Factory resets are the nuclear solution for many Windows issues. If your computer is far slower than it once was, you have a malware infection that you can’t remove, or plan to sell your machine, a reset is the most convenient option.
Before we look at how to factory reset Windows, you should ensure you have a recent backup of your data. Performing a factory reset will wipe out all your installed programs, and in some cases, your files. You don’t want to leave anything behind.
Factory resetting Windows was once an inconvenient process, but Microsoft introduced a much easier way to do so starting in Windows 8. As this is also included in Windows 10 and Windows 11, it’s the best way to factory reset a Windows computer in most cases.
How to factory reset your Windows 10
1. On your computer, select Settings from the Start Menu.
2. Select Updates and Security from the Setting Menu.
3. Select Recovery from the Updates and Security Menu.
4. Click Get Started under Reset this PC.
5. Chosen to remove everything or keep files.
6. Decide if you want to wipe the whole drive (if you selected ‘Remove everything’ in the previous step).
7. Confirm that you want to reset.
8. Let the resetting process finish. Now that you’ve selected to reset your Windows 10 device there is nothing to do but wait for the process to be completed. Depending on what type of reset you’ve opted for, as well as how much is stored on the device, this could take up to a couple of hours.
9. Set up your device again. Once the reset is complete, Windows 10 will automatically restart and from here your device should be returned to the state in which it was brand new. Now you can set it up again.