Answered: Will Installing Windows 10 from USB Delete Everything?

Will installing Windows 10 from USB delete everything? In this article, we’ll uncover the answer and give advice on how to install Windows 10 without losing data.


By Ellie / Updated on April 3, 2024

Share this: instagram reddit

Will installing Windows 10 from USB delete everything?

“I upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and then decided to revert to Windows 7. but I have run into many issues and I want to reinstall the Windows 10 OS. I have the Windows 10 OS on a USB drive. Will installing Windows 10 from USB delete everything?”

-Question from Microsoft Community

Windows 10

Unfortunately, it is sorry to inform you that installing Windows 10 will erase all the files/folders on C: drive and it will re-install fresh files and folders of Windows 10. So please make sure that you have backed up all the personal data and files that you wish to save before installing Windows 10 from USB.

How to reinstall Windows 10 without losing data from USB [2 parts]

The process of how to reinstall Windows 10 without losing data from USB is divided into two parts. 

Part 1. Back up important files in advance

You are advised to use the specialized backup program AOMEI Backupper to generate a system image backup of your crucial personal data and files before beginning to install Windows 10 from a USB drive. It enables you to quickly back up all of your data and then quickly restore files from the backup anytime you need to.

Step 1. Download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper for Windows on your computer. 

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Under the Backup tab, select the System Backup option.

System Backup

Step 3. Decide where you want the backup image to go. Backups may be made to any place (folder) that Windows recognizes, including local storage, a NAS network location, an external hard drive, etc.

Select Destination

Step 4. If necessary, adjust the scheduled backup settings by clicking Schedule Backup on the next page. After that, launch the procedure by clicking Start Backup.

Start Backup

Part 2. Install Windows 10 from USB

Then you can start installing Windows 10 from USB without being worried about losing data.

Step 1. Connect the bootable USB to your computer. Now, click on This PC to open it and right-click on the USB drive, click Open in the new window option.

Upgrade Windows from USB

Step 2. The Setup.exe file is located here; to run it, double-click it and then choose Yes from the User Account Control dialog box that opens.

Setup File

Step 3. After it, a Get important updates window will appear along with the two options:

  • Download and install updates (recommended)
  • Not right now

Download and Install Updates

Step 4. If your computer is connected with a working internet connection then it is recommended to select the first radio button present along with the Download and install updates (recommended).

Step 5. After clicking on the Next button, you might have to wait for a while as the setup will download the available update file.

Getting Things Ready

Step 6. Once it is done, you will get the following screen. Simply read the terms and conditions and click on the Accept button.

License Terms

Step 7. So, you are agreed to the License Terms, now the setup will start downloading the updates, if available.

Getting Updates

Step 8. After checking for the updates, Windows will make your system ready for it.

Ready to Install

Step 9. At this point, you have to alter some settings. Click on the link labeled Change what to keep.

Change What to Keep

Step 10. Now you can see the Choose what to keep window along with the below given three options:

  • Keep personal files and apps
  • Keep personal files only
  • Nothing

Keep Personal Files Only

Step 11. Once it is done, you will get the screen in Step 9. You can simply click on the Install button to proceed.

Step 12. At this step, you have to click on the Install button to start the reinstallation of Windows 10. During this process, your computer or laptop might reboot a few times.

Installing Windows 10

Bonus tip: The last line of defense for avoiding data loss

If there are some unexpected things happening and causing data loss even if you have made a backup, the last thing you can do to retrieve your data is to use a professional data recovery tool, for example, MyRecover. Although it is very easy to operate, it recovers files at a high speed and success rate.

Before starting, download, install and launch MyRecover on your computer.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Hover the mouse over the drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.

Select  Partition to Scan

Step 2. The tool will automatically search your hard drive to find the lost data. You can type some keywords of the files in the search box to quickly find them.

Scan Lost Data

Step 3. Choose the files you want to recover > Select a place to save them (you can recover any files during the scanning process).

Recover Lost Data

Closing words

Will installing Windows 10 from USB delete everything? We have seen many user feedback on different forums complaining that they have lost files after installing Windows 10 from USB. Therefore, the solution we gave in this post is to first back up all your important files and then start to install Windows 10 from USB. Besides, we also introduced a data recovery tool to help retrieve your lost files in case something unexpected happens.

Ellie · Editor
Ellie, a professional and experienced writer who is good at solving iOS-related problems and writing iOS backup/transfer tips.