You can resolve many issues in Windows 10 with a simple factory reset. Be it malware, slow system, or if you are selling your laptop, factory reset is a very convenient solution. You can even reinstall Windows from scratch after the reset.
The process for factory reset is same for Windows 8 and 10. However, in Windows 8, users will get the option of Refresh and reset. Refresh is where you get to keep your files while Reset deletes everything.
Here’s how you can factory reset Windows 10 and 8 as well.
Go to the Advanced Startup Option
Advanced Startup option is the easiest way to factory reset Windows 10, and there are almost a dozen ways to launch this option. If your Windows is working correctly, then you can use start menu settings to go to the advanced startup option.
If Windows is not behaving smoothly, you can reach the option through the repairing link of your system that you get after booting your device from the recovery drive or the installation media. Once you are at the advanced startup option, select Troubleshoot.
Reset the PC
In the troubleshoot screen, you will find the option to reset your system. This option will reinstall Windows 10.
Windows 8 users can choose Refresh PC option to keep the files intact and reinstalling Windows. And if you don’t want to keep your files while reinstalling Windows 8, choose Reset option.
Keep or Remove the Files
This step is exclusive for Windows 10 users. After you have opted to reset your PC, you will be asked if you want to keep your files or remove everything.
The Keep My Files option will let you keep the files but will remove all the software, apps and customization you ever made to Windows 10. Your OS will be uninstalled and then reinstalled from scratch. Meanwhile, your data will be backed up and safely tucked away.
After the process is complete, you will see that your system is back to how you bought it first. You will have to reconfigure it, download the apps and software you need, but your data will be safe.
The Remove Everything option will delete all the apps, software, personalization and data as well. Your OS will be reinstalled from scratch. The other processes remain the same. After it is reinstalled, you will have to configure it again, download the apps and install the software you need.
In some systems, you will also get the option of Reset Factory Settings. It will remove all your files, software installed by you, the OS will be reinstalled and so will be the software that came pre-installed.
If unsure of what option to choose, you can pick the Keep My Files option as it is the safest. However, if you are selling your system or giving it away, you should go for Remove Everything or Restore Factory Settings. Same goes for removing the malware from your system.
And remember, it is only restoring the factory settings that allows you to keep the pre-installed software. Other two options will delete them all. You can also take a backup of your data for being on a safer side in case something goes wrong.
After you have chosen your option, you will see a screen that says Preparing For The Reset. Here, all you have to do is wait while the process is initiating.
Choose an Administrator Account to Sign In
This step is needed if you have chosen to keep your files. If you have one account with administrative access, you will see that on the screen now. And if you have more than one with administrative access, you will see all of them here. Select your account. if you don’t see any account, it means you can’t keep your files and you will have to restart the process with Remove Everything option.
Enter the Password
After you have clicked on the account, you will be asked to enter the password and click on Continue. If you don’t remember the password, you can reset it from other system or smartphone.
Choose to Reset Normally or Reset & Wipe the Drive
Now, don’t get confused. This option is for those who have chosen to remove everything from their system, including their files. You can skip the above two steps. After you have made your selection of removing everything in the keep or remove files step, you will see a screen where you will be asked if you want just to remove your files or have your disk fully wiped and clean.
If you are fixing an issue, go for just removing your files. However, if you are selling your PC or giving it away, click on wipe the drive clean option. You can also choose the latter option if your system has malware issues or problem with viruses in the boot sector. Wiping off your drives will take longer than if you are just removing your files.
Reset The PC
To begin the process, click on the reset option on the next screen. You should be sure of what you want to do to your PC before hitting this option. The process is irreversible, and you can’t stop it in the middle. And somehow, even if you did, you would still lose over half the data.
In Windows 8, you might need to reconfirm your action before your PC starts to reset itself. After you have click on reset option, you will have to wait while your system finishes the process. You will be able to see the progress on the screen. How long it will take depends on various factors like the system you are using, amount of your data, the size of the files, etc. Also, wiping the drive will take longer.
After the reset is done, your system will reinstall the Windows, and that’s another hour of wait. After the installation is complete, you can start using your system again and do whatever you were planning to do.