Fixing a faulty PC could get a lot easier with this Windows 11 upgrade

an image of Android apps on a Windows 11 laptop
(Image credit: Microsoft/Dell)

Windows 11 is getting an upgrade that could make repairing your PC easier and faster when using Windows Update. 

As reported by Neowin, the latest Windows Insider build of Windows 11 has the ability to repair an installation of the operating system without needing to boot into an install process using a Windows boot drive. This should give Windows 11 users the option to fix any problematic software issues without needing to do a full reinstall of Windows when the culprit of the problem can’t be easily identified. 

In the Windows 11 build 25905 for Windows Insiders, the Windows Update function will let users select the option to download and install the latest build of Windows without the need to lose files, apps and settings that happens when you do a full clean install of Windows. And as this is an in-place repair option, you’ll have no need to create a bootable drive with Windows 11 on it; that’s not a particularly difficult process but can be inconvenient if you don’t have an appropriately sized USB flash drive on hand. 

That’s not to say you should bin any previously made bootable USBs as this option isn’t a magic bullet for PC issues. If your installation of Windows 11 is badly damaged, then a full clean install might be your only choice. 

As Matt Hanson over at our sibling site TechRadar points out, you need to be able to boot into Windows 11 to use this new repair function; if you can’t do that and you know you’re not dealing with a hardware problem, then you need to lean on a bootable drive instead. Furthermore, if its the latest Windows 11 build that’s either not playing nice with your computer or just suffering from a bug, then this repair option is also rendered moot.  

Nevertheless, if this Windows Update repair feature makes it out of the Insider program and into general use, it will give Windows PC users another tool to use if their computer starts encountering problems. And the easier Microsoft makes it to troubleshoot and fix Windows issues, the happier we’ll be. 

Those of you who’ve stumbled across this article in frustration with Windows machines, then you have my sympathy and may I recommend the excellent MacBook Air M2 as an alternative; take a look at the best MacBook deals to score the laptop for a discounted price. 

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Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.