Factory reset is the ultimate solution to get rid of Windows errors. You can factory reset Windows if your system is running slow or infected by malware or virus. Or you are selling your PC to someone. However, no matter your reason, I will share a complete guide on how to factory reset your Windows 10.
Take a Backup of your data
Before you go ahead and factory reset Windows 10, make sure to take a backup of your data. By performing a factory reset, all data, including installed programs and files and will get deleted. So if there is any critical data you have on your computer, safeguard it in the first place.
How to Factory Reset Your Windows 10 PC
There are a couple of ways available for you to factory reset Windows 10. These methods help you reset your computer without deleting your files or installing a fresh copy of Windows. And for this tutorial, we are going to use the below methods:
- Fresh Start option.
- Reset This PC.
- Windows Installation Media.
- Advanced Startup.
1] Use Fresh Start Option to Factory Reset Windows
Microsoft has introduced a new way to factory reset your computer called Fresh Start. With this one, you will be able to factory reset your computer pretty easily.
To use the Fresh Start option, go to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery.
From here, click on the option that says Learn how to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows at the bottom.
Next, it will open a Windows Security window to the Fresh start option. And then click on Get started to proceed ahead.
However, you should know that the Fresh Start option doesn’t delete your personal data, and it doesn’t give you an option to remove the files. Also, the option downloads the latest version of Windows 10.
In short, this option downloads the fresh copy of the most recent Windows 10 version, keeps all your files and some settings. Also, it doesn’t leave any bloatware aside from Store apps.
2] Use Reset This PC to Factory Reset Windows
Windows also comes with a built-in method that lets you factory reset your computer pretty easily. Windows 8 first came with this feature and carried on to Windows 10.
You can access this feature by going to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. Over here, you will find the Reset this PC option and then click on the Get started button.
Once you click on the button, you will find these two options: Keep my files and Remove Everything.
The first option removes all your installed apps like browsers, MS office, games, and other programs. But it keeps your data.
On the other hand, Remove Everything is the factory reset feature that will delete Everything on your computer. Also, it will bring all the settings to its factory defaults.
Be Care When Removing Everything From Windows 10 PC
If you select Remove Everything, then Windows will introduce additional settings to you. Although the feature will remove your files but it will not securely erase them. Also, it only clears data from the drive where you have your Windows installed.
So you might want to change settings to adjust these options. For instance, if you enable Data erasure, Windows will obliterate Everything on the drive to reduce the chances of data recovery. But this will take a lot of time. Also, you should only use this option if you are selling your computer.
Also, enable Data drives to erase everything on all drives you have connected to your computer. This also includes external hard drivers.
In case if you are using the Windows 10 20H1 update, Microsoft will offer a Cloud download option at this point. This will allow you to factory reset Windows 10 by downloading a fresh copy from the internet. This feature would be helpful if your current installation is corrupted.
3] Use Windows Installation Media
If you have Windows installation media with you, you can also use it to reset your computer. This will help you to install a fresh copy of Windows and delete everything on your computer.
To get started with this, you will need to download and install Media Creation Tool. Then insert a USB Drive or disc containing your install media to your computer.
And use it to boot from the removable device. Then, you will get to see the Windows setup screen and follow all the on-screen instructions, and your computer will get reset.
4] Advanced Methods to Factory Reset Windows 10
Lastly, you can try some advanced methods to reset your computer. While the above methods would work for most users, some users may want to factory reset from Boot. So in case, if you are not able to enter into Windows as you normally do, you can try these methods.
If your Windows is working properly, then follow these steps:
At first, go to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. Under the Advanced startup section, click Restart now to reboot into Advanced Startup. Or you can hold down Shift Key and click on the restart button to get into the advanced startup menu.
If your Windows is not working, then do this:
As you boot your computer, press F11 continuously, and it will open the Advanced Startup menu. Also, if it doesn’t do anything, then Windows will launch the Advanced Startup after three failed boots.
Once you are on Advanced Startup, go to Troubleshoot > Reset This PC to begin the same factory reset procedure mentioned in the second method above.
Also, you can select Advanced options for more choices. But those options won’t really help you unless you have a saved system image.
So that was the answer to how you can factory reset your Windows 10 computer. Apart from this, you can also download a system image of Windows 10 from the Microsoft website and install it on your computer.