We encourage you to create a recovery drive as soon as you install Windows 10 on a computer or as soon as you buy a new PC. It can be a lifesaver when Windows 10 stops working, and you cannot use your apps or access your files. What exactly can you do with it? How can it help you in your hour of need? It gives you tools and options to reset, restore, and tinker with Windows 10 to bring it back to life. Here are the things you can do with a Windows 10 recovery USB drive:\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nNOTE: If you don\u2019t know what a Windows recovery drive is and how to make one, read this guide first: How to create a USB recovery flash drive for Windows 10. Even if your computer can\u2019t start, a Windows 10 recovery drive can help you troubleshoot problems and even reinstall Windows.\r\nHow to start the recovery USB drive for Windows 10\r\nTo take advantage of the Windows 10 recovery USB drive, you first have to boot your system from the drive you created. Insert the recovery USB drive into your PC and make sure that it boots from it during the next restart. When loaded, the recovery drive first shows the options for the keyboard layout that you prefer using. Find the language you want to use for typing in the recovery environment, and click or tap on its name. If your keyboard layout is not shown on this first screen, go \u201cSee more keyboard layouts.\u201d For most people, the \u201cUS\u201d layout works well, even if they are not English speakers.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nChoose the keyboard layout used by the Windows 10 recovery drive\r\n\r\nThe tool is started, and we are ready to restore Windows 10 from the USB stick or perform other recovery tasks. So, let\u2019s see all the things you can do with the Windows 10 recovery USB drive:\r\n1. Use the recovery USB drive to reset Windows 10\r\nThe reset of Windows 10 deletes all your personal files and settings from the computer. There are two reasons to run the reset:\r\n\r\n \tYou want to get rid of all your files and changes to the settings in Windows 10. This is recommended as a drastic way to start fresh. It can improve the performance of Windows 10 if you have accumulated many system changes and your computer has gotten slower.\r\n \tYou want to give your computer to someone else, while protecting your privacy. When performing the reset, your personal data and settings are not made available together with the PC.\r\n\r\nOn the \u201cChoose an option\u201d screen, choose \u201cRecover from a drive.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nRecovering Windows 10 from a drive\r\n\r\nYou are given two reset options:\r\n\r\n \t\u201cJust remove my files\u201d - personal files are deleted, and the Windows 10 settings are reset to their defaults. However, your personal files can still be restored using a data recovery tool.\r\n \t\u201cFully clean the drive\u201d - makes sure that your data and settings are not available after you are done. The data is thoroughly deleted, and the common recovery tools are not able to restore it any longer. This is the best option if you want complete privacy. However, the process takes a lot longer to perform.\r\n\r\nSelect the option that fits your needs.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nResetting Windows 10 from the recovery drive\r\n\r\nWindows 10 runs a bit of preparation, and when it\u2019s ready, it presents you with the final confirmation of the resetting process. Click or tap \u201cRecover\u201d to start.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nResetting Windows 10 from the recovery drive\r\n\r\nNOTE: If you\u2019d rather do a clean Windows 10 install, follow these steps instead: How to install Windows 10 from DVD, USB, or ISO file.\r\n2. Use the recovery USB drive to restore Windows 10 to a previous state\r\nWindows 10 creates restore points that allow you to roll back changes that make your system malfunction. It is a good idea to create restore points on a regular basis and especially before any major hardware or software upgrades.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWhen everything seems lost, a system restore can be a lifesaver, allowing you to go back and recover your system from a bad driver, a botched Windows 10 update, or a nasty app. On the \u201cChoose an option\u201d screen, select Troubleshoot.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe advanced options offered by the Windows 10 recovery drive\r\n\r\nOn the \u201cAdvanced options\u201d screen, click or tap on the \u201cSystem Restore\u201d option.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAccessing System Restore from the Windows 10 recovery drive\r\n\r\nFor the full procedure of working with system restore from a recovery drive, see How to do a Windows System Restore from the boot without reaching the desktop.\r\n3. Use the recovery USB drive to go back to a previous version of Windows 10\r\nWindows 10\u2019s recovery USB drive also allows you to uninstall the last quality or feature updates. On the \u201cAdvanced options\u201d screen, click or tap on \u201cUninstall Updates.\u201d Note that in versions of Windows 10 before October 2020 Update, this option was called \u201cGo back to the previous version.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nUninstall Updates from Windows 10\r\n\r\nNext, the Windows 10 recovery USB drive gives you two options: \u201cUninstall latest quality update\u201d and \u201cUninstall latest feature update\u201d. Select the one you want.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nChoose to uninstall latest quality or feature update\r\n\r\nOn the next screen, if you chose to uninstall the latest quality update, you are notified that your personal files, apps, and settings are not going to be affected. On the other hand, if you chose to uninstall the latest feature update, you are warned that you\u2019re going to lose all that. In both cases, confirm that you want to continue by pressing the \u201cUninstall quality update\u201d or \u201cUninstall feature update.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nUninstall quality update using a Windows 10 recovery USB drive\r\n\r\nThen wait for the Windows 10 update to be removed from your PC. \r\n\r\nWindows 10 is uninstalling latest quality update\r\n\r\nWhen the process is over, you\u2019re notified, and you can push Done and reboot your Windows 10 PC. Hopefully, everything works as it should now.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nLatest quality update has been uninstalled from Windows 10\r\n\r\nNOTE: If this doesn\u2019t work, you might want to enter Safe Mode and uninstall even more updates from Windows 10 to try to repair it.\r\n4. Use the recovery USB drive to replace Windows 10 and your data with a system image\r\nWindows 10 can create an image of the entire partition where it is installed together with all the apps and personal files stored there. The system image is a full copy of the system partition and, in the backup file, there is no differentiation between the system and personal data. When you use the recovery drive to recover Windows 10 with a system image, all system and personal data are replaced with what was available at the moment of the backup. Any changes made since this backup are lost.\r\n\r\nYou can access the system image recovery tool from the \u201cAdvanced options\u201d screen by clicking or tapping on \u201cSystem Image Recovery.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nUsing System Image Recovery from a Windows 10 recovery drive\r\n\r\nOn the following screen, select the operating system that you want to restore. This launches the system image restoration app where you complete the recovery.\r\n\r\n\r\n5. Use the Windows 10 recovery USB drive to repair the system\u2019s startup\r\nWhen Windows 10 has problems starting up, you can fix them from the recovery drive. To repair the startup, on the \u201cAdvanced options\u201d screen of the recovery drive, choose \u201cStartup Repair.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nStartup Repair using the Windows 10 recovery drive\r\n\r\nOn the next screen, select the operating system that you want to restore. The troubleshooting program of Windows 10 runs for a few minutes showing the \u201cDiagnosing your PC\u201d message, as you can see in the screenshot below.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nDiagnosing your PC using the Windows 10 recovery drive\r\n\r\nWhen it is done, it presents you with the repair options identified for your system. If it is not able to identify problems and fixes, it offers you the option to go back to the recovery tool.\r\n6. Use the Windows 10 recovery USB drive to launch Command Prompt\r\nThe launch of the Command Prompt from the recovery drive, on the \u201cAdvanced options\u201d screen, click or tap \u201cCommand Prompt.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nStarting the Command Prompt from the Windows 10 recovery drive\r\n\r\nThe Command Prompt window shows up, and you can start typing commands. When you are done, type the command \u201cExit\u201d to go back to the Recovery tool.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Command Prompt from the Windows 10 recovery drive\r\n\r\nIf Windows 10 has trouble booting and Startup Repair can\u2019t fix the problem, it\u2019s worth trying the Bootrec.exe tool in Command Prompt to fix boot records.\r\n7. Use a Windows 10 recovery USB drive to access BIOS or UEFI\r\nMaking changes in the UEFI firmware or the BIOS of your Windows 10 PC or device can be necessary to make the system usable again. The recovery drive offers a way to access the UEFI or BIOS. In the \u201cAdvanced options\u201d screen, click or tap \u201cUEFI Firmware Settings.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAccessing the UEFI Firmware Settings using the Windows 10 recovery drive\r\n\r\nNext, click or tap Restart to start the process.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nRestart to change UEFI Firmware settings using the Windows 10 recovery drive\r\n\r\nAfter the restart, your PC or device loads the BIOS or UEFI settings where you can make changes.\r\nDid you fix your problems with Windows 10?\r\nThe Windows 10 recovery USB drive is an essential tool for the troubleshooting of a system with crashes and problems. When Windows 10 fails to start or work correctly, the recovery drive gives you options to fix your problems. Try it out, see how it works, and let us know about your experience with the Windows 10 recovery drive. Did it manage to help you fix your problems with Windows 10?