How to Repair Windows 11 without Losing Data

Repairing Windows 11, It’s quite a tedious procedure! So many causes can be found, as well as the symptoms…

SUMMARY

  • Why repair Windows?
  • Repair Windows 11without losing your data
    • Repair Windows 11using the command prompt and the SFC tool
    • Repair Windows 11using the Windows 11 built-in repair tool
    • Repair Windows 11with Windows 11 installation media
    • Repair Windows without losing data and keeping your programs

 

Why Repair Windows 11?

A Windows repair can be useful and necessary in many cases to troubleshoot Windows: computer startup problem, blue screen (the famous Blue Screen Of Death which is displayed when an important error occurs), explorer crash, untimely restarts, extreme slowness of the operating system etc… If you find Windows 11 slow, you can already try our tips to fix Windows 11 slowness problems.

Repairing Windows, no matter which version of Windows you are using (Windows 11, Windows 10 Windows 7, Windows Vista etc…), is one of the first actions to take in case of a big Windows problem. The other major action to take in case of serious problems is the analysis of the hard disk and the correction of possible errors.

After that, as always, I still encourage you to set up a backup strategy for your files as well as to backup Windows 11 (or any other operating system) in order not to lose your precious personal or professional data. Don’t blame me if you lose data, you’ve been warned… It is indeed easier to set up regular backups than to recover lost data with specialized software!

Here we will focus on the different ways to repair Windows 11, the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system released in 2021.

Repair Windows 11 without Losing Data

Method 1. Repair Windows 11 using the command prompt and the SFC tool

Windows 11 (like other versions of Windows) has a utility that allows you to check system files and thus solve some problems related to the operating system.

This is the fastest and easiest method (despite the use of the command prompt) to implement in case of a problem. It is also the best solution if you do not have the installation media (CD / DVD / USB key).

  1. Right click on the start menuof Windows 11 (or use the keyboard shortcut by pressing simultaneously the Windows and X keys) and select Command Prompt (admin) or PowerShell (admin) which replaces the command prompt in the latest versions of Windows 11.
  2. In the command prompt, type sfc /scannow
  3. Press the Enterkey to launch the system file verification utility.

For more information about the System File Checker tool(SFC.exe), see Microsoft Help: https://support.microsoft.com/fr-fr/help/929833/use-the-system-file-checker-tool-to-repair-missing-or-corrupted-system

Unfortunately, this utility does not solve all problems and it may be necessary to use a more powerful tool.

Method 2. Repair Windows using the Windows 11 built-in repair tool

There is a powerful repair tool built into Windows 11 that runs directly from Windows 11 by accessing the Windows 11 advanced startup options (case Windows 11 stops booting) or through the Recovery feature available from Windows 11 settings (Update and security section) if you still have access to Windows 11.

The main problem with using the built-in repair tool and resetting Windows 11: your personal files will be saved but all the software you have installed on your computer will be deleted as well as your Windows settings… Windows will tell you after the repair what programs it has deleted (in the form of a text file copied to your desktop). Here again, I prefer to warn you before you start.

Also, allow a good hour beforehand, as for a Windows installation!

If your PC starts and you have access to Windows 11, you can launch the repair tool directly from Windows :

  1. Right-click on the start menuof Windows 11 (or use the keyboard shortcut by pressing the Windows and X keys simultaneously ) and then select Settings.
  2. Click on Update and security (Windows Update, recovery, backup).
    Windows Settings > Update and Security
  3. In the left menu, click on Recoveryand then on the Start button in the Reset this PC
  4. Click on Keep my files.
  5. The reset program will then inform you that it will remove the programs already installed on your computer, click Next
  6. Click on Resetand let your PC work until it restarts.

Method 3. Repair Windows 11 with Windows 11 installation media

This method is particularly convenient if your PC does not boot anymore.

However, this method requires Windows installation media: a Windows 11 installation DVD or, optionally, a USB stick with Windows 11 installation files. If you don’t have such a media, check our tutorial to create a Windows 11 installation or reset media.

Then you just need to restart your computer by booting on your installation media and then click on Troubleshooting (Reset PC or show advanced options).

Then click on Reset this PC

You will arrive at step 4 of the previous part (direct link if you don’t want to go back up the page: https://www.astuces-aide-informatique.info/3155/reparer-windows-10#etape4), continue the tutorial to reset Windows.

Method 4. Repair Windows without losing data and keeping its programs

Unlike the previous method, this Windows 11 repair only works if Windows is started and also requires an installation media (DVD/USB key).

On the other hand, this method has the big advantage of keeping not only your files but also your programs and applications!

All you have to do at the beginning of the repair process (in the Ready to Install window) is to select ” Keep Windows settings, personal files and applications“. If it is not the case, click on ” Change items to keep ” to tell Windows to keep your applications and software.