Microsoft snuck out a new feature for fixing Windows 11 in a recent Insider build

Windows 11 Update in Settings app
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • This week's Canary build of Windows 11 includes a new way to fix your PC.
  • The feature reinstalls your computer's current build without affecting your personal files.
  • Windows 11 already has similar functionality through its Reset option.

Microsoft released Windows 11 Build 25905 to Insiders in the Canary Channel this week. The update includes some interesting changes, such as the discontinuation of Arm32 UWP app support and the rollout of the Microsoft Store AI Hub. It even fixed a bug that prevented people from connecting a Zune to Windows 11. But Microsoft snuck out one more feature in the update that's not noted in the change log.

As spotted by Twitter user XenoPanther, the latest Canary build of Windows 11 can repair Windows via Windows Update. The feature will "attempt to fix system component corrupting by reinstalling the current version of Windows." Notably, your apps documents, and settings will be unaffected.

When PCs run into issues, a more extreme fix is to reinstall Windows. This process results in a clean experience that is often free from bugs, but it has the downside of affecting your files (in some cases).

Now, you may be asking yourself, "wait, isn't there already a way to reset your PC without affecting your files?" You'd be right. If you open the Settings app and navigate to System>Recovery, you'll see an option to reset your PC. That feature has the option to keep your personal files or remove them before reinstalling Windows.

The new option to repair your PC through Windows Update appears to use a different method to get a similar result. The new option downloads the current build your PC is running as if you were updating to that build.

It's unclear why Microsoft would add a feature that is so similar to one that's already available. But since the new option isn't mentioned in a change log, there's a chance that I've missed a differentiating factor.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at

    the already included reset will blow away non store apps and plenty of other things (like plenty of settings, and a lot of drivers, etc.).

    what this new feature seems to be is the good old fashioned "in place upgrade" people use to do in the olden days - that is, for example, update Windows XP SP2 with all updates to Windows XP SP2 with all updates. It's using the upgrade feature, but you upgrade to the same version - this leaves all files, programs, apps, and drivers untouched, as well as most settings across the entire system. There are ways to do this today, but it can be more cumbersome on modern windows verse the olden days.

    so its seem this new feature is basically the same thing, but it uses Windows Update to just redo the current version of the OS, so similar to using a disc or usb drive in the past.

    its good they are adding this, but with the way WU and Windows in general has worked since W10, it should have been here already. Better late than never, I suppose.