Although Windows 11 is, for the most part, more trouble-free than previous versions, there are times when things go wrong. If your Windows 11 machine is acting poorly, it may be time for a tune-up. If your PC doesn’t appear to be performing as well as it should, or you’re receiving worrying error messages, you may want to reset it to factory settings. Make sure you back up all your files before performing a factory reset to avoid any data loss. This post will guide you on how you could easily factory reset your Windows 11 laptop or desktop.
How to Factory Reset Your Windows 11 PC
A format or restore to an earlier state of your PC can eliminate pesky background programs and clean your hard drive of any unnecessary files. Here’s how you can do so. If you’re on a laptop, make sure that it is plugged in.
Factory Reset PC using Settings
- Pull up the Settings application (Win + I) on your Windows 11 computer by clicking on the Start Menu and choosing Settings.
- Here, choose the System section, and navigate to Recovery.
- Find and select the option for Reset this PC under Recovery Options.
- Now, Windows gives you two options. You could either keep your personal files and reset or delete everything.
- If you choose to Keep My Files, Windows will delete all your apps and programs but leave out all your personal files.
- The second one – Remove everything, will erase your PC (even your personal data). This option might come in handy if you’re handing over the PC to someone else.
- On the next page, Windows provides two more options. You could choose between reinstalling using a local recovery image or using a cloud download. The option for Cloud Download – will download the system image from Microsoft’s servers (around 4GB in size) and then use that for installation. The local reinstall option will take up the current system image and proceed with that one.
- The next page will show you a summary screen with the list of your choices. Click on Next to continue.
- If you’re looking to wipe the drive completely, Windows has got a solution to that. You can click on the Change Settings button under Summary, and you’ll be asked whether you’d like to Clean data, which, if chosen, will overwrite your data with space. Make the selections based on your preference and click on Confirm.
- Once you’ve gone through the list of your choices, click on Reset to begin the procedure.
Reset Windows 11 using Command Prompt
If you prefer using a terminal than a graphical user interface, here’s how you can factory reset your laptop using a Command Prompt or Windows Powershell window.
- In the Start Search Box, key in Command Prompt, right-click, and choose Run as Administrator.
- In a Command Prompt window, key in the following command to trigger a reset.
You will now be taken to the traditional Windows reset window. Just follow the on-screen instructions to complete the reset process.
Use a Windows ISO
If you want to factory reset Windows 11 from boot because you have lost access to it, i.e., BSOD or Corrupt File, you need Windows 11 ISO to reset the PC.
You will need to make a bootable USB using the Media Creation Tool and then boot from it after prioritizing the USB drive instead of a regular SSD. You can then navigate to Troubleshoot > Advanced Recovery > Reset PC option. It will launch the same wizard.
How can I reset my Windows 11 factory settings without installation media?
One can use the built-in factory reset tool provided with Windows to reset a computer to its factory settings without installation media. Users can use the local recovery image or perform a reset using a cloud download.
How do I reset my computer to Windows 11 factory settings without a password?
In that case, the only option you have left is either resetting your Microsoft account password or using an ISO as an installation media. Note that the latter method might result in data loss.
How to Reset PC to Start Fresh?
You can use the built-in reset tool with Windows and choose the option for Remove everything rather than choosing to Keep My Files.
I can’t factory reset my Windows 11 PC / Why can’t I factory reset my PC? (Troubleshoot)
In such a case, try booting into Safe Mode and then performing a reset. If that doesn’t work, try utilizing Windows’s troubleshooter from Settings.
Once the reset is complete, you’ll be taken to the first-time setup experience, where Windows will ask you to sign in with your Microsoft account, set up recommendations, and toggle services. That said, with the reset out of the way, you should notice a considerable speed boost and way lesser hiccups. If the problems persist, you might want to check your hardware components.