Connected System Recovery FAQ
Here are some common questions about Connected System Recovery. Select any headline, and it will open to display more information:
Connected System Recovery is a Windows recovery feature that you can use when your issue is so severe that the device won’t boot up and you want to completely wipe and reset the device to a factory state. This feature is complementary to existing Windows recovery features, and we recommend you try using push-button reset first so you can preserve your data and device personalization. If that fails, Connected System Recovery will fully reset your device and download a fresh copy of Windows and certain customizations that your device was initially manufactured with.
Caution: During Connected System Recovery, all local files and personal data will be wiped from the device, and it will not be possible to recover. Please proceed with caution.
Connected System Recovery is being rolled out on a per-device basis, so we encourage you to look at the manufacturer's website for your device to see if it supports Connected System Recovery. Alternatively, you can check your device's BIOS and see if there is an option for Connected System Recovery.
Since it will remove all of your apps, device personalizations, and personal data from your device, Connected System Recovery should only be used as a recovery tool of last resort when your device will not boot up and you need a working PC quickly. In addition, it can also be used if you would like to completely reset your device to a factory-like state for any reason (recycling, donation, ownership change, etc.) and you do not require any of the local data saved on the device. It should not be used if you have important local data saved on the device that you would like to preserve. We don’t recommend this feature if your PC is running slow; for assistance on that issue, see Tips to improve PC performance in Windows.
After performing the Connected System Recovery, your device will be reset to a factory-like state as if you have received the device for the first time. You will need to go through the standard setup experience to set up your device. The device will have only UWP apps, language packs, and optional features. The latest required hardware drivers will be downloaded during the Connected System Recovery. Win32 desktop apps would need to be reinstalled after the device is up and running.
Connected System Recovery will contact Microsoft’s servers to download our Windows Recovery Environment. This Windows Recovery Environment will then use the information stored in your BIOS by the PC manufacturer to download and rebuild Windows entirely on your device, which involves wiping the device storage and repartitioning it as your PC manufacturer built it. After downloading and installing Windows and its accompanying features, the device will reboot into the new device experience to allow the user to set up the device as if it were brand new.
Get help with Connected System Recovery errors
There are a few reasons why you might receive an error message when trying to recover your Windows device using Connected System Recovery. Some of the common errors are listed on the following chart. You can fix these errors through a few simple steps that you can do on your own.
Connected System Recovery removes all personal data on your device and recovers the previously unbootable system to a fresh copy of the last known version of Windows you had on your device.
In the event that your Windows device's motherboard has been replaced, Connected System Recovery will no longer function on your device. Please try using push-button reset or contact your PC’s manufacturer for further assistance.
Office may not be recovered after performing Connected System Recovery. Please visit https://www.office.com in order to reinstall Office to your machine.
If you reach an error screen during Connected System Recovery, shut down your computer manually by holding the power button . Then you can try Connected System Recovery again or match the error code on your device to info on the following chart to diagnose the problem.
If Connected System Recovery is not working
If Connected System Recovery is failing for you, please check the following:
Is your device successfully connected to Wi-Fi: This should be checked after selecting the Connected System Recovery option in your BIOS menu.
Is your device connected to AC power: While it's not required if your device has sufficient battery power, it's possible this may lead to failure when initiating Connected System Recovery.
Is your router functioning properly: Try restarting your router and modem and then try Connected System Recovery again.
Restart your system: If none of the above suggestions fix the issue, try restarting your device by holding down the power button until your device fully shuts down, release it, wait a few seconds, and then turn it back on and try Connected System Recovery again.