Performing a Factory Reset

by Eric Wyatt
(last updated November 8, 2021)


When your computer is experiencing severe technical problems, and other attempts have failed to rectify the problem, the final option is to perform a factory reset. A factory reset is also a good option before you give your computer to someone else, as it can remove all the files you have placed on the machine. Factory reset essentially starts your computer over, clearing all the information, apps, and files back to the computer's original state before you had started to use your computer. While Windows 10 does have an option during the process to keep personal information, there is a high potential for your files to be removed if you are not careful. As a result, this option should only be done when you are certain no other methods will or have worked. To ensure that your files are kept it is highly recommended that you have a complete backup of your files.

To reset your computer with a factory reset, follow these steps:

  1. Press WINDOWS+I. This opens the Settings window.
  2. Select Updates and Security to open the updates and security section of the Settings window.
  3. Select the Recover option in the list on the left. This opens the recovery section on the right of the Settings window.
  4. Under Reset This PC, click on the "Get Started" button.
  5. You will now need to choose if you want to keep all your files by being given two choices, "Remove Everything" or "Keep Files." Be sure you select the correct option. If you have not backed up your files, it is strongly suggested to choose "Keep Files."
  6. If you choose "Remove Everything," you will be given two additional choices: remove just your files or completely wipe your system. If you are removing everything, we suggest entirely wiping your drive.
  7. You are again asked if you want to reset your device. This is your last opportunity before the reset procedure begins. If you select yes; Windows starts the factory reset procedure.
  8. Once completed, you will need to begin setting up your computer again—installing apps, fonts, accessories, etc.

Running a factory reset can cause your computer to return to its original state. If you backed up your files, you could begin putting the files back on to your machine.

 This tip (13895) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Eric Wyatt

Eric Wyatt is a swell guy (or so his friends tell him). He is a formally trained designer and branding expert, bringing a wide range of skills to his Tips.Net articles. ...


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What is 5 - 4?

2021-11-08 08:14:29

Henry Noble


In my experience, restoring to factory settings puts the drive back to where it was when you got the PC. That means the factory restore partition is still there, because that's the way the PC was shipped.

You may find that a factory restore does not bring the PC exactly to its as-shipped state. If there has been an intervening version upgrade, the restore partition's image may have been upgraded as well as the OS. This is handy in that it saves you from having to go through a ton of updates.

2021-11-08 07:15:47


If your computer has Windows 10 as OEM, it arrived from the factory with Windows pre-installed, does "Remove Everything" ---> "Completely wipe your system" remove the Windows OEM too?

If yes then is it possible to reinstall a Windows OEM from a backup copy? Or how would you get Windows reinstalled?

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