software to create a bootable media. When you have a serious problem with your computer and it fails to boot, you can use this tool to successfully boot your computer.

Select Task

Final Words

 Cloud download vs Local reinstall, you can learn the difference between the two ways of resetting your computer through this article and choose the one that suits you better according to your situation. You can protect your important data with the free pieces presented in this article.

Of course, this software has many other useful features, cloning, synchronization, etc. You can use it to migrate your data or system when you want to upgrade your computer's hard drive.

Yuka · Editor
Yuka, our dedicated editor at AOMEI Technology, is committed to bringing you valuable insights and guidance in data protection. Her mission is to empower everyone with her knowledge in computer backup and recovery, disk cloning, file synchronization, and more. Yuka's goal is to do her best to make complex tech tasks simple and ensure that your digital world remains safe and secure.