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Sometimes, it is best to start fresh. If your computer is acting up or slow or showing worrying error messages that software cannot resolve, a factory reset is the last resort.

Windows 10 comes with built-in recovery options. You can use these to reset your computer with or without deleting any of your files.

This guide will show you how to factory reset Windows 10

How To Factory Reset Windows 10

We will be looking at four ways to restore Windows 10 to its factory settings.

  • Keep your files safe and reset them
  • Reset everything and take it all out
  • Sign in to reset your computer
  • Use the new start option to reset

Note: Back up your files before you restart Windows 10. Otherwise, you might lose important files and may not be able to recover deleted data.

How To Factory Reset Windows 10 & Keep Your Files

You can reset Windows 10 while keeping all your files. After the process is complete, your computer will look new. You can then reconfigure your settings and reinstall any applications you wish.

  1. To get started, select Start > Settings > Update & Security.
  2. Next, choose Recovery.
  3. Click the Get Started link under the Reset This PC
  4. Next, choose to Keep my files.
  5. You can choose to reinstall Windows Cloud downloading or Local ReinstallCloud download may take up to 4GB data to download Windows 10 to your computer. You can reinstall Windows 10 using the Local reinstall option.
  6. Select Next.
  7. Click the Reset  Your computer will be reset to factory settings, and all files will be preserved. After the reset is complete, make sure to check for Windows Updates on your computer to ensure it doesn’t miss any patches, security updates, or drivers.
  8. Select Start > Settings>>> To check for updates, click Windows UpdateWindows 10 will automatically download any updates that are available and install them on your computer.
  9. By going to Settings > Update and Security > Windows Update > Check For Updates, you can quickly update any missing drivers. Select View additional updates.
  10. Next, click on the Driver Updates Select the driver that you wish to update and then select Download & Install.

Final step: Reinstall all apps you have installed prior to the reset. Then, get back to normal.

How To Factory Reset Windows 10 and Get Rid of Everything

You can reset your computer by selecting the “Remove All” option. This will remove all of your files, apps, drivers, and files as well as any settings changes. It will also delete any apps that were installed by your PC manufacturer.

  1. Select Start > Settings>>>> Update & Security> Recovery.
  2. Select Get Startedin Reset this Computer.
  3. Next, choose to Remove everything.
  4. You can choose to reinstall Windows using Cloud Download or Local Reinstall.
  5. Select Change Settings if you wish to completely erase your personal files.
  6. Next, toggle the Clear Dataswitch on Yes and then choose Confirm.

Note This option is helpful if you are planning to recycle, donate or sell a computer. Although it may take a while, it will make it much more difficult for others to retrieve any files that you have deleted. The completion time of the Clean Data toggle set to No is reduced as it only deletes files. It is however less secure.

  1. Select Next.
  2. Select Reset.

Resetting Windows 10 from the Sign-In Screen

You can reset Windows 10 by going to the sign-in screen.

  1. To sign in, press the Windows logo key + the keyboard shortcut.
  2. You can restart your computer by pressing Shift while selecting the power > Restart option at the bottom of your screen.
  3. After your computer has restarted in WinRE (Windows Recovery Environment), you can select Troubleshoot on the Choose an option
  4. Select Reset this computer.
  5. To continue, select whether keep your filesremove all, or restore factory settings.
  6. Select the Restore factory settings option if you see it on your computer. This will delete your personal files and install any pre-installed software. Windows 10 will wipe everything off the drive and restore it back to its original state. Select Remove all if the Restore factory settings option isn’t available.

How To Factory Reset Windows 10 With the Fresh Start Option

If you wish to reset Windows 10, you can use the fresh start option. You can also keep your files.

Instead of using a custom image provided by your PC’s manufacturer for the fresh start option, Microsoft provides the original image.

Note This might not work on branded computers like Acer, Dell, HP, ASUS, or ASUS as it may not reinstall some apps or drivers that you may require. You may also not be able to use the customized manufacturer image on subsequent resets.

  1. You can reset Windows 10 by using the fresh start option. Open Windows Security, and then select Device performance/health.
  2. To start the process, select Additional information under New start. Next, choose to Get Started > NextAfter the new start is complete, you can reinstall any apps that you wish to use.

After you have completed the steps, the original Windows 10 Image will be used to factory-reset your Windows 10 computer, while still keeping your personal data.

Start Over

This guide will help you factory reset Windows 10 so that your computer can return to its original state. If your Mac suddenly acts strangely, you can reset its PRAM or SMC. You can also check out these guides to reinstall Windows 10, or this simple way to cleanly install Windows 10 without worrying too much about technical details.

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