We have already shown you how to use the Refresh and Reset features in Windows 8, now we are back to show you how you can create a custom refresh image. This means next time you refresh your Windows 8 PC, you can use a custom image instead of the one that shipped with your PC.

When you refresh your PC, all your files as well as Metro applications that you downloaded from the Windows store are kept. This is great, however, all your non-metro applications and PC settings are removed. If you are like me and have a lot of non-metro apps this can be very annoying, but you can fix this by creating a refresh image that already has your apps installed and your settings tweaked.

Creating A Custom Refresh Image

Right-click the bottom left corner of your screen and select Command Prompt (Admin) from the context menu.

To create a custom refresh image we use the recimg.exe utility.

recimg /createimage C:\CustomRefreshImages\Image1

The reason we are using a subfolder on our drive is that you can actually create multiple refresh images and switch between them, to create another image we could do the following:

recimg /createimage C:\CustomRefreshImages\Image2

When you create an image using the /createimage parameter, the image you create is automatically set as the default refresh image. If you have multiple refresh images you can choose the active image by using the /setcurrent parameter.

recimg /setcurrent C:\CustomRefreshImages\Image1

You can also use the /showcurrent  parameter to show the active image.

That’s all there is to it, now you just need to Refresh your PC.

Profile Photo for Taylor Gibb Taylor Gibb
Taylor Gibb is a professional software developer with nearly a decade of experience. He served as Microsoft Regional Director in South Africa for two years and has received multiple Microsoft MVP (Most Valued Professional) awards. He currently works in R&D at Derivco International.
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