Whether you’re experiencing performance issues, malware infections, or simply want to wipe your slate clean, a factory reset can be a powerful tool for your Windows 10 computer. This guide will walk you through two different methods for performing a factory reset: using the Settings app and using the advanced startup options.
Before you begin:
- Back up your data: This is crucial, as a factory reset erases all your data and settings. Ensure you have a backup of all your important files and folders.
- Prepare for reinstallation: Gather your Windows 10 installation media (DVD or USB drive) or know your product key if you plan to reinstall Windows after the reset.
Method 1: Using the Settings app
- Open the Settings app. Windows 10 Settings app
- Go to Update & Security.
- Click on Recovery in the left-hand menu.
- Under Reset this PC, click Get started.
- You’ll be given two options:
- Keep my files: This option resets your settings and removes installed apps but keeps your personal files intact.
- Remove everything: This option erases your personal files, settings, and apps, essentially returning your computer to its factory state.
- Choose the option you prefer and click Next.
- You may be asked to choose a cloud download or local reinstall of Windows 10. Choose your preferred option and click Next.
- Review the information about what will be erased and click Reset to begin the process.
Method 2: Using advanced startup options
- If your computer is not booting into Windows normally, you can perform a factory reset through the advanced startup options.
- Turn on your computer and keep pressing the Shift key while clicking Restart.
- Your computer will boot into the Advanced Startup menu.
- Select Troubleshoot > Reset this PC.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to choose your preferred reset option and proceed with the process.
- If you’re unable to access the Settings app or boot into Windows normally, you can create a bootable USB drive with the Windows 10 installation media and use it to perform a factory reset.
- Make sure you have a stable internet connection if you choose the cloud download option during the reset process.
- The duration of the reset process can vary depending on your computer’s hardware configuration and the amount of data being erased.
After the reset:
- Once the reset is complete, your computer will restart and go through the initial setup process.
- You’ll need to set up your language, keyboard layout, region, and other preferences.
- You can then choose to restore your data from a backup or install your programs and settings again.
By following these steps, you can successfully factory reset your Windows 10 computer and give it a fresh start. Remember to back up your data before proceeding and choose the reset option that best suits your needs.