How to reset Windows 10 from factory settings.
Whether you want to start over after a malware infection, or you want to clean up your PC to recycle or sell, knowing how to factory reset Windows 10 can help you get it back up and running like new.
A factory reset is the last resort when your computer is down, running slowly, or displaying alarming error messages that the software can’t fix.
Windows 10 comes with built-in recovery options that you can use to reset your computer with or without deleting all files.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to factory reset Windows 10
How to Factory Reset Windows 10
We’ll cover four different ways to reset Windows 10 to factory settings:
- Reset and keep files
- Reset and remove everything
- Reset your PC from the login screen into the system.
- Perform a reset using the New Start option.
Note. Back up your files before resetting Windows 10, otherwise, you may lose some important files and won’t be able to recover deleted data.
How to reset Windows 10 to factory settings and keep files
If you want to reset Windows 10 and still keep all your files, you can do so using the Keep my files option. After completing the process, the computer will be like new. Then you can reconfigure user preferences and reinstall any applications again.
- Select Start> Settings> Update & Security to get started.
- Then select “Restore”.
- Click the Get Started button under Reset This PC.
- Then select Keep My Files.
- Choose how you want to reinstall Windows: cloud boot or local reinstall. If you choose to download from the cloud, it can take up to 4 GB of data to download and install Windows 10 on your computer. When reinstalling locally, you will reinstall Windows 10 from your PC.
- Click Next.
- Click the Reset button.
Your computer will revert to factory settings and keep all your files. After the reset is complete, check your computer for Windows updates to make sure the operating system is missing any patches, security updates, or critical drivers.
- To check for updates, select Start> Settings> Update & Security, and then select Windows Update> Check for Updates. If updates are available, Windows 10 will download and install them on your computer.
- You can quickly update missing drivers through Windows Update by going to Settings> Update & Security> Windows Update> Check for Updates. Select “View Additional Updates”.
- Then select the Driver Updates tab, navigate to the driver you want to update and select Download and Install.
Finally, reinstall any apps you installed prior to the reset and then start using your computer as usual.
How to factory reset Windows 10 and remove everything
Using the Delete All option will reset your computer and remove all personal files, applications, drivers, files, and any changes you made to settings. It also removes all applications installed by your PC manufacturer.
- To do this, select Start> Settings> Update & Security> Recovery.
- Select “Get Started” under Reset This PC.
- Then select Delete All.
- Choose how you want to reinstall Windows: Boot from the Cloud or Reinstall Locally.
- If you want to completely remove all your personal files and data, select Change Settings.
- Then set the “Clear Data” radio button to “Yes” and select “Confirm”.
Note. This option is useful if you plan to rent, transfer, or sell your computer. It may take about an hour or two, but it makes it difficult to recover any files you’ve deleted. Leaving the Clear Data radio button to No will shorten the execution time because only the files will be deleted. However, this is less secure.
- Click Next.
- Select “Reset”.
How to reset Windows 10 from the login screen
If you are unable to open Windows settings on your PC, you can reset Windows 10 from the login screen.
- To do this, use the Windows logo keyboard shortcut + L to open up the login screen.
- Restart your computer by pressing the Shift key and selecting “Power> Restart” in the lower right corner of the screen.
- After restarting your computer in WinRE (Windows Recovery Environment), select Troubleshoot from the Choose an Option screen.
- Select “Reset this PC”.
- Choose whether to keep files, delete all, or restore factory settings to continue.
- If you see “Restore Factory Settings” on your computer, select it. This will delete your personal files, installed software, and reinstall Windows 10 and any other preinstalled apps that came with your computer. Windows 10 will erase everything from the drive and return it to its original state. If Restore Factory Settings is not available, select Delete All.
How to reset Windows 10 to factory settings using the Fresh Start option
With the New Start option, you can reset Windows 10 and keep your files if you want to start with a fresh copy of the operating system that is free of malware or additional software.
However, instead of using a custom image from your PC manufacturer, starting from scratch uses the original Windows 10 image provided by Microsoft.
Note. This may not work on computers from other manufacturers such as Dell, HP, ASUS or Acer as it may not reinstall certain applications or drivers that you might need. In addition, you may not be able to use the custom manufacturer image on subsequent resets.
- To reset Windows 10 using the restart option, open Windows Security and select Device performance and health.
- Select More Information in the New Start section and then select Get Started> Next in the new window to start the process. Once you’re done, reinstall the apps you want to use.
After you complete these steps, the original Windows 10 image will be used to restore your Windows 10 PC to factory settings while preserving your personal data.
Scrap it All and Start Over
We hope this guide helped you restore Windows 10 to factory settings and return your PC to its original state. If you are using a Mac and it suddenly starts behaving strangely, you can reset PRAM and SMC. Check out our other guides on how to clean and reinstall Windows 10, or use this easy way to clean install Windows 10 without worrying about the technical details.
Did you manage to reset your computer to factory settings? Share with us in the comments.
How to reset Windows 10 from factory settings
How to reset Windows 10 from factory settings.
how to reset windows 10 to factory settings without cd