How to Factory Reset a PC

What does it mean to factory reset a PC? To reset a PC usually indicate to restore or reset your computer to the original configuration as it was during the first installation.

Your PC’s performance can decrease over time due to software and unwanted software errors and outdated files.  You can restore your laptop back to factory settings, with or without recovery discs, to improve performance and efficiency.

Since OS versions differ between laptops, please refer to the product documentation for the exact recovery procedure for your laptop.  Make sure to backup all of your data in a location other than the laptop before restoring it back to the factory settings because the restoration will reformat your hard drive and erase all previous memory.  Factory Restore is also known as factory reset or factory default settings.

How to factory reset a PC
How to factory reset a PC

 Before you Start to Factory Reset a PC

In most cases, once you start updating or resetting your computer, it will end up on its own.  However, if Windows needs missing files, you will be prompted to insert recovery media, which is usually on a DVD or mini-drive.  If this happens, what you will need depends on your computer.

If your computer comes with Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1, you will need the discs or mini-drive supplied with your computer.  Check the information that came with your computer to see if the computer manufacturer has supplied these discs or media.  In some cases, you may have created them when setting up your PC for the first time.

If you don’t have either of these, you can do it if you have a 16 GB or larger USB drive.  Having a recovery drive can help you troubleshoot your computer, even if it doesn’t start.

Back up your Computer to an External Drive

Before you factory reset a PC or your system, you will need to back up important information that you do not want to lose.  This includes documents, photos, music, and movies, but there are other elements to back up as well.  Make sure you know all of your saved passwords, export all bookmarks in your browser, and have installation files for all the programs you want to reinstall – or know where to get them.

Also, make sure to back up the application-specific data, such as custom filters saved in the image tool, save files from your favorite games, and back up emails if you are using an offline client.

What Happens When a PC is Resets to Factory Settings?

To factory reset a PC is helpful to correct problems you may encounter with your computer’s hard drive or Windows operating system.  It’s also smart to reset the computer before giving it to a new user or selling it.

The reset process removes the applications and files installed on the system, then reinstalls Windows and any applications originally installed by your computer manufacturer, including beta programs and utilities.  Factory reset to factory settings removes any applications and files installed on the system as well as any third-party device drivers and personal settings.

 Back up your files

Since the reset process scans all personal documents from your computer’s hard drive, you should back up your files first.  Use the Windows built-in backup utility via the control panel or a third-party app like EaseUSTodo Backup Free, Paragon Backup & Recovery, or Google Backup and Sync.  Note that if your computer suffers from a serious infection with malware, backups may copy it; otherwise, it is important to make sure to back up your important business data safely.

Factory Reset 

During the factory reset process, your computer’s hard drive is completely erased, and any commercial, financial, or personal files that may be on the computer will be lost.  Once the reset process begins, you cannot interrupt it.

 Recovery from the media

The computer is reset to factory settings via a recovery CD or a recovery partition.  If using CDs, you will be prompted when to insert each disc in order.  The discs may be directly from your computer manufacturer, or you may be directed to create recovery discs when you first purchase the computer.  If you do not have a set of recovery discs, you can order a set from your computer manufacturer.  Once the CD reset process begins, the process will prompt you through every step, including formatting your computer’s hard drive, reinstalling Windows and setting up Windows for the first time.

Use the Recovery Section

If you factory reset a PC from the recovery partition, the operation is done without disks and via a function key like “F12” or another key.  The recovery partition was created by your computer manufacturer and does not require the use of a CD or other medium to operate the partition.  Refer to your computer manual for the specified key to initiate the reset process.  Once the reset process begins, the process works similarly to using recovery CDs, including prompting you during each step from formatting your computer’s hard drive to set up Windows for the first time.

How to Reset your Windows 10 computer

Windows 10 is vulnerable to all kinds of problems, from the sudden disappearance of files to problems installing updates.  If your computer is not working the way it should work, giving you strange errors or working slowly, it’s time to reset.

Resetting your computer or restoring it to a previous state can clean up any annoying background programs and erase your computer’s hard drive from any unnecessary files.

The operating system provides a number of options that allow you to reset your Windows 10 PC to a previous state.  Here’s how to reset your computer in Windows 10.

 How to reset your Windows 10 computer

  • Go to settings. You can get there by clicking on the gear icon in the Start menu.
  • Select “Update and Security”
  • Click Recovery in the left pane.
  • Windows offers you three main options: reset this computer, revert to an earlier version, and start an advanced start. Resetting this computer is the best option to start new ones.  The advanced startup allows you to boot from a USB drive or a recovery disk, and “go to an earlier version” is performed for Windows Insider users who want to revert to an earlier version of the operating system.
  • Click “Start” under Reset this computer.
  • Click ‘Keep My Files’ or ‘Remove Everything’, depending on whether you want to keep your data files the same. Either way, all of your settings will revert to their default settings, and apps will be uninstalled.
  • Cleaning the drive takes a long time, but it will make sure that if the computer is abandoned, the next person will not be able to recover the deleted files.  If you have a computer, choose “Only remove my files”.
  • Click Next if Windows warns you that you will not be able to downgrade to an earlier version of the operating system.
  • Click Reset when prompted.
  • Click ‘Continue’ when prompted.
  • Done.

Your computer will come up clean with default programs. However, you then need to start installing delete software and programs. You can download a copy of the software from online or restore from hard drive

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