How to Refresh a Windows 8.1 Computer
Glitches happen. The computer misbehaves, a program crashes, or the machine might become unexpectedly slow. If your Windows 8.1 computer is misbehaving, try refreshing it.
On the Start screen, type refresh. Then select Refresh Your PC without Affecting Your Files.
The Refresh function should leave your data alone and unchanged. You can also find this function in the General category of PC Settings screen, under the heading Refresh Your PC without Affecting Your Files. Select the Get Started button.
On the Refresh Your PC screen, select the Get Started button.
The Refresh function doesn’t remove apps installed through the Microsoft Store but does remove any apps you installed any other way. This safety feature is based on the assumption that something you installed from some other source is causing a problem.
Be certain that you either don't need a desktop app or you have the materials necessary to reinstall a desktop app, such as Microsoft Office. Windows 8.1 will create a file on the desktop after the fact identifying the programs it removed.
If you see a message to Insert media, Windows 8.1 requires the original installation disc before proceeding.
Insert the Windows 8.1 installation or recover disc in your CD/DVD drive or plug in a USB drive with this information. The Refresh function will proceed when you insert the required media. If you don’t have the required media, select Cancel. (Read the remaining steps.)
Select the Refresh button. (Or select Cancel, if you’re just exploring this feature and don’t want to continue with it.)
Refresh , and your computer will restart at least once.
When the refresh process is complete, the Lock screen appears. Sign in as usual.
Select the Desktop tile.
If you see a file named Removed Apps on the desktop, double-click or double-tap it to open that file in Internet Explorer. The removed apps are listed. If you’re aware that one of these apps created a problem, don’t reinstall it.
Don’t be intimidated by the Refresh function — it's easy, quick, and worthwhile if it makes a problem computer run better.