Rapsberry Pi 4 with Noobs & Rapsbian full installed. Was working perfectly, until I did an apt-get dist-upgrade. Now (after reboot) it seems the window manager is broken or not launched : symptoms, mouse can not interact with windows (move, resize, close etc. no work). Keyboard actions are not affected (Alt+F4 closes a window, e.g.)

I am willing to restart from zero, using Noobs, which I verified is working and accessible at boot time. Noobs is seeing the Rasbian - Full as "installed" and it has a chek-mark besides it.
How am I supposed to tell Noobs to zap the installed OS, repartition the card as might be necessary, download the official Raspbian for my Pi and start all over ? Un-checking the mark of the "installed" OS did nothing, and I couldn't find a way to "remove" or "uninstall", whatever they might call it.

2 Answers 2


NOOBS has a recovery option to trash everything you've done on your Raspbian system and start again (it gives you an unpatched system just like the day you started).

Hit or tap the SHIFT key during boot to activate the recovery menu.


  • I had restarted to the Noobs recovery but had failed to find the "Install" button there. Doh ! For my defense, I have low sight and the fonts are minuscule : the Devs really should think "accessibility" and provide on-screen magnifier/loupe or some way to increase font size. Thanks for helping !
    – NimbUs
    Dec 24, 2019 at 0:20

This is the wrong site to ask about NOOBS because few (if any) of the experienced uses use NOOBS. The general recommendation on this site is NOT to use NOOBS.

You should be able to re-install Raspbian from NOOBS by pressing the Shift key at the correct time during boot.

Did you update Raspbian BEFORE upgrade? The following command will update Raspbian.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get -y dist-upgrade
  • Yes I did both and ended with a non functional window manager, probably repairable for an experienced Linux geek like yourself. I removed the "repair" option from my question in favor of the crudest "zap & start again" - though repair would have been interesting I thought mixing both would not have been made proper Stackexhange question.
    – NimbUs
    Dec 24, 2019 at 0:28
  • @NimbUs I rarely bother attempting to repair broken OS - it is easier (and more reliable) restoring from backup.
    – Milliways
    Dec 24, 2019 at 4:41

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