[Windows 8] How to create a custom Refresh point or Windows Installer Image

In another article I introduced you the Refresh and Reset features in Windows 8. These features are very helpful of your Windows 8 tablet or PC ever malfunctions, either crashing or displaying errors. (Refresh is the one that restores settings to default and deletes all non-Windows Store apps but does not delete your files and Windows Store apps.)

Unfortunately, Refresh doesn’t allow you to create custom refresh points like Windows System Restore does. Instead, Refresh creates a Windows Installer Image (WIM) to help it restore settings to default state. If you don’t want Refresh to simply take your tablet or PC back to complete default, you can create your own custom WIM to force Refresh restore your settings to the state of your machine when the WIM was created. Essentially, by creating a custom WIM (or a “Refresh point”) for Refresh, you re-install your Windows 8, lose your existing settings, lose your third-party programs, keep your Windows Store apps, and then reset your machine’s settings to what they were when you created the custom WIM.

This guide shows you how to create a custom Refresh point.


To begin creating a custom Refresh point/WIM, do the following:

  • Rress the Windows + F hotkeys to open Search; if you are on a tablet, swipe from the right edge to open Charms bar and tap the “Search”.
  • Once Search opens, type “cmd” (without the quotes) to find Command Prompt.
  • Once you see Command Prompt in the search results, right click/long tap on the Command Prompt icon and choose “Run as administrator” from the app bar that pops up at the bottom. It’s important to run Command Prompt as administrator because you can’t do this job without select that option.

  • Once Command Prompt has opened, you need type “recimg /createimage [location]” with [location] being the folder where you want to place the custom WIM (be sure to not type the quotes). For example, I create a custom WIM in the folder “refreshpoint” in my C drive by typing “recimg /createimage C:\refreshpoint“. Hit Enter on your keyboard when you have typed it all.

  • After running the above-mentioned command, you need to wait until it creates the WIM. Once the WIM is created, you need to set it as the default Refresh point in order to make it usable when you go to use Refresh. To do that, type “recimg /setcurrent [location]” into Command Prompt without the quotes; [location] should be the folder where you just placed your custom WIM. So, keeping with my earlier example, I would type “recimg /setcurrent C:\refreshpoint“. Hit Enter on your keyboard when you have typed it all in.
  • To make sure you did it properly, type “recimg /showcurrent” without the quotes into Command Prompt and hit Enter on your keyboard. If you did it all properly, Command Prompt should show the location of your custom WIM.

Done! Now whenever you Refresh your Windows 8 PC or tablet, it will use the custom WIM you created.

How to remove custom Refresh point

So you have created a custom WIM/Refresh point but you no longer want to use it. How do you stop using it? It is really simple. Re-open Command Prompt using the methods described above (be sure to run it as administrator), type “recimg /deregister” without the quotes, and hit Enter on your keyboard. Once you enter that command, you are done — going forward, Windows 8’s default Refresh point will be used instead of your custom WIM.


Although Refresh is very helpful, now you can make it more usable with a custom Refresh point. Enjoy!

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  • darren

    hi, will this custom refresh point now keep my installed programs that i carried over from windows 7? when i did a refresh from the default refresh point all my programs were gone !! thanks in advance

  • Jaime

    @Hoàng Tú:

    Thank you sir! Yes, it is now at about 4%, so I guess it just took a little while to get going, but it is moving a little faster now. EXCELLENT fix, BTW! How nice to have one’s machine set back to a MUCH more usable point.



  • Hoàng Tú

    OK. When I tested this thing, it took a very long time too :D

  • Jaime

    @Hoàng Tú:

    Hi, WOW, that was fast mate!

    Well, like I amended my premature comment, it IS actually creating the image now that I have the RIGHT file name : )

    However, it has been sitting at 1% for about 10 minutes now; I wonder if that is normal.

    Thanks again though!


  • Hoàng Tú

    Can you explain more detail on the error? Thanks

  • Jaime


    Excellent and helpful idea, thank you!

    However, I got an error that did not allow me to do this. I looked up the error and no one seems to know what is causing it, but in other cases it had something to do with what you are explaining here.

    Do you know why there would be an error when I try this method here>

    Thanks kindly!


    PS: Terribly sorry, but I think that I STUPIDLY did not copy the name of the folder correctly. GEEZ… My apologies; it APPEARS to be working now I think. Thanks!

  • Hoàng Tú

    You’re welcome!

  • David

    Thank you, very interesting info.