- 1 How to refresh, reset, or restore your PC
- 2 Before you start to refresh or reset your PC
- 3 Refresh, reset, or restore
- 4 How to Factory Reset Windows 10
- 5 Recovery Settings
- 6 Will You Save or Remove Your Files?
- 7 Additional Settings
- 8 How to factory reset on Windows 10
- 9 How to factory reset on Windows 10
- 10 More Windows 10 tips
- 11 Windows 10 basics: how to reset your system
- 12 Reset in Windows 10
- 13 Reset in Safe Mode
- 14 Fresh start
- 15 How To Factory Reset Windows 10 Without The Admin Password
- 16 How To Factory Reset Windows 10 From The Login Screen
- 17 Using Windows Installation Media To Reset Or Reinstall Windows
- 18 Resetting Your Admin Password Using Manufacturer Recovery Files
- 19 Starting Again On Windows 10
- 20 4 Ways to Factory Reset Your Windows Computer
- 21 Before You Reset Windows, Make Sure You Back Up!
- 22 1. How to Factory Reset Windows 10 Using the Built-In Method
- 23 2. Factory Reset Windows 10 Using the “Fresh Start” Option (Older Versions)
- 24 4. Factory Reset Windows 10 From Boot Using Advanced Methods
- 25 Now You Know How to Factory Reset Your Windows Computer
- 26 How to factory reset Windows 10
- 27 How to Factory Reset Windows 10 and Why You Should
- 28 Using the ‘Reset Your PC’ Option in Windows 10
- 29 Windows 10 Resets
- 30 Windows 10 Factory Reset FAQs
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.
- Depending on your situation, you may have generated them when you originally set up your computer.
- Even if your computer won’t boot up, having a recovery disk might assist you in troubleshooting and repairing problems with it.
- Make a backup of your data on a USB recovery device.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- To find Control Panel, type Control Panel into the search bar and touch or select Control Panel
- 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 Windows 10
A recent update or using Microsoft’s Refresh Windowstool may be all that is needed to fix a problem with your Windows 10 computer. You may also do your own diagnostic checks to ensure that your hard drive is in good working order. However, if your computer is running slowly or you’re seeing alarming warning messages, it may be time to back up your information and restore your computer to its factory settings. The actions outlined below should (hopefully) restore normal operation to your computer.
To enter the Settings window, go to the Start menu and click the gear symbol in the lower left corner of the screen. You may also choose the Settings app from the list of available apps. Under Settings, choose UpdateSecurityRecovery, and then select Get started under Reset this PC under Reset this computer.
Will You Save or Remove Your Files?
You have two choices at this point: either preserve your personal data and merely delete downloaded programs and settings, or erase everything and start again. Both options will also provide you with more configuration options. If you are resetting Windows in order to undo a mistake, select Keep my files first from the Reset Windows menu. If you intend to get rid of your computer, the best course of action is to remove everything from it.
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After that, you’ll be asked if you wish to reinstall Windows through cloud download or local reinstallation. Using the cloud option, which was introduced in the May 2020 update, your computer will download Windows installation files from Microsoft’s servers rather of requesting that your machine gather the required data from local storage. While Windows provides you the option, the cloud download option is intended to be a faster and more dependable alternative to accessing local files, which may become damaged as a result of the process.
When you select Keep my files, the programs and settings on the PC will be reset to the state they were in when it was first turned on, but your personal data will be retained. Any pre-installed applications will also be reinstated, but you may prevent this from happening by selectingChange settingsfrom the Additional Settings menu and turning off the Restore feature. If you wish to delete everything, simply choose Remove everything from the drop-down menu, and Windows will destroy all of your data.
You may, however, choose to entirely wipe the disk clean by selectingChange settingsfrom the Additional Settings page and setting theClean data?option to Yes.
It will take several hours to finish this process, but it is the most secure choice. If you want to get rid of your computer, Microsoft suggests erasing the hard disk entirely. This will make it much more difficult to retrieve erased information in the future.
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As soon as you have completed all of your decisions, click Next, and Windows will produce a screen that summarizes all of the decisions you have already made. If you choose Keep my files, you will be able to see a list of the applications that will be deleted as a result of the reset. Finally, clickResetto make a final commitment. Your computer will restart, and after a few minutes, it will begin to boot up once more. If you are planning to get rid of your computer, your task is completed. Otherwise, you may log back into Windows 10 to ensure that everything you selected to be deleted has been completely erased from the computer’s memory.
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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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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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.
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 ataka.ms/myrecoverykey.
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. Safe Mode may be accessed in three ways, according to Microsoft’s support website: from your settings, from your sign-in page, and from a blank screen.
- 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.
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.”
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.
How To Factory Reset Windows 10 Without The Admin Password
If you’re using any computer, you’ll need a strong password to keep your sensitive information safe. Use of generic, easy-to-guess admin passwords is not recommended unless you are comfortable with the prospect of your files and personal data being compromised. It’s critical to maintain track of passwords like these because if you lose track of them, you’ll find yourself locked out of your computer. Without a doubt, there will be situations when you will need to circumvent the default admin password.
You’ll need to follow these instructions if you want to factory reset Windows 10 without using the administrator password.
How To Factory Reset Windows 10 From The Login Screen
If you don’t know the administrator password for a Windows PC, you may restore the operating system to its factory defaults from the login screen quite easy.
- You’ll find choices to adjust your network settings, access Windows accessibility options, and shut down your computer at the bottom-right corner of the login screen. Holding down the Shift key on your keyboard will start the process of resetting your computer. Continue to hold down the key when you select the Restart option from your power menu.
- This will reboot Windows 10, but instead of launching the operating system as usual, you will be given with the boot choices menu, which you may choose from. Then select theTroubleshootoption to continue.
- The option to Reset this PC may be found in the Troubleshootmenu.
- You have the option of saving your files or resetting Windows 10 entirely, which would erase all of your files and settings. To save your files, select the Keep my files option from the drop-down menu. Otherwise, selectRemove everything from the drop-down menu.
This will initiate the reset process, and you may be required to follow further on-screen prompts in order to complete it.
The procedure will be finished in a few minutes, and you’ll be able to set up your Windows PC with a new user account, without having to enter the old admin password again.
Using Windows Installation Media To Reset Or Reinstall Windows
The approach outlined above is the quickest and most straightforward method of factory resetting your Windows 10 computer without the need for an administrator password. If your PC is experiencing troubles, however, you may want to consider wiping the hard drive completely and reinstalling or resetting Windows using the Windows installation disc. Windows 10 installation disk images may be obtained from the Microsoft website by visiting this link. Burning a new DVD or flashing a USB flash drive are both options for transferring this.
Linux users may accomplish this with the use of WoeUSB, whilst macOS users can do so through the use of the official Boot Camp Assistant program, which comes pre-installed on all Mac computers.
- If you have the Windows 10 ISO file and the Rufus application downloaded to your second Windows PC, launch Rufus on that computer. To pick an ISO file, first ensure that your USB flash drive is chosen from the drop-down menu, and then click theSelectbutton.
- Using the file selection option, choose your Windows 10 installation ISO file, and then click Open.
- A bootable USB Windows installation drive may be created by using Rufus, which will automatically adjust its settings to meet the requirements. Once you’re satisfied with the settings, hit theStartbutton to begin flashing your drive with the latest version. Remember that this will wipe it clean, so make a backup of any vital files stored on it before you begin
- We’ll need a little time to finish this project. As soon as Rufus has done flashing your USB flash drive, restart your computer to bring it up to the Windows installation prompt. You’ll need to pick the language that will be used during the Windows installation process when you get to the Windows installation screen. Also required is the selection of your time zone and currency, in addition to the keyboard layout you choose to use. When you’re ready to go on, click theNextbutton
- In order to begin the installation process, click on theInstall nowbutton.
- At this time, the Windows installation files will begin to load. In order to activate the installation, you may be required to provide a Windows 10 product key at this time. Enter your product key here. If you do not have a product key, select the optionI do not have a product key. This option will need you to activate Windows when the installation is complete
- Nonetheless, it is recommended.
- Optional: If an option is available, choose the version of Windows 10 that you desire to install and then click theNextbutton.
- Following that, you’ll need to agree to the terms of the Windows 10 licensing agreement. To proceed, choose theI accept the licensing termscheckbox and then clickNext.
- The installer will determine whether there is already a Windows installation on your computer. It is preferable to select theCustom: Install Windows only (advanced) option here if you want to avoid having to provide the admin password. This will completely erase all of the data on your computer before reinstalling Windows.
- At the next stage, select the drive on which Windows will be installed. If you have many partitions, you may need to erase and reinstall them before you can continue. To proceed, click on the Next button.
Windows will begin cleaning your hard disk and transferring files in preparation for the new installation at this point. The computer will then reboot to begin the next step of the installation procedure, allowing you to establish a new user account after the process has been completed and you will be able to access and use the computer once more.
Resetting Your Admin Password Using Manufacturer Recovery Files
The recovery partition drive, which is included by some PC and laptop manufacturers, allows you to restore your Windows 10 system back to its factory default settings if necessary. This is often accessed by restarting your computer and hitting a certain key on your keyboard during the boot-up process, as described above. Depending on the device maker, the key you press will be somewhat different. Some HP PCs, for example, require you to hit and hold the F11 key on your keyboard while your computer is booting.
For specific instructions on how to utilize a recovery partition on your PC or laptop, see the user manual for your computer or laptop.
If your computer does not have a recovery partition, you will need to do a factory reset of Windows 10 using one of the techniques indicated above.
Starting Again On Windows 10
Once you’ve figured out how to reset Windows 10 without having the administrator password on hand, you’ll be ready to start again. The first step is to make use of a password manager to assist you in creating a safe password for your computer. You can set up Windows without creating a Microsoft account, but you will be unable to access some of the more advanced Windows functions. On Windows 10, you have the option of switching to a passwordless login in order to totally eliminate the need for passwords.
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.
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 turn this off, Windows will not reinstall with manufacturer bloatware and other preloaded applications on your computer. 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.
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.
It’s important to note that the methods in 1 above allow you to reinstall Windows in an almost identical manner as the ways in 2 above without having to manually create a USB installer, making them far more handy.
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.
- 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.
- SelectTroubleshoot from the Advanced Startup menu, then selectReset This PC to initiate the identical factory reset operation as described in step 1 above.
- 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.
- While it is not ideal, it may be the only alternative if you have no other choices.
- However, this will demand a significant amount of space, and you will need to complete it before you encounter a difficulty.
- 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.
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How to factory reset Windows 10
Despite the fact that Windows 10 has been in use in organizations for several years, it is usually regarded as one of the most reliable editions of Microsoft’s flagship operating system to date. However, in recent years, it has had its image tarnished as a result of a series of botched upgrades and incorrect updates. In certain cases, you may notice that your operating system is becoming a little sluggish after several months or years of usage. This often indicates that it is performing common operations and functions at a slower rate.
Your machine’s dependability and performance deteriorate with time as it becomes more saturated, until you reach a point when you sense the need for a thorough spring cleaning.
The good news is that Windows 10 gives you the option of restoring your laptop to its factory settings without destroying any vital applications or information on your computer.
Carrying out a reset not only means that software and hardware driver issues may be resolved, but it also means that your computer will perform more smoothly as a result of the reset.
How to perform a factory reset on Windows 10
When it comes to resetting your Windows 10 system, the procedure is very basic. To begin, navigate to the Start Menu and select the Settings menu, which is represented by the cog icon. After that, choose “UpdatesSecurity” from the pop-up screen and then “Recovery” from the drop-down menu. When you click on Reset this PC, you’ll be offered with three options: restore an older build, go back to the current build, and Advanced startup. Choosing Reset this PC will completely erase your hard drive and allow you to start over with a fresh installation, whilst selecting Go back to an older build will allow Windows Insiders testers to revert to a prior version of Windows.
After selecting “Reset this PC” – the option for reinstalling Windows 10 on your computer – you will be given the choice to either leave your files on the computer or erase everything – the latter of which will do exactly what the name implies – completely remove everything from your computer.
- Despite the fact that if the first choice is selected, any data will remain on the computer, you may discover that you will not be able to open them if you do not have the appropriate software installed.
- Because the drive has been properly deleted, the latter option will take longer.
- If you intend to keep the computer, go for the faster of the two options.
- Click OK to proceed.
- Then click on the Reset button, and Windows will restart and restore its default configuration.
- Finally, when requested, select the option to proceed.
After the computer has been rebooted, you can reinstall your applications and modify your settings. If the system continues to crash, it is possible that there is a hardware problem, in which case a hardware engineer will need to evaluate the system for any problems the PC may be experiencing.
How to remove bloatware from Windows 10
Inevitably, most Windows computers come pre-installed with a bewildering collection of software that the vast majority of users never requested or will ever use. Fortunately, Microsoft has an utility that allows users to install a clean version of Windows that does not include any OEM apps that might otherwise clutter up their machine. To obtain a copy of the utility, go to this link. You will need to be a member of the Windows Insider program in order to take advantage of it. In case you don’t mind being used as a test subject, you may opt in by going to Settings.
- Options for more advanced users Get access to Insider Preview versions of software.
- More information on this strategy may be found at the website provided above.
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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.
Just be sure to back up all of your crucial papers, films, game saves, photos, licenses, and other critical data before you begin.
It works on any Windows 10 device and is compatible with any operating system.
After that, you may determine whether or not a factory reset is viable.
Here are certain “quality assurance” nuggets you should be aware of before restarting your Windows 10 operating system. 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.
- Make a start by selecting “Start Menu – Settings.”
- 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
- (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
- 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.
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 browser 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 certain purposes.
The information can be accessed by virus, spyware, and other ways if the computer is not protected. Resetting your computer (in the same way that you may reset your Android smartphone) guarantees that it operates at peak performance and stability on a consistent basis.
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.