Microsoft finally looks set to give Windows 10 PCs and tablets a feature that has been available on Macs since 2011: Internet Recovery …

Mac Internet Recovery

Apple first offered a new recovery tool as part of OS X Lion back in July 2011, and it’s available for some mid-2010 Macs too. This allows you to do a complete macOS reinstall over the Internet without the need for any recovery media.

macOS Recovery is part of the built-in recovery system of your Mac. You can start up from macOS Recovery and use its utilities to recover from certain software issues or take other actions on your Mac.

Turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold Command (⌘)-R or one of the other macOS Recovery key combinations on your keyboard. Continue holding until you see the Apple logo or a spinning globe. Startup is complete when you see the utilities window.

After starting up from macOS Recovery, select from these utilities, then click Continue [for two options]:

  • Restore From Time Machine Backup: Restore your Mac from a Time Machine backup of your Mac.
  • Reinstall macOS (or Reinstall OS X): Download and reinstall the Mac operating system.

All you need is a Wi-Fi connection to set up as a brand new machine.

The Windows version

The Verge spotted a reference to the upcoming feature in the release notes for Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18950. The clue is small, but we’d agree that the meaning seems clear.

Insiders may notice some references to “Cloud download” relating to PC reset or refresh. This feature isn’t available and working quite yet. We’ll let you know once it is, so you can try it out!

The site notes that Windows machines currently rely on a copy of the OS on a partition, with third-party tools required for cloud restore — though Microsoft has recently made it an official feature on Surface devices.

Microsoft has actually been using a similar feature for its Surface lineup recently, allowing the devices to “recover from the cloud” by downloading a copy of Windows 10 and reinstalling it.

‘Mac Book’ may be recommending people to get a Surface, but perhaps Apple should be welcoming Microsoft to 2011 …

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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