Windows 10 version 2004 clean install

How to clean install Windows 10 version 2004, May 2020 Update

VIDEO: Do you want to minimize problems upgrading to Windows 10 version 2004? Then use a clean installation — Here's why and how to complete the task.

Windows 10 version 2004, May 2020 Update, is expected to rollout to compatible devices sometime in May, and if you want to avoid problems the best option to upgrade is to perform a clean installation.

Although an upgrade using Windows Update is usually the recommended option, you’re likely to run into issues and errors, which could result from existing drivers and apps compatibility issues, custom configurations, and other problems. When you use a clean installation, you’re deleting everything on the hard drive and installing a fresh copy of Windows 10 (version 2004) that significantly reduces the chances of problems.

Furthermore, 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 issues.

In this hands-on video, you’ll learn the steps to perform a clean installation of Windows 10 version 2004 on your computer using a USB bootable media created with the Microsoft Media Creation Tool.

Important: If you try to download the Media Creation Tool before the May 2020 Update is officially released, you won’t be able to install the new feature update. These instructions are to prepare you to upgrade to version 2004 using the clean installation once it’s available.

How to perform a clean install of Windows 10 version 2004

To perform a clean installation of the Windows 10 May 2020 Update (version 2004), use these steps:

  1. Start your PC with the 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 the data. 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 credential.

  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. Select your privacy settings that best suits your needs.

  28. Click the Accept button.

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

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

  31. 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.)

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

  33. 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.)

Once you complete the steps, the setup will finish and you’ll be back into the desktop running the May 2020 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. If you want to speed up the install 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 14 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 20 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].