Windows 10 Cloud Download Explained

Great news for Windows 10 users! Soon, Windows will include a ‘Cloud download’ feature when reinstalling your copy of Windows. What does this mean? This implies that each time you choose to Reset your PC, Windows will give you an option to download the latest copy of Windows 10 from the cloud aside from your local copy of Windows 10.

It’s uncertain how this will play out, however, this sounds a welcome surprise and a handy way to get yourself the latest copy of Windows 10. This mimics the ability that macOS users have when resetting their devices by connecting to macOS cloud servers. 

With the cloud download feature, users do not have to reinstall Windows manually when they experience issues. Instead, they can request a copy of their operating systems from the cloud.

Microsoft cloud download is still at the beta stage, but it’s a notable improvement by windows. The feature will be available in  Windows 10’s 20H1 Update.

Imageless Recovery

In Microsoft’s Windows insider blog, a Microsoft employee Lower explains how the new cloud feature will work. He says that Windows has its recovery options, including the hard reset and image recovery. He further adds that the notable improvement in Microsoft came with the introduction of the “Imageless” recovery.

Though the imageless recovery was a bit useful in recovering windows, some users experienced challenges in windows recovery. These challenges were common, especially when the installation media was in a bad or corrupt state. He then says that it is where cloud download comes in place.

When explaining the demerits of imageless recovery, Lower forgot one common drawback. That is, you should have the latest updates to your windows 10. Otherwise, you will not be able to recover your Windows 10 OS.

The new cloud download addresses all these drawbacks.  Instead of searching for the installed Windows version on your computer, the cloud download navigates through the Microsoft servers for the windows installation files.  Cloud download is easier and seems like creating a USB bootable media with the latest version of Windows 10 and installing your windows with the drive. But you don’t require a USB media installation with a cloud download.

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Using the cloud download feature in Windows 10’s 20H1 Update (currently in development), is easy. Just navigate to ‘Settings‘ > ‘Update& Security‘  then ‘Recovery‘.  Next, click the ‘Get Started’ button below the “Reset this PC” option.

Choose to either keep or remove the files from your PC and then click proceed. Now, select the ‘Cloud download’ option that will initiate the download windows installation files from the Microsoft servers.

Windows 10 Cloud Download

According to Lower, the reset process will likely take 40 mins or longer. He says that at this time, windows will download the files from the server then switch to the Windows Recovery Environment. It will also download all drivers from the installed windows system that ensures your system keeps running. The download and Update also include OEM installations such as preinstalled apps. For cloud download, don’t expect it to remove all files on your computer as you may still require a Fresh Start to delete those files.

How and When Cloud Download will be Available

The cloud download feature will also be available in Google recovery environments. So if your PC fails to boot up, you can use the cloud download feature to fix it. For the issue, you’ll select the “Reset This PC” option in the start environment. Choose the option of cloud download to reinstall your Windows files to an uncorrupted and bootable state.

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Microsoft is making it clear to its users that the Windows 10 Cloud download feature is currently available to insiders only. Also, when using the function, you should use a wired internet connection. This is because the wireless internet connections are dependent on the PC’s installed drivers that are unavailable in a windows recovery environment.

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