Clean Windows 10 version 1909 install setup

How to clean install Windows 10 version 1909, November 2019 Update

VIDEO: If you're running an older version, the best way to get Windows 10 November 2019 Update, version 1909, is doing a clean installation — Here's why and how to do it.

Windows 10 version 1909, November 2019 Update, is on track to roll out to compatible devices sometime in late October, or early November, and if you want to avoid problems the best way to upgrade to the new version is to perform a clean installation.

Although an in-place upgrade using Windows Update is typically the recommended method, there’s always a chance of issues and errors, which could result from custom configurations, apps and drivers incompatibility, and other problems. A clean installation minimizes the chances of problems because you’ll be deleting everything on the hard drive and installing a fresh copy of Windows 10 with the November 2019 Update. Also, if you’ve been using the same installation for a long time, a clean installation of Windows 10 can help to improve performance, startup times, memory usage, and fix existing problems.

However, if you’re already running a good installation of Windows 10 version 1903, May 2019 Update, you don’t need to perform a clean installation. This time around, the second semi-annual release of Windows 10 is being offered as a small regular cumulative update through Windows Update, which means that the process is faster and doesn’t require full reinstallation. You should only use the Media Creation Tool if you’re upgrading from an older version, such as the October 2018 Update, or if you’re having problems with the current setup.

In this hands-on video, you’ll learn the steps to properly perform a clean installation of Windows 10 version 1909 on your desktop, laptop, or tablet using a USB bootable media created with the Microsoft Media Creation Tool.

How to do a clean install of Windows 10 version 1909

Once you’ve created the USB bootable media with the Media Creation Tool, to perform a clean install of Windows 10 to upgrade to the November 2019 Update, version 1909, use these steps:

  1. Start your PC with USB bootable media.

  2. Press any key to begin.

  3. Click the Next button.

  4. Click the Install now button.

  5. Click the Skip button if you’re reinstalling. (If Windows 10 was already activated, after the installation it’ll re-activate automatically.)

  6. Check the I accept the license terms option.

  7. Click the Next button.

  8. Select the Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) option.

  9. Select each partition in the hard drive that you want to install Windows 10, and click the Delete button. (Usually, the “Drive 0” is the drive that contains all the installation files.)

    Warning: Deleting a partition also deletes all data within. Also, it’s not required to delete the partitions from a secondary hard drive.
  10. Select the hard drive (Drive 0 Unallocated Space) to install Windows 10.

  11. Click the Next button.

  12. After the installation, select your region in the first page of the out-of-the-box experience (OOBE).

  13. Click the Yes button.

  14. Select your keyboard layout.

  15. Click the Yes button.

  16. If you’re not setting a second keyboard layout, click the Skip button.

  17. If your device is using an Ethernet connection, your device will connect to the network automatically. If you’re using a wireless connection, you’ll need to set up the connection manually.

  18. Select the Set up for personal use option.

  19. Click the Next button.

  20. Type your Microsoft account email, phone, or Skype identification.

  21. Click the Next button.

  22. Type your Microsoft account password.

    Quick note: If you have the Microsoft Authenticator app on your phone, you can sign in without typing a password.
  23. Click the Next button.

  24. Click the Create a PIN button.

  25. Create a new PIN password.

  26. Click the OK button.

  27. Click the Yes button if you want to use Timeline across devices.

  28. Click the Do it later button to skip linking your phone to your PC. (You can always do this from the Settings app.)

  29. Click the Next button to set up OneDrive automatically. (Alternatively, you can click the Only save file to this PC option to skip this step.)

  30. Click the No button to skip the Office 365 setup.

  31. Click the Accept button to enable Cortana on your device. (If you want to use the “Hey Cortana” feature, also check the Respond when I say “Hey Cortana” option.)

  32. Select your privacy settings that best suit your needs.

  33. Click the Accept button.

After you complete the steps, you’ll be back on the desktop running the November 2019 Update.

You can also check this guide that outlines every step to prepare, create a backup, and start with a fresh copy of Windows 10. In the case you want to speed up the installation process, you can also do an in-place upgrade using these instructions.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].