How to Perform a Clean Windows 10 Install

You will need access to a DVD or USB flash drive with a Windows 10 Installer. If you already have one, skip to “Installing Windows 10 from bootable media.”

For any terms you are unsure of, check the Glossary of Terms at the end of the FAQ.

Creating bootable media

  1. Go to
  2. Download the tool.
  3. Media Creation Tool Figure 1
  4. Run the tool
  5. Media Creation Tool Figure 2
  6. Review the applicable notices and licence terms and click “accept”, if you don’t accept you won’t be able to continue.
  7. Media Creation Tool Figure 3
  8. Select “Create installation media” and click next.
  9. Media Creation Tool Figure 4
  10. Choose the desired Language, Edition of Windows, and Architecture OR tick the “Use the recommended options for this PC” box if the target device is similar.
  11. Media Creation Tool Figure 5
  12. Choose whether to create a bootable USB or DVD. This guide will continue with the USB setup.
  13. Media Creation Tool Figure 6
  14. Select your desired USB out of the list and click next. Warning: Any files on the USB will be deleted.
  15. Media Creation Tool Figure 7
  16. Wait for the tool to finish downloading and setting up.
  17. Media Creation Tool Figure 8
  18. Your USB is now set up to install Windows.
  19. Media Creation Tool Figure 9

Installing Windows 10 from bootable media

  1. Configure your system to boot from either CD or USB. The process for this is system dependant.
    1. Upon the system start up, press the prompted button to enter BIOS or UEFI, for example on an ASRock motherboard the key is f2.
    2. Search for an option to “Boot from removable media” or “Configure Boot order” and make sure your bootable media is at the top of the list.
    3. A virtual machine's boot menu (Yours will most likely look different)
    4. Virtual Machine Boot Menu
  2. Restart the system.
  3. Configure language, date/time, and keyboard layout to your specifications.
  4. Windows Install Figure 1
  5. Click “Install now.”
  6. Windows Install Figure 2
  7. Enter a product key if you have one or select “I don’t have a product key” if you don’t.
  8. Windows Install Figure 3
  9. Select which version of Windows 10 to install.
  10. Windows Install Figure 4
  11. Review the license terms, and select “I agree” to continue. If you don’t agree you won’t be able to continue the installation.
  12. Choose “Custom”.
  13. Select where to install Windows and click next.
  14. Wait for Windows to finish installing.
  15. Follow the prompts to use or disable ease of access settings.
  16. Select your region and click “Yes”.
  17. Choose your keyboard layout and click “Yes.”
  18. Add another keyboard layout or press “Skip.”
  19. Connect to a network or select “I don’t have internet.” If you choose to connect to the internet you will have additional steps. It is recommended not to connect to the internet until after installing Windows. Any additional configuration can be done later.
  20. If you selected “I don’t have internet” you will be met with the following screen, simply click “Continue with limited setup.” Your computer will restart after selecting not to connect to a network.
  21. Create a User.
  22. Create a password. You can leave this blank to not set a password. If you create a password, you will be asked to create security questions for password recovery.
  23. Configure “Device History” to your liking and click “Yes” or “No” to progress.
  24. Configure Cortana to your liking and click “Accept” or “Decline” to progress.
  25. Configure privacy settings to your liking then click “Accept.”
  26. Wait for Windows to finish setting up.
  27. Windows 10 is now installed.

Glossary of Terms

Bootable Media

Bootable media refers to removable storage which the computer can be booted from.


Digital Versatile Disc.

A type of storage media.

USB Flash Drive

Universal Serial Bus flash drive.

Flash storage connected via a USB connector.


Basic Input Output System.

A computer system’s boot firmware.


Unified Extensible Firmware Interface.

A newer replacement for BIOS.

Tags: Operating System, OS, Windows, Windows 10
Last update:
03-11-2020 00:00
Jordan Tidey
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