How To Do A Factory Reset On Windows 10


How to refresh, reset, or restore your PC

If you’re having troubles with your computer, you can try the following:

  • Refresh your PC to reinstall Windows while keeping all of your personal data and preferences. Refresh also retains the programs that come pre-installed on your computer as well as the apps that you downloaded from the Microsoft Store. Reset your PC to reinstall Windows while also deleting all of your data, settings, and applications—with the exception of the applications that came with your PC. Make a backup of your computer in order to reverse recent system modifications.

If you’re experiencing difficulties beginning (booting) your computer, go to Windows Startup Settings (including safe mode) and then to the part titled “Get to Windows Startup Settings in the Windows Recovery Environment” to see what you can do. From the Windows Recovery Environment, you may do operations such as refreshing, resetting, and restoring your computer. If you wish to use File History to back up and restore your personal files, read Set up a drive for File History for more information.

Before you start to refresh or reset your PC

In most circumstances, once you begin to refresh or reset your computer, it will complete the process on its own. If, on the other hand, Windows requires that you insert recovery material, which is often on a DVD disc or a USB drive, you will be prompted to do so. If this occurs, the equipment you’ll require will be determined by your computer. If your PC comes pre-installed with Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1, you’ll need to use the CDs or thumb drive that came with your PC to install the operating system.

  1. Depending on your situation, you may have generated them when you originally set up your computer.
  2. Even if your computer won’t boot up, having a recovery disk might assist you in troubleshooting and repairing problems with it.
  3. Make a backup of your data on a USB recovery device.
  4. If you do not have Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1 installation discs, you should contact Microsoft Support for assistance.

Refresh, reset, or restore

More information may be found by selecting one of the options below. It is possible to refresh your PC without destroying any of your personal data or altering any of your settings if your PC isn’t running as well as it previously did for no apparent reason. Refreshing your PC will restore Windows 8 if you updated your PC from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 and your PC contains a Windows 8 recovery sector. Following the completion of the refresh, you will be required to update to Windows 8.1. Warning: Any applications you have downloaded from websites or DVDs will be deleted.

After you restart your computer, Windows displays a list of the applications you have uninstalled.

To refresh your PC

  1. Take a swipe in from the right side of the screen and tapSettings, followed by the option to Change PC settings. When using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen and then slide the mouse cursor down to the bottom of the screen, where you will see Settings, followed by Change PC settings.
  2. Update and recovery may be accessed by tapping or clicking on them, followed by recovery. Tap or click on the option Refresh your PC without impacting your files under Refresh your PC without affecting your data. Get the ball rolling
  3. Stick to the directions displayed on the screen.

When it comes time to discard, give away, or start over with your computer, you may do a complete reset on it. This completely uninstalls Windows and reinstalls it from scratch. If you updated your PC from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 and your PC contains a Windows 8 recovery drive, restarting your PC will return your PC to its original Windows 8 configuration. Following the completion of the reset, you will be required to update to Windows 8.1.

Warning: All of your personal data will be erased, and your settings will be reset as a result of this procedure. All of the applications that you have installed will be uninstalled. Apps that arrived with your computer will be the only ones that are reinstalled.

To reset your PC

  1. Take a swipe in from the right side of the screen and tapSettings, followed by the option to Change PC settings. When using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen and then slide the mouse cursor down to the bottom of the screen, where you will see Settings, followed by Change PC settings.
  2. Update and recovery may be accessed by tapping or clicking on them, followed by recovery. Tap or click on Remove everything and reinstall Windows, which is located under the Remove everything and reinstall Windows heading. Get the ball rolling
  3. Stick to the directions displayed on the screen.

Please keep in mind that you will be prompted to pick whether you want to wipe data rapidly or completely. If you opt to wipe data fast, it is possible that part of the information can be recovered with the use of special software. If you opt to completely wipe data, this may take longer, but it will reduce the likelihood of retrieving data in the future. If you believe that a software or driver that you just installed was the source of your PC’s troubles, you may restore Windows to a previous point in time, which is referred to as a restore point.


  • System Restore is not accessible in Windows RT 8.1
  • However, when you install desktop applications and new Windows updates, Windows will automatically generate a restore point if the last restore point was more than seven days ago. You may also manually construct a restore point at any point in time.

To restore your PC to an earlier point in time

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tapSearch to search for anything. When using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen and drag it down until it reaches the Search button.
  2. To find Control Panel, type Control Panel into the search bar and touch or select Control Panel
  3. To find Recovery in the Control Panel’s search box, type Recovery and then touch or click on the word Recovery. Open System Restore by tapping or clicking on it, and then follow the on-screen instructions.

If you require extra assistance with refreshing, resetting, or restoring your PC, you should consult the Repair and Recovery community pages in theWindows forum for answers to problems that other people have encountered.

How to factory reset on Windows 10

Knowing how to do a Windows 10 factory reset can assist you in taking the “nuclear option” if all else fails with your Windows 10 device. When it comes to technical difficulties with your smartphone, factory reset is often the last choice. However, if all other troubleshooting procedures have failed, you may be forced to restore your device to its factory defaults under certain circumstances. As a result, knowing how to perform a factory reset on Windows 10 is really beneficial.

  • Learn how to utilize Windows 10 like an expert by watching this video. The greatest laptops in the world, listed Instructions on how to uninstall the Windows 10 news and weather widget

Windows 10 includes a very handy feature that allows you to factory reset your device while still maintaining all of your personal information. If you’re concerned about losing personal files, this feature is really beneficial. During the reset process, you’ll be asked if you want to execute a full reset or a more restricted reset that maintains your files intact. You may choose between the two options. We nevertheless highly advise that you make a backup of any important files before resetting your computer, as there is always the potential that something will go wrong.

If you need to conduct a factory reset on Windows 10, simply follow the procedures outlined below, and we’ll walk you through the procedure step by step.

How to factory reset on Windows 10

1. From the Start Menu, go to the Settings option. The start menu may be accessed from the toolbar on your Windows 10 device, as seen below. Simply click on the Windows symbol located in the lower left corner of your computer screen. You may also use the adjacent search box to get what you’re looking for; simply put in’settings.’ (Photo courtesy of Microsoft) 2. From the Settings menu, choose Updates and Security from the list. Once the Settings Menu has been loaded, pick ‘Updates and Security’ from the drop-down menu that appears.

  • 3.
  • There will be numerous other tabs available on the left-hand side of the ‘Updates and Security’ menu; the one we need to pick is ‘Recovery’ from the list.
  • 4.
  • Now that you’re in the ‘Recovery’ tab at the top of the window, you should see a heading titled ‘Reset this PC,’ with a brief line of text beneath it and a button labeled ‘Get started.’ Click on that button to begin the process.
  • (Photo courtesy of Microsoft) 5.
  • You will now be presented with two options: ‘Remove everything’ or ‘Keep my files.’ Choose carefully.
  • 6.

Selecting ‘Keep my files’ will initiate the reset process; thus, go to the following step without selecting ‘Keep my files’.

It is here that you can choose whether you want to only erase files from your device or if you want to fully wipe the disk.


In order for the procedure to proceed in its entirety, Windows 10 will ask for final confirmation that you do, in fact, wish to reset your device.

Allow the resetting procedure to complete.

According to the sort of reset you choose, as well as how much data is already saved on the device, this might take anything from a few minutes to several hours.

9. Re-install the software on your device. Once the reset is complete, Windows 10 will automatically restart, and your device should be restored to the condition in which it was when it was first switched on and turned on again. You can now re-configure the system.

More Windows 10 tips

Learn how to locate your Windows 10 Product Key, how to install Windows 10, how to turn on Bluetooth for Windows 10, how to screenshot on Windows 10, how to boot into Windows 10 safe mode, how to split the screen on Windows 10, how to record a screen on Windows 10, how to update drivers on Windows 10, how to update Windows 10, how to change the password on Windows 10, how to speed up Windows 10, and how to reinstall Windows 10 on your computer. Learn more about Windows 10 here.

How to reset your Windows 10 laptop: Format your PC

When it comes to Windows 10, there are several issues that might arise, ranging from the unexpected loss of data to difficulties installing updates. If your computer isn’t operating as well as it should, if it’s displaying unusual problems, or if it’s running sluggish, it’s probably time to conduct a reset. A reset of your Windows 10 laptop may also be necessary if you’re upgrading to a new device and want to sell your old one at the same time. Without a doubt, you wouldn’t want to hand over a laptop with sensitive information and personal papers to a complete stranger.

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Reformatting your computer or restoring it to a previous state will remove any unwanted background programs from your computer’s hard disk and clear the hard drive of any superfluous data.

Using the Settings menu in Windows 10, here’s how you can reset your computer.

How to reset your Windows 10 PC

1. Navigate to theSettings menu. Clicking on thegear symbol on the Start menu will take you to that location. (Image courtesy of Future) 2.SelectUpdateSecurity (Image courtesy of Future) 3.SelectRecoveryfrom the left-hand navigation pane. (Image courtesy of Future) When you start Windows, you are presented with three primary options: Reset this computer; Revert to a previous version of Windows 10; and Advanced startup are all options. Resetting this computer is the most effective method of starting again.

  • Go back to a prior version of Windows is a feature designed for people who enjoy reminiscing about the good old days and wish to restore their system to a previous version of the operating system.
  • (Image courtesy of Future) 5.Select Get started from the Reset this PC drop-down menu.
  • Depending on whether you want to save your data files or not, you may wish to remove everything.
  • It will do exactly what it says: it will remove all of your information, photographs, and software programs.
  • Cleaning the disk will take much longer, but it will ensure that, if you are giving the computer away, the next owner will not be able to recover any of the information you have deleted.
  • (Image courtesy of Future) 7.Regardless of whatever option you choose above, the next step is to determine whether you want to install Windows via the cloud or from a local computer (from your device).

(Image courtesy of Future) 8.If Windows informs you that you will not be able to roll back to a previous version of the operating system, click Next. 9.When asked, select Reset. After that, Windows will restart and take several minutes to completely reset itself.

How to reformat Windows 10 from the sign-in screen

Alternatively, if your laptop is performing strangely and you are unable to enter the settings menu, you may try resetting your computer from the sign-in screen.

  • Lon your keyboard by pressing the Windows logo key and the Lon key. This will take you to the Windows 10 sign-in page. Click Finish. Instead of logging in, you may reset your computer by pressing and holding the Shift key while pressing and holding the Power button. In the lower-right corner of the screen, click on the restart button. It is possible that your computer will restart in the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE). ChooseTroubleshootReset this PC from the options menu on the left. Choose one of the alternatives from the options mentioned above to proceed.

Now that you know how to reset your Windows 10 computer, you should experience fewer problems (hopefully). And if you’re thinking about selling or giving your laptop away, you may do so with confidence, knowing that the new owner will not have access to your files or information.

Windows 10 Quick Fixes

  • Disable or enable Grayscale Mode
  • Repair Windows 10
  • Remove the Lock Screen
  • Reinstall Windows 10
  • Apps may be made to run in Compatibility Mode. Obtaining access to the BIOS on a Windows 10 computer
  • Stop Windows Update from restarting your computer on its own own
  • Turn off app notifications if they are not needed. Improve the performance of the Windows Downloads Folder
  • Disable personalized advertisements on Microsoft websites and applications. Stop the annoyance of Skype’s automatic updates
  • Resolve the ‘Boot Configuration Data File is Missing’ error message
  • Delete the history of the Run command
  • Cortana should be turned off. Uninstall and reinstall pre-installed applications
  • Restore a Battery Icon that has gone missing
  • Resolve a problem with the Boot Configuration File
  • To access the Advanced Startup Options Menu, press F2. Delete a locked file
  • Restart without restarting
  • Restart without rebooting
  • Windows 10 may be rolled back to a previous version
  • Remove the option to allow automatic driver downloads. Internet Explorer should be disabled. Windows updates can be paused for up to 35 days. Make use of Battery Saver. Upgrade to Windows 10 S if you want to save money. The Best Windows 10 Tips
  • The Most Annoying Features of Windows 10
  • How to Download Netflix Videos for Offline Viewing Disable the Password Prompt when you wake up.

Avram Piltch, known as “the official Geeks Geek” in his weekly column, has served as the editorial and production director for since its launch in 2007. In addition to his technical expertise, Avram has a strong interest in testing and has designed numerous of LAPTOP’s real-world benchmarks, such as the LAPTOP Battery Test. He graduated from New York University with a master’s degree in English.

Windows 10 basics: how to reset your system

When compared to prior versions of Windows, Windows 10 is generally less problematic — but things do go wrong every now and then. I made the mistake of not double-checking to make sure my laptop was securely plugged in while Windows was completing a significant upgrade a couple of years ago. The battery ran out in the middle of the update, and presto, the update was complete. I was trapped with what I was certain was a very pricey brick at this point. The other day, another Windows 10 system decided that it didn’t like the recent update and began misbehaving horribly — so horribly, in fact, that it would cease responding to the cursor one minute after it had started up.

  • (By the way, did you remember to back up your computer?) Resets are particularly beneficial if you’ve recently purchased a brand new system and have transferred all of your data to it, but you wish to sell, trade in, give away, or otherwise dispose of your old Windows 10 computer.
  • It is possible to perform a reset on Windows 10 in a number of different methods, depending on your requirements.
  • There is also an alternative way of reinstalling Windows known as “Fresh start” (formerly known as “Refresh”).
  • We’re going to start from the beginning.

Reset in Windows 10

If Windows 10 is operational — or even if it is operational to a significant extent — performing a reset is straightforward.

  • To reset your computer, go to the search area in your task bar and type “reset,” which will bring you the option “Reset this PC” as the first result. That should be selected
  • Alternatively, press the Start key (the Windows icon in the lower left corner). After clicking on the gear (setup) icon, navigate to “UpdateSecurity” and “Recovery.”

The Recovery screen allows you to quickly and efficiently reboot your computer.

  • When you click “Get started,” you’ll be presented with a choice between two alternatives. “Save my files” will delete programs and settings while allowing you to keep any stored data, whereas “Remove everything” would completely wipe your computer and restore it to its “as new” condition. If you’re attempting to recover from an update issue or uninstalling a harmful program, you might want to try selecting “Keep my files” first. You should pick “Remove everything” if you’re planning to get rid of your computer.

When you reset Windows 10, you have the option of keeping your files or starting from scratch.

  • Depending on what you choose, the next window will present you with further configuration options. In the event that you select “Keep my files,” the default choice will be to restore the applications and settings that came with the computer. If you select “Change options,” you will be able to turn off “Preinstalled applications,” which will prevent the reset from restoring the programs and settings that came with the computer. To proceed, click on the confirm button.

You have the option of keeping the preloaded Windows applications.

  • The extra options windows will let you to customize how thoroughly your computer will be cleaned if you pick “Remove everything” and then “Change settings.” The typical procedure is to just delete files, which is more efficient. In the event that your computer is acting up, this may be the option you want to attempt. If you’re getting rid of your computer or want to make sure it’s completely deleted, turn on data erasure. It will take longer, but it will be far more comprehensive. To proceed, click on the confirm button.

Data erasure should be enabled if you wish to properly clear your hard disk.

  • Once you’ve made your changes, click “Next.” You’ll be on your way soon. “Are you ready to reset this computer?” says the following window. If you’ve selected “Keep my files,” you may view a list of the applications that will be deleted by clicking on “List of apps to be removed.” If you’ve selected “Remove everything,” you won’t be able to see the list of apps that will be removed. In either case, select “Reset to begin the procedure.”

If you choose “Keep my files,” you will be able to see which applications will be uninstalled.

  • It is possible that you will be required to input a recovery key in order to proceed. If you login in to your Microsoft account (or the account of the computer’s owner), you should be able to locate it

Reset in Safe Mode

In certain cases, Windows is so messed up that you are unable to access the reset option. In such situation, the next step would be to restart the computer in Safe Mode. Those of you who have worked with Windows systems for some time may remember Safe Mode as a simple method to reboot your computer without reloading all of the software and features that may be creating difficulties. Safe Mode isn’t as easy to boot into with Windows 10, especially if you’re experiencing major issues, but it can still save your bacon if you can’t get to the standard Reset dialog.

For example, it may be able to restore you to an earlier version of Microsoft Windows.

Additionally, it might assist you in resetting your system.

From settings

  • Follow the steps outlined above for resetting your device. When you reach the Recovery page, click on “Restart immediately” under the “Advanced startup” heading to restart your computer. Your machine will reboot, and you’ll get a blue screen that says “Choose an option.” Click on that choice to proceed. These alternatives may differ from system to system
  • For example, on my system, I may select to proceed to Windows 10, boot from an external device, switch off the computer, or troubleshoot. You can reset your computer by selecting “Troubleshoot.” The next page will allow you to reset your computer, restore it from a factory image, or provide more “Advanced choices.” These choices may be beneficial to you
  • They include a “Startup Repair” tool, one that allows you to adjust your startup settings, one that allows you to delete updates (which are frequently the source of problems), and others. If you wish to reset your computer, just select that option from the drop-down menu
  • You will then be offered the option of keeping your files or deleting everything. Click on any option and the procedure will begin
  • You may be need to enter your recovery key again at this point.

From your sign-in screen

If your computer crashes after you have passed the sign-in page, you can try to reach the Safe Mode from the same sign-in screen that crashed your computer. You may try following the directions on the Microsoft website; they didn’t work for me after three tries, but you could give it a go.

  • While holding down the shift key, click on the power symbol located in the lower right corner of the screen. While maintaining control of the shift key, choose Restart.

From a blank screen:

This is the most challenging method of accessing Safe Mode — but it is the one you should attempt first if your computer is just not booting up into Windows. For me, this was the solution that worked in the end; however, it required several tries and a lot of cussing, so be prepared to be patient.

  • Check to ensure that your computer has been totally switched off. To switch on your computer, press the power button. If you see that the system has restarted (for example, if you see the manufacturer’s logo), push the power button again until the system goes off again (this normally takes approximately 10 seconds). Repeat the procedure of turning on and off a second time, if needed. When you turn on your computer the next time, it should boot into Safe Mode.

This was another one of those things that took numerous tries before it finally worked, and even now, I’m not sure what I did well the last time. Nonetheless, if your computer is just not booting up and you want to try to reset it, it is worthwhile to give it a shot.

Fresh start

The difference between resetting and refreshing your Windows PC used to be very clear: the former destroyed all your files, settings, and programs while the latter enabled you to maintain your personal data and settings. That all changed with the introduction of Windows 10. This time, the distinction is a little more subtle. A reset will enable you to maintain your personal data, but it will also erase all of your personal settings and preferences. A fresh start will allow you to maintain some of your personal settings, but it will erase the majority of your installed applications.

  • Select “Learn how to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows” from the “Learn how to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows” drop-down menu in the Recovery window in Settings. The question of whether you want to move programs from settings to Windows Security will be presented to you
  • Select “Yes.” Following the redirect, you will be transported to the “Fresh start” page
  • Click on “Get started.”
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Reinstalling Windows 10 using the Fresh Start option is another option.

  • Click on “Yes” when prompted if you wish to enable the app to make changes to your device
  • Otherwise, click on “No.” If you choose to remove all applications and programs, a pop-up box will inform you that everything save the ones that come standard with Windows or those were installed by the manufacturer will be uninstalled. Select “Next.” from the drop-down menu. In this case, you’ll receive a list of all the applications that will be uninstalled (a far longer list than that offered by the reset). Select “Next.” from the drop-down menu.

Many of your applications will be removed when you perform a fresh start.

  • The final screen is the one that you will see: simply click on “Start” to begin the procedure. It might take up to 20 minutes, and your system will most likely need to be restarted numerous times throughout this process.

On the last screen before the Fresh start process begins to reinstall Windows, you will have one more opportunity to opt out.

4 Ways to Factory Reset Your Windows Computer

For many Windows difficulties, factory resets are the only way to resolve them completely. A factory reset is the most practical alternative if your computer is significantly slower than it used to be, if you have a virus infection that you are unable to eradicate, or if you want to sell your computer. You may factory reset a Windows laptop or desktop in a variety of methods, depending on your configuration and the version of Windows that is installed on your computer. The following tutorial will teach you how to simply reset a Windows 10, 8, or 7 computer as possible.

Before You Reset Windows, Make Sure You Back Up!

To begin, make a recent backup of your data and then go to the next section on how to reset Windows. When you perform a factory reset, all of your installed apps, as well as your data in some situations, will be deleted. You don’t want to be responsible for whatever you leave behind. First, make sure you understand what you should back up from your computer, and then learn how to back up your Windows PC to the cloud. Following the creation of a backup of all of your data, you may begin with reinstalling Windows.

1. How to Factory Reset Windows 10 Using the Built-In Method

Previously, factory resetting Windows was a time-consuming operation, but Microsoft made it much simpler with Windows 8 by including a built-in recovery tool. This feature is also featured in Windows 10 and is the most effective method of factory resetting a Windows PC in the vast majority of circumstances. SelectSettingsUpdateSecurityRecovery from the Start menu to obtain this Windows reinstall option. Immediately underneath this, you’ll find aReset this PCheader; click theGet startedbutton to the right of it to get started.

Keep Your Files or Remove Everything?

When you reset Windows 10 in this manner, you’ll be presented with two initial options to pick from: Keep my data or documents safe. Remove everything from the equation. Choosing to keep my files establish the default settings for your operating system and removes all of your installed applications (such as browsers, Microsoft Office, and games), but leaves your data such as papers and music intact. Remove everything, as the name implies, performs a complete factory reset, restoring all settings to their factory defaults and wiping out all of your personal data.

Despite the fact that theKeep my filesoption will keep your personal data, you should still make a backup before utilizing it in case something goes wrong.

Cloud Download vs. Local Reinstall

You’ll next have to decide which method you wish to use to reinstall Windows on recent versions of Windows 10. There are two alternatives: Download from the cloud or reinstall locally. Local reinstallation makes advantage of the files already present on your existing machine to create a fresh copy of Windows. Even though it saves you the trouble of having to download any files from the internet, it will not function if your Windows installation is damaged in any way. With Cloud download, the procedure will instead download a fresh copy of Windows 10 from Microsoft over the internet, which will be installed on your computer.

It will take many gigabytes of data to download Windows, so be cautious if you are using a restricted internet connection. If you have a high-speed internet connection, however, this alternative may be more expedient than a local reinstallation.

Options When Resetting Windows 10

Following that, you’ll see anAdditional settingsmenu, which has aCurrent settingssection, which contains a summary of what you’ve decided to do so far. After that, you’ll see aCurrent settingssection, which contains a summary of what you’ve chosen to do so far. There’s also aChange settingslink that you may use to access further choices. If you choose Keep my files previously, the only choice available underChange settings is a duplicate option. Do you want to download Windows? Toggle between cloud-based and local reinstallation.

  • Clean data?will completely erase everything on the drive, decreasing the likelihood that someone will be able to retrieve it afterwards.
  • If you intend to maintain your machine, there is no need to do so.
  • Turn on to completely remove everything from all external hard drives that are linked to your computer External hard drives and recovery drives are included in this category.
  • If you bought your computer off-the-shelf, you’ll also notice a slider labeled “Restore preloaded apps?” here.
  • If you installed Windows on your own computer, this option will not be available.

Confirm the Windows 10 Reset Operation

When you’re pleased with the options shown above, clickConfirm. You will see a last screen labeled “Ready to reset this PC” before you begin the factory reset process. In this section, you’ll find a list of the steps that the process will do. Apps that will be withdrawn may be seen by clicking you want to double-check which applications are affected by this procedure, you may do so here. At the end, confirm the action by clickingReset, and then wait for the procedure to be completed by itself.

Once everything is completed, you’ll need to go through the Windows 10 installation process.

2. Factory Reset Windows 10 Using the “Fresh Start” Option (Older Versions)

Microsoft provides an alternative method to factory reset your computer if you’re using an earlier version of Windows 10, which is referred to as Fresh Start. If you’re using a current version of Windows, this option has been replaced by the method detailed above, which you should utilize if you’re using a previous version. When viewing the SettingsUpdateSecurityRecoverypage, scroll down until you see theLearn how to start anew with a clean installation of Windowslink near the bottom, and then click it.

To begin, select Get started from the drop-down menu. Keep in mind that if you are using Windows 10 version 2004 or higher, selecting the text in the link text will launch Microsoft’s Fresh Start page in your browser instead. The following is how Fresh Start works:

  • When you use Fresh Start, your personal files are always retained
  • There is no option to erase everything and do a full factory reset. It is not possible to reinstall Windows 10 using local files since Fresh Start gets the most recent version of Windows 10 from Microsoft’s servers.
  • This is accomplished by deleting any non-standard Windows applications, including bloatware from manufacturers, from the computer’s hard drive. All save the Microsoft Store apps that were pre-installed by the manufacturer remain in place
  • These are the sole exceptions.
  • Finally, Fresh Start retains “certain Windows settings,” although it does not define which ones these are. The above-mentioned reset procedure does not save any of your preferences

To summarize, New Start downloads a fresh copy of the most recent Windows 10 version, retains your data and certain settings, and does not leave any manufacturer bloatware, with the exception of Store apps, on your computer. When compared to the regular reset option, which allows you to select whether or not to preserve your data, does not store any settings, installs the same version of Windows, and gives you the choice of how to reinstall the operating system, the standard reset option is more flexible.

  • It’s always possible to factory reset Windows using installation discs if you’re not running Windows 8 or 10, want to know how to factory reset Windows 10 without accessing the Settings menu, or don’t want to utilize any of the techniques listed above for any reason.
  • For information on how to install Windows 10 on a bootable USB drive, see How to Install Windows 10 from a Bootable USB Drive.
  • As long as you have a spare USB drive, this is a free and simple procedure.
  • These allow you to obtain anISO image to burn on a flash drive or DVD in order to reinstall Windows on your computer.
  • In any case, all you have to do is insert the USB drive or disc containing your installation media and then boot from that device.
  • Keep in mind that doing so will delete everything now present on the disk where Windows will be installed.

4. Factory Reset Windows 10 From Boot Using Advanced Methods

While the three techniques stated above will work for the vast majority of people, there are a few sophisticated ways to reset Windows that you may utilize if necessary. Start a factory reset from theAdvanced Startupmenu in order to do a Windows 10 factory reset from the start of the operating system (for example, if you are unable to log into Windows regularly). If Windows is operating properly, you may access this menu by going to SettingsUpdateSecurityRecovery. To reboot into Advanced Startup, go to theAdvanced startupsection and select the button labeledRestart immediately.

  1. If you are unable to complete either of these tasks, try hitting F11 while the system is booting, which will open Advanced Startup on some computers.
  2. SelectTroubleshoot from the Advanced Startup menu, then selectReset This PC to initiate the identical factory reset operation as described in step 1 above.
  3. If your PC manufacturer provided a recovery partition on your hard drive, you may be able to boot directly into the BIOS and load the recovery disk from there.
  4. While it is not ideal, it may be the only alternative if you have no other choices.
  5. However, this will demand a significant amount of space, and you will need to complete it before you encounter a difficulty.
  6. Just to be clear, there is no option to factory reset Windows from within the BIOS configuration settings.

Additionally, there is no way to factory reset your laptop without first turning it on; electricity is required for all of the steps listed above.

Now You Know How to Factory Reset Your Windows Computer

When it comes to factory resetting a Windows PC, you have numerous alternatives. Use the built-in factory reset option in Windows 8 or 10 if you want to restore your computer back to its factory settings. Users of Windows 7 should get an image from Microsoft and use it to complete a clean installation of the operating system. The following procedures will get you back up and running as quickly as possible, whether you need to completely reset your laptop before selling it or simply want to refresh your PC for improved performance.

There are alternative methods for restoring your computer to a clean condition that do not include reinstalling the operating system.

Continue reading this article a little bit about the author Ben Stegner is a writer and poet (1793 Articles Published) At MakeUseOf, Ben serves as the Editor in Chief.

He has been working as a professional writer for almost seven years, covering topics such as technology lessons, video game recommendations, and more.

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How to Factory Reset Windows 10

In the event that your Windows 10 PC is operating slowly or acting erratically, doing a factory reset is one of the most effective methods of resolving the problem. You should do this as well if you are planning to sell your computer. Here’s how to do it. Note:If you’ve recently upgraded your computer, use these instructions to factory reset your Windows 11 machine. Always make a backup of your files before beginning a factory reset operation. If this is not done, some critical information may be irretrievably lost.

  • The Settings window will now display on your computer screen.
  • The left-hand pane will now provide a list of the UpdateSecurity settings that have been selected.
  • You’ll be in the Recovery window at this point.
  • The “Reset This PC” window will display after you have made your selection.
  • Please keep my files: This option will maintain all of your personal files while uninstalling any installed programs and system settings
  • But, it will not keep any of your personal data. Remove everything: This will totally erase your Windows 10 computer’s hard drive.
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You should select the one that best suits your needs. A notice will appear in the next window, explaining what will happen when you restart your computer. Depending on whatever method you choose in the previous step, the message you receive will be different.

When you’re ready, click on the “Reset” button to start over. Your Windows 10 computer will now begin the process of performing a factory reset. Please be patient as this process may take several minutes. Upon completion of the process, your computer will reboot itself.

How to Factory Reset Windows 10 and Why You Should

When selling or disposing of a computer, whether it’s a Mac or a Windows PC, it’s a good idea to do a factory reset on the machine. It makes no difference if you use it every day for critical business or only on occasion to watch movies or watch videos. Your gadget is almost certain to have a trove of personal and sensitive information about you. It’s also a good idea to factory reset Windows 10 every now and then to ensure that it’s operating at peak performance. After all, a large amount of data (both now in use and previously stored pieces) accumulates over time.

  1. Just be sure to back up all of your crucial papers, films, game saves, photos, licenses, and other critical data before you begin.
  2. It works on any Windows 10 device and is compatible with any operating system.
  3. After that, you may determine whether or not a factory reset is viable.
  4. You can also go right to the reset procedure if you choose, but doing so is entirely at your own risk and responsibility.

Using the ‘Reset Your PC’ Option in Windows 10

When using the reset option, it is crucial to remember that the original OEM license may be used if you updated your version of Windows 10 (for example, from Home to Pro). If you find yourself in this situation, you should consider changing the license in the Settings menu. You’ll need to conduct a clean install/upgrade using the updated license and software if that procedure doesn’t work (which it most likely won’t). The following are the procedures to take in order to reset your Windows 10 device.

  1. Make a start by selecting “Start Menu – Settings.”
  2. Then click on “UpdateSecurity” to complete the process. As an alternative, put the word “Reset” without any quotation marks into the “Cortana search box.” Select “Recovery” from the “UpdateSecurity” drop-down option on the left-hand side of the screen. The recovery option will open a new page with further alternatives for you to choose. You’ll want to choose “Reset this PC.” if you wish to restore your computer. You’ll now have two options to choose from: (1) Please keep my data
  3. (2) Please remove everything. The first option will maintain your personal files and is excellent for basic settings refreshes and app removals, as it will not delete any installed apps. The second option will delete all of the files
  4. Following your selection of the “Keep my files” option above, you’ll be provided with a list of the applications that will be wiped before being prompted to confirm the reset with a confirmation screen. If you pick the “Remove everything” option, you may go to the next stage without further delay. As soon as you finish erasing everything, you will be prompted to confirm the wiping of personal data and to specify whether you wish to delete all data on the operating system disk or all drives. If your computer has the May 2020 Update or later, you’ll have two options when reinstalling Windows 10: Cloud Download and Local Reinstall are both available. With the cloud option, Windows 10 is reinstalled with the most recent version. The local option makes use of the installation data that is already on your device. The final step is a detailed explanation of what will happen to your laptop if you return it to its factory default configuration. If you’re satisfied with the results, click “Restore,” and the restoration procedure will begin.

Following the completion of the reset, you’ll see one or more HTML files on your Desktop that include a list of all the apps that were destroyed. You have the option of choose what to restore from the beginning. Apart from that, Windows 10 keeps all of its old data in the “Windows.old” folder, so you always have the ability to remove data from there when the need arises. Please note that the licensing information for the majority of apps will not be displayed in Windows Explorer, but you may still search for essential information.

You’ll know the procedure is complete when you’re requested to accept the licensing agreement at the end of it.

The backup option, on the other hand, is not for licenses and applications; rather, it is for data that has been saved by the user.

Some third-party backup applications include independent file selection, which allows you to restore apps that are already installed on your computer (and licenses in some cases).

Windows 10 Resets

As you’ve already seen, there isn’t much to restarting Windows 10 other than the default settings. Just make sure you have a backup of all of your crucial information stored somewhere safe before you begin the procedure. Even if you decide to preserve your data and only reinstall the operating system, it’s preferable to be safe than sorry in this situation.

Windows 10 Factory Reset FAQs

A Windows 10 Reset is intended to restore the Windows operating system in its original OEM form as it was when it was purchased. As a result, all third-party programs and licenses that were previously installed on the device will be uninstalled and reinstalled. A Windows 10 Fresh Start is similar to a system reset, with the exception that it does not keep OEM and preloaded third-party applications and licensing; rather, it reinstalls Windows 10 from the beginning, without any prior configuration.

Is It Good Practice to Reset Windows 10?

Resetting Windows 10 whenever feasible is a good practice, and it is recommended to do it at least once every six months when practicable. The majority of customers will only turn to a Windows reset if they are experiencing technical difficulties with their computer. However, a large amount of data is collected over time, some with your assistance, but the majority without it. Your operating system actions and personal information are the most often gathered types of data. Various actions such as browsing history, social likes, social shares, news views, search history, watched videos, document auto-saves, temporary backup files, PDF view history, and more are recorded and used for specific purposes.

The information can be accessed by virus, spyware, and other ways if the computer is not protected.

Does a Windows 10 Reset Save Documents, Music, Images, and Contacts?

Yes, while executing a Windows 10 Reset, personal folders such as My Documents, My Videos, and My contacts are preserved. When prompted, you MUST specify that you wish to save your personal data in order for it to be saved. In any other case, the reset will remove everything on the computer except OEM/preinstalled software and start over from the beginning.

Does Resetting Windows 10 Keep Game Data?

In most cases, a Windows 10 reset will not store any game data or save any games. Although the procedure is meant to deliver a fresh Windows operating system, it does allow the option of saving some of your data, such as papers, photos, and other files. Games that have been installed independently or by a third-party will not be saved or backed up. If you have games from the Microsoft Store, the save data may be retrieved when you reinstall them; however, this is dependent on the functionality and choices of the game you are playing.

It is usually a good idea to back up any important game data before resetting your computer, and doing so will need extensive study and the development of customized backup techniques dependent on the game saves and settings you wish to save.

Does a Windows 10 Reset Save Custom Drivers?

No, a Windows 10 reset will not keep any of your drivers intact. Because the operating system only reinstalls the default drivers or those that are already in Microsoft’s database, you’ll have to reload any third-party or custom drivers manually.

Does Resetting My PC in Windows 10 Require Updates Again?

Yes, a Windows 10 reset will not save any updates, thus you will have to reload them when the reset is complete. However, because the most recent Featured Update incorporates all previous updates, it won’t be as horrible as it seems.

How to factory reset Windows 10

Image courtesy of TechRadar (Image courtesy of TechRadar) There are a variety of reasons why you may want detailed instructions on how to factory reset your Windows 10 machine. The most important one is that you may need to delete all of the information off your computer before recycling or selling it, which is possibly the most important. You may also wish to do a factory reset on your computer in order to make it more usable in the future. Whilst this will assist in getting your computer up and running like new again, Microsoft provides several easier alternatives built into the operating system that will swiftly factory reset Windows 10 without erasing all of your stuff.

Here’s all you need to know about the process.

Performing a factory reset from within Windows 10

To begin the process of executing a factory reset on your Windows PC, log onto your computer and use the Windows Recovery program. For those of you whose computers are not operating correctly or who have lost access to their accounts, we’ll provide other procedures later on. If, on the other hand, you do have access to the tool through Windows, here’s what you should do. Image courtesy of TechRadar (Image credit: TechRadar) The first step is to identify your target audience. Start by launching the Recovery tool.

  1. Most people find that pressing the Windows key to open the Windows search bar, typing “Reset,” and then selecting the “Reset this PC” option is the quickest solution.
  2. From there, select UpdateSecurity from the new window’s drop-down menu, followed by Recovery from the left navigation bar.
  3. It’s actually that simple to do.
  4. You’ll notice a button that reads “Get started” beneath it.
  5. When you click on “Get started,” a new window will appear, asking you whether you want to “Keep my files” or “Remove everything.” To do a proper factory reset, select “Remove everything” from the menu.
  6. Make sure your computer is fully charged before proceeding, since Windows 10 may not begin a reset if the device is not plugged in properly.) Upon selecting the desired choice, Windows will begin preparing the system for reset.
  7. Using the “Just remove my files” option, you’ll be able to erase everything from your computer, or you may choose to have Windows additionally wipe the disk using the “Remove files and clean drive” option.

This is the only option available if you are selling or recycling your computer. (Note: If your computer has numerous hard drives, Windows may prompt you to choose whether you want to wipe all of them or only the hard disk on which Windows is installed.)

Performing a factory reset without logging in

Don’t be alarmed if you are unable to get in to your Windows 10 PC. Our alternative method for factory resetting Windows 10 and your system is available to you below. Even though the end result will be the same as with the preceding strategy, the process of getting there will be slightly different. Microsoft is credited with this image. (Photo courtesy of Microsoft) The first step is to identify your target audience. To gain access to the Advanced starting tool, go here. There are two methods to gain access to the Advanced startup tool: via the Start menu or through the Start menu.

If possible, hit the on-screen power button while holding down the Shift key, and then press the restart button to restart the computer.

If, on the other hand, your computer is having trouble booting into Windows, you may use the Advanced starting tool by power cycling your machine.

This procedure should be repeated three times.

Step two: Navigate to the Reset tool on your computer.

Step three: Begin the factory reset procedure.

If you choose to “only remove my files,” you’ll be given the option to “remove my data and wipe the disk.” The latter will, once again, be the most safe alternative if you plan on selling or giving your computer away in the future.

It’s important to note that if your computer has numerous drives, Windows may ask you whether you want to delete the contents of those other drives as well as the disk where Windows is installed.

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