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Windows 11 overwrite installation keeps all the current state and repairs

If Windows 11 is in a bad condition and you want to reinstall it while keeping all the state of the PC, you can repair it with an overwrite installation that can take over all the apps and data. Overwrite installation can be done simply by downloading the ISO file of Windows 11 and running the Setup in the file. This page introduces how to perform an overwrite installation that takes over all Windows 11 apps and data. Please refer to the following page for how to delete settings and apps and restore with the initialization function of Windows 11.

Overview of reinstalling Windows 11 overwriting while keeping all apps and data

Overwrite reinstallation preserves all apps and data, and can be reinstalled with the current PC status. 

Windows 11 started normally

It’s a simple and good method, such as when your computer is out of order and you can’t repair it, but you can’t perform an overwrite installation unless Windows 11 has started normally .Overwrite installation cannot be performed from safe mode boot or installation media boot.

Notes on Windows 11 versions

If the Windows 11 you are currently using is not the latest version, the downloaded ISO file is always the latest version, so it will be an overwrite installation in the same situation as the version update. After overwrite installation, it will be updated to the latest version. If the Windows 11 ISO file is an older version than the version you are currently using, overwriting installation is not possible. Overwrite installation may fail depending on the PC environment and situation. If the version you are using is not the latest and the overwrite installation fails, you may be able to succeed by overwriting with the ISO file of the same version. Download Windows 11 or earlier versions and create installation
How to overwrite Windows 11

Prepare Windows 11 ISO file

Click the “Download Windows 11 disc image (ISO)” selection box on the Windows 11 download page, select “Windows 11”, and click “Download”.
 “Select product language” is displayed. Click “Select one” to select the language and click “Confirm”.
 Since “Download” is displayed, you can download by clicking “64-bit download”. 

Performing an overwrite installation

Before overwrite installation!
Disconnect any peripheral devices other than the keyboard and mouse that are connected to the computer that are not required for the overwrite installation, as they may cause the overwrite installation to fail.

1. Run Windows 11 installation file

Overwrite installation can be done from an ISO file. Since it is possible to execute it with the installation media, we introduce two methods. 

Perform overwrite installation with ISO file
  • Double-click the ISO file.
  • Double-click to create a Windows 11 virtual DVD and open the contents of the file.
  • When the file appears, double-click on ” Setup ” to run it.
Perform overwrite installation with installation media
  • Connect the installation media device such as a USB memory to the computer.
  • In Windows Explorer, right-click the installation media and click “Open” in the menu.
  • When the file appears, double-click on ” Setup ” to run it.

■ From here, the operation is the same for both the installation media and the ISO file. Click Yes when the User Account Control warning appears.  After the Getting Ready message,
click Change how Windows Setup downloads updates.  When “Get updates, drivers and optional features” is displayed,
select “Not now” because the purpose is to repair, and click “Next”.
 After “Checking your PC” is displayed,
“License terms” will be displayed, so click “Agree”.
 When the message “Confirming the work required for installation” is displayed, wait as it is. 

2. Overwrite installation settings

Do not click “Install” at this point to confirm the overwrite installation.

  • Make sure that “Keep personal files and apps” is displayed and checked.
  • If you don’t see “Keep personal files and apps”, click ” Change what to keep “.
If you click Change what to keep,
click Keep personal files and apps, select it, and click Next.
A confirmation screen for the necessary work will be displayed, so wait as it is.

If you can confirm that “Keep personal files and apps” is displayed, click “Install”. 

3. Start overwrite installation

“Installing Windows 11” will be displayed, so it may take some time depending on the environment, but just wait.

Canceling overwrite reinstallation
The “Installing” screen is the final preparation stage. Cancellation will not be possible after exiting this screen.

When the final preparation is completed, the message “Your PC will be restarted soon” will be displayed, and after a while it will restart.
 After restarting, “Configuring updates” will be displayed after the startup screen, so wait as it is.

  • Depending on your computer environment, it may take a long time.
  • Installation progress and messages are displayed.
  • It may restart automatically several times.
  • If it feels stuck on the screen, don’t “force quit” it unless there is an obvious problem.

 If the overwrite reinstallation proceeds without problems, the sign-in screen will be displayed, so log in. 

4. Completion of overwrite reinstallation

  • “This may take a few minutes.” is displayed, and after another message is displayed, “It is almost completed” is displayed, so please wait for a while.
  • It may restart automatically depending on the environment. Also, please do not force quit just because you are not progressing.
  • If the home screen is displayed, the overwrite reinstallation is complete.

Remarks after overwrite reinstallation

  • Check the Windows 11 settings and customizations, and if they are back to the initial values, reset them. 
  • If you perform an overwrite installation, the Windows 11 installation date will be changed to the date you performed the overwrite reinstallation.
    You can check the installation date by opening the settings and checking “About” in “System”. 
  • If you do an overwrite installation, a folder named “Windows.old” will be created. This is the same one created by the version update.
    This folder saves (backs up) the computer data before the overwrite installation. This “Windows.old” folder will be automatically deleted over time.

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