A new potential game-changing feature in Windows Update may alleviate the fear of losing files or photos when attempting to reinstall or restore Windows 11 installations. Now, users may “Fix Problems using Windows Update” to restore Windows 11 through Windows Update.

Currently, to repair or reinstall the current version of Windows, users need to carry out an “in-place upgrade” using the Media Creation Tool. This process reinstalls Windows but generally takes a considerable amount of time. The new feature “Fix Problems using Windows Update” aims to address this concern by allowing users to utilize Windows Update to download and restore the installed version of Windows 11 without losing files.

This new feature is currently being tested with users in the Beta Channel. However, the “Fix Problems using Windows Update” toggle, located under Settings > System > Recovery, is not yet functional.

The description of the toggle in the settings app confirms that with the new recovery tool, users can “reinstall your current version of Windows (your apps, files, and settings will be preserved).” This feature lets users install or repair Windows 11 directly using Windows Update. According to a support document from July 2023, this process will not remove any files, settings, or apps.

It’s worth mentioning that Microsoft is still working on this new Windows Update recovery feature, which could prove especially useful for users looking to reinstall, update, or repair the OS without losing files, documents, pictures, videos, or apps.

Microsoft also confirmed in a blog post that this operation reinstalls the OS without removing any files, settings, or apps. While it is unclear when this feature might be available in the production channel, we estimate that it could be released as part of the Windows 11 Moment 5 update, possibly in February/March 2024.

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