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How to enable Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) on Windows 10

Windows Recovery Environment enable/disable command
Windows Recovery Environment enable/disable command (Image credit: Windows Central)

On Windows 10, the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) is a feature that bundles automatic repair, reset to factory default settings, system image recovery, and other troubleshooting tools to troubleshoot and resolve problems when your device doesn't start or run correctly.

Although it's an essential tool to bring Windows 10 to its working condition, if you work in a network environment and you want to prevent users from accessing the feature, you can disable the Windows Recovery Environment through Command Prompt. In the same way, if you need to troubleshoot a problem (for example, startup, performance, network, drivers, and updates), and you can't access the feature, it's likely because WinRE is disabled, and you can enable it using a simple command.

In this Windows 10 guide, we walk you through the steps to enable and disable the WinRE on your device.

How to enable Windows Recovery Environment on Windows 10

WinRE comes enabled by default on Windows 10 Home, Pro, Enterprise, and Education, but if for some reason it was previously disabled, you can use Command Prompt to re-enable it.

To enable the Windows Recovery Environment, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to confirm the WinRE is disabled and press Enter:reagentc /info

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Type the following command to enable the recovery environment and press Enter:reagentc /enable

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. (Optional) Type the following command to confirm the WinRE has been enabled and press Enter:reagentc /info

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Once you complete the steps, the Windows Recovery Environment will be enabled on your device, and you'll be able to access the "Reset this PC" and "Advanced options" to troubleshoot and fix problems with Windows 10.

How to disable Windows Recovery Environment on Windows 10

To disable WinRE on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to confirm WinRE is enabled and press Enter:reagentc /info

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Type the following command to enable the recovery environment and press Enter:reagentc /disable

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. (Optional) Type the following command to confirm WinRE has been disabled and press Enter:reagentc /info

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

After completing these steps, users will be able to access the startup settings. However, the recovery options, such as "System Restore," "Command Prompt," "System Image Recovery," and "Uninstall Updates" won't be available until you re-enable the feature.

If the environment isn't working, you can use the above steps to enable and disable WinRE a few times to see if that fixes the issue.

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

1 Comment
  • How about, once enabled (or if never disabled) hold down left shift key, click start > power > restart. During reboot (while still holding left shift) it'll instead detour to your RE environment.. Been this way since Windows 8.0, learned it while needing to hard reset a Surface.