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4 ways to reset your Windows computer to factory settings

Factory settings are the core solution to many Windows problems. If your computer is much slower than before, you have malware that doesn’t go away or plans to sell your machine, a factory reset is the most convenient solution.


Depending on the installation and version of Windows installed, you have a few ways to ensure that your Windows laptop or desktop is reset to factory settings. We’ll show you how to reset your Windows 10, 8, or 7 computer as easily as possible.

Before resetting to factory settings, make sure!

Before you learn how to reset Windows, make sure you have a recent backup of your files. Factory reset erases all installed programs and files, so you don’t want to leave anything behind.

Check the ultimate Windows 10 backup guide

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for all available methods.

1. Restore Windows 10 to factory settings using the built-in method

Restoring Windows to factory settings was once a tricky process, but Microsoft introduced a much easier way to do it on Windows 8. It is also included with Windows 10 and is the best way to restore your computer to factory settings for most people.

To get there, go Settings> Update and Security> Restore. You see a Restore this computer title; Click to Start button below this.

Windows 10 recovery options

Keep files or delete all?

You can choose from two options when restoring Windows 10 this way: Keep my files or delete all.

The first option resets the settings to the default settings and removes all installed applications (such as browsers, Microsoft Office, and games), but keeps your data. True name delete all is factory reset: it resets all settings to factory defaults and deletes files and applications.

Although Keep my files option to keep your data, you should still make a backup before using it in case something goes wrong.

Keep my files or Delete all

Options during reset

If you selected delete all, Windows shows some Advanced Options you can check. By default, the process deletes your files, but does not delete them safely. It also clears data only from the drive where Windows is installed.

care about Change settings to adjust these options. If you enable Deletion of data, Windows destroys the entire drive to reduce the chances of data recovery. Although this process will take some time, you should use it if you disconnect it from your computer. It is not necessary otherwise.

Finally, enable information Stations to delete all drives connected to the computer. This includes external hard drives and recovery disks. Because those drives are likely to have backups and files, you should not use this unless you want to permanently delete all things related to your computer.

Windows factory default options

By the way, if you chose Keep my files, you can see a summary of what Windows is going to do. Click to List of applications to remove link to see what applications it will remove.

Starting with the Windows 10 20H1 update, Microsoft provides a Download the cloud option at this point. This will allow you to restore Windows 10 by downloading a fresh copy from the Internet. It can be useful if your current installation is corrupted or if you have a high-speed network connection.

Finally, click to confirm the action Reset and wait for the process to complete. If you reset your laptop at the factory, make sure you plug it in so that you do not lose power during operation. You have to go through the installation process when it’s done – make sure you are follow the correct steps after installing Windows 10

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2. Restore Windows 10 to factory settings using the Start button

In an earlier update to Windows 10, Microsoft added a new way to restore your computer to factory settings. It’s similar to the one above, but there are a few small differences that make it worth watching.

On Settings> Update and Security> Restore click the link text Learn how to get started with a clean Windows installation background. This will open the Windows Security window New beginning option. click on Start proceed.

A new beginning for Windows 10 security

Compared to the reset option above, Fresh Start has the following differences:

  • Fresh Start always keeps your personal files without the possibility of deleting them as above.
  • Fresh Start loads the latest version of Windows 10, while the standard reset option uses hard disk recovery data. This is provided by the computer manufacturer or is protected C: Recovery folder if you installed Windows yourself.
    • Therefore, Fresh Start avoids clutter by removing all atypical Windows applications, including the manufacturer’s bloatware. The only exception is manufacturer-installed Microsoft Store applications that remain valid.
  • Finally, Fresh Start keeps “some Windows settings” but doesn’t define what. The reset above will not preserve any of your settings.

In summary, Fresh Start downloads a fresh copy of the latest version of Windows 10, keeps your files and some settings, and doesn’t leave extra apps on the Store apps page. By comparison, the standard reset option lets you choose whether to keep your files, not save any settings, and reinstall Windows and applications based on the recovery partition.

Keep in mind that after this, you may need to re-enter the license keys for premium applications, and you may need to do so. update system drivers

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3. Reinstall using the Windows installation media

If you’re not using Windows 8 or 10, you want to know how to restore Windows 10 to factory settings without the Settings menu, or for some reason you don’t want to use the methods above, you can always restore Windows to factory settings using the installation tools. This will allow you to install a fresh copy of Windows on your computer and wipe out any computers currently in use.

Check the Windows 10 operating system how to install Windows 10 using the Microsoft Media Creation Tool

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, which is free and easy.

If you want to reinstall Windows 7 or 8 from scratch, you can use Microsoft Windows 7 Download Tool or Microsoft Windows 8.1 Download Tool. These allow you to download ISO burns to flash drive

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or DVD so that you can reinstall Windows. You must enter a valid Windows 7 product key to do so, but it is not necessary to download Windows 8.1.

Then insert either the USB drive or the disc that contains the installation media boot from a portable device

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. You are greeted by the Windows installation screen, which allows you to install a clean copy. Keep in mind that this will delete any drive on which you are installing Windows at this time.

4. Use Windows Advanced Methods to restore Windows 10 to factory default settings

While the three methods listed above work for most users, there are a few advanced ways to restore Windows if you are interested. You can perform a factory reset of Windows 10 from startup (for example, if you can’t access Windows normally), you can start a factory reset Advanced Startup menu.

If Windows is working properly, visit to start this Settings> Update and Security> Restore. Below Advanced startup click on Restart now to start the Advanced Startup application. Alternatively, press and hold Transfer by clicking the key Restart button in the power menu.

Try to weigh in if you can’t do either of these F11 At startup, Advanced Startup is opened on some systems. If this fails, Windows will start Advanced Startup alone after three failed startups.

When it is open, select troubleshooting, then select Restore this computer start the same factory reset procedure as above 1. You can select Advanced settings more options, but none of them will allow you to restore Windows 10 to factory settings unless you have a saved system image.

Windows Reset PC Advanced Options

Otherwise, you may be able to boot into the BIOS and access the recovery partition on your hard disk directly, if included with your computer manufacturer. However, if you use this method to restore the factory settings, you will reinstall all the manufacturer’s bloatware software. While it is not ideal, it can work if you have no other options.

You can also type “create a recovery drive” in the Start menu to use a tool that allows you to make your own. However, this requires quite a bit of space and needs to be done before you have a problem. If you haven’t already done so, you may want to follow the steps in step 3 to make a new Windows 10 installation disc.

Overall, if you’re running Windows 8 or 10, one of the built-in reset options is the best bet. Windows 7 users should download the image from Microsoft and perform a clean installation this way.

Now you know how to restore your computer to factory settings

There are several options for resetting your Windows computer to factory settings. Whether you need to reset your laptop completely before selling it or just want to upgrade your computer to improve performance, one of these methods will give you a trip as quickly as possible.

If you have any problems, we have help Troubleshoot problems installing Windows

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