How to Factory Reset a Laptop with Windows 10

Instead of an introduction, let’s dive right into the topic at hand: how to factory reset a laptop running Windows 10. Whether you’re looking to sell or donate your device, or simply want to erase all personal data and start fresh, a factory reset is the way to go. Here are the 12 steps you’ll need to follow to get the job done:

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Factory Reset a Laptop Running Windows 10

Step 1: Backup Your Files

Before performing a factory reset, it’s important to backup any important files and documents you have on your laptop. This step ensures you won’t lose any precious data during the reset process. You can backup your files using an external hard drive, USB flash drive, or cloud storage.

Step 2: Connect Your Laptop to Power

To avoid any unwanted interruptions during the factory reset, plug your laptop into a power source. This ensures that your laptop doesn’t run out of battery in the middle of the process, which could potentially cause damage to the device.

Step 3: Open the Settings Menu

To factory reset your laptop, you’ll need to access the settings menu. This can be done by clicking on the Start menu and selecting the gear icon, or by pressing the Windows key + I.

Step 4: Select “Update & Security”

Once you’re in the settings menu, choose “Update & Security.” This option is located in the bottom row of icons.

Step 5: Click “Recovery”

After selecting “Update & Security,” choose “Recovery” from the list of options. You’ll see three different recovery options, including “Reset this PC,” “Go back to an earlier build,” and “Advanced startup.” Click on the first option, “Reset this PC.”

Step 6: Choose Your Reset Option

Now it’s time to choose which type of reset you’d like to perform. You’ll see two options: “Keep my files” and “Remove everything.” If you’re planning to keep your laptop, choose “Keep my files.” If you’re planning to sell or donate the device, choose “Remove everything.”

Step 7: Select Your Drive

After choosing your reset option, you’ll need to select the drive you want to reset. If your laptop has multiple drives, including external ones, select the one that has Windows installed.

Step 8: Confirm Your Reset

Before proceeding with the reset, double-check that you’ve backed up all important files and confirmed the right drive. Once you’re ready, click “Reset” to confirm the factory reset.

Step 9: Wait for the Reset to Complete

The factory reset process can take some time, depending on the speed of your device and how much data is being erased. While the reset is in progress, avoid turning off your laptop or closing the lid.

Step 10: Follow the On-Screen Instructions

Once the reset is complete, your laptop will automatically restart and walk you through the setup process, just like it did when you first got the device. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your laptop.

Step 11: Restore Your Backed-Up Files

After completing the setup process, restore your backed-up files. You can do this by copying them from your external hard drive or USB flash drive, or by downloading them from cloud storage.

Step 12: Install Any Needed Software

Finally, reinstall any necessary software or programs that you need. Since a factory reset wipes all applications, you’ll need to reinstall any necessary software.

Tips and Tricks for Factory Resetting Your Laptop

1. Keep Your Laptop Up to Date

Regularly updating your software and operating system can prevent lagging and other errors that can lead to the need for a factory reset.

2. Use Cloud Storage for Backup

Cloud storage is a great option for backing up important files, as it can’t be damaged or lost like a physical external hard drive or USB flash drive.

3. Create a Backup Schedule

Setting up a backup schedule can ensure that you never lose important files. Schedule backups weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly depending on the frequency of your file updates.

4. Keep Your Laptop Cool

Overheating can cause damage to your laptop’s hard drive and other components, potentially leading to the need for a factory reset. Keep your laptop in a cool area and invest in a cooling pad if necessary.

5. Consider a Professional’s Help

If you’re not comfortable performing a factory reset on your own, consider seeking the help of a professional. This can save you time and ensure the reset is done properly.

6. Think Twice Before Resetting

A factory reset should be a last resort and not a go-to solution for device issues. Try troubleshooting and other options before resorting to a complete reset.

7. Take Care of Your Laptop

Proper maintenance, including regularly cleaning your laptop, can prevent the need for a factory reset and prolong the life of your device.

8. Back Up Your Product Keys

Don’t forget to backup any product keys for software and applications you’ve installed on your laptop. Without these keys, you won’t be able to reinstall the software after the reset.

9. Store Your Laptop in a Safe Place

When you’re not using your laptop, store it in a safe and secure location to prevent potential damage or loss.

10. Know When to Let Go

If your laptop is outdated or constantly causing issues, it may be time to let go and purchase a new one. Don’t waste time and money on a device that is beyond repair. And there you have it–a step-by-step guide for factory resetting your laptop running Windows 10, as well as tips and tricks for keeping your device in top shape. Remember to backup your files, select the right reset option, and follow the on-screen instructions carefully.

Advantages and disadvantages of Factory Resetting a Windows 10 Laptop


1. Speeds up the system – Factory resetting the laptop can help you get rid of all unwanted applications and data, thus making the system faster.

2. Removes viruses and malware – If your laptop has been infected with a virus or malware, factory resetting it can help clear up the issue.

3. Fixes software errors – Sometimes, software errors occur that are difficult to fix. Resetting to factory settings can help.

4. Improves battery life – A cluttered system consumes more battery, and a factory reset can optimize your laptop to consume less power than before.

5. Restores the laptop to its original condition – When you first bought your laptop, it was in its best state. Resetting it to factory settings can make it feel like new again.

6. No need for extra software – With a factory reset, you don’t need to install any extra software or programs to optimize your system. It will be as good as new.

7. Removes personal data – If your laptop contains sensitive or personal data, resetting it to factory settings can help you remove all traces of it.

8. Saves time – Sometimes, finding the root cause of an issue can take up hours of your time. Factory resetting saves you that time and gives you a fresh start.

9. Helps with compatibility – If new software or hardware requires a specific version of Windows, resetting your laptop to factory settings can give you a fresh start that is compatible.

10. Simplified management – Clearing out a laptop of unwanted data can reduce the amount of maintenance required later on.


1. Loss of files – Factory resetting a Windows 10 laptop means that you’ll lose your files. So, it’s crucial to back up important files before resetting.

2. Time-consuming – Factory resetting a laptop takes time. Backing up files, resetting the computer, and then, reinstalling software takes effort and patience.

3. Need to reinstall software – After resetting the laptop, you’ll have to reinstall programs, which can be time-consuming and frustrating.

4. May not solve the issue – While factory resetting can help solve issues, there’s a chance that it might not fix all the problems.

5. Can’t undo the reset – Once you’ve factory reset your computer, you can’t undo it. So, it’s essential to double-check before resetting.

6. May cause hardware issues – In some cases, resetting a laptop can cause hardware issues.

7. Changes system settings – The reset process changes all system settings, so you’ll have to set them all up again.

8. May require additional accessories – Sometimes, additional software or hardware is required after resetting, which can be inconvenient.

9. Secure data might get lost – If you’re resetting your laptop to give it away or sell it, sensitive data might get lost in the process.

10. Need technical knowledge – The process of factory resetting a laptop requires some technical knowledge.


1. Why do I need to factory reset my Windows 10 laptop?

There are a few reasons why you might want to factory reset your Windows 10 laptop. It could be because you’re selling it or giving it away, and you want to make sure all your personal information is wiped clean. Or maybe your laptop is running slow and you want to start fresh with a clean operating system.

2. Will I lose all my files if I factory reset my laptop?

Yes, a factory reset will wipe your laptop clean and restore it to its original settings. This means you will lose all your files, so be sure to back them up beforehand.

3. How do I back up my files before I reset my laptop?

You can back up your files to an external hard drive or to the cloud. Windows 10 has a built-in backup feature called File History that you can use to automatically back up your files to an external drive.

4. How do I factory reset my Windows 10 laptop?

You can factory reset your Windows 10 laptop by going to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery, and then selecting “Reset this PC.”

5. Do I need any special software to factory reset my laptop?

No, you don’t need any special software. Windows 10 has a built-in factory reset feature that you can use.

6. How long will it take to factory reset my laptop?

The amount of time it takes to factory reset your laptop depends on how much data you have on it. It could take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.

7. Will I need my Windows 10 product key after I factory reset my laptop?

No, you shouldn’t need your product key after a factory reset. Windows 10 automatically activates when you connect to the internet.

8. Can I factory reset my laptop without the original installation disc?

Yes, you can factory reset your laptop without the original installation disc. Windows 10 has a built-in factory reset feature that you can use.

9. Will factory resetting my laptop make it run faster?

Factory resetting your laptop can make it run faster if it was running slow because of a lot of bloatware or other software that was slowing it down. However, it won’t necessarily make it faster if the problem was hardware-related.

10. Can I stop a factory reset once it’s started?

Yes, you can stop a factory reset once it’s started by pressing and holding the power button until the laptop turns off.

11. Will a factory reset remove viruses from my laptop?

A factory reset will remove most viruses from your laptop, but there is always a chance that some could survive. It’s best to use antivirus software to scan your laptop after a factory reset.

12. Is it safe to factory reset my laptop?

Yes, it is safe to factory reset your laptop. However, make sure to back up your files before starting the process.

13. Will a factory reset fix software problems on my laptop?

A factory reset can fix some software problems on your laptop, but not all. It’s always a good idea to try other troubleshooting methods before resorting to a factory reset.

How to Factory Reset a Laptop Windows 10

Whether you are directly selling your laptop or you need to troubleshoot issues, factory resetting your Windows 10 laptop can come in handy. The process might require a little bit of time, but it is straightforward and simple. Before you proceed with the reset, make sure you back up your files in an external hard drive or a cloud service to avoid losing your files. Below are the steps on how to factory reset a laptop Windows 10:

Step 1: Go to the Recovery Menu

Open the Start menu and click on the “Settings” app. Then, click on “Update & Security,” followed by “Recovery.” Under “Reset this PC,” click on “Get Started.”

Step 2: Choose Your Reset Option

When prompted to either keep your files or remove everything, choose “Remove Everything.” If you want to re-use your laptop or sell it to someone else, choose “Fully Clean The Drive” option.

Step 3: Reset Your Laptop

When you click on “Reset,” your Windows 10 laptop will start resetting itself. Depending on your device, the reset process may take some time to complete. Ensure you do not interrupt the process until it is done.

Conclusion and Closing

To sum up, factory resetting your Windows 10 laptop is not a difficult process, but it requires patience and thoroughness. Before resetting your laptop, it’s vital to back up your data to avoid losing your important files. And, don’t forget to choose the right reset option, depending on your objective. Once done, your laptop will be as good as new. Thanks for reading and hope this article has been helpful.

Take care and see you around, friends!