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How to Reset Windows 10 to Factory Settings

There are a handful of very good reasons why you should consider resetting your Windows 10 computer to factory settings. Most often you hear this as a solution if you’re trying to seriously tune-up a slow computer. However, a factory reset is also an easy security measure if you pass your computer on to a family member or friend, and need to be sure you’ve gotten rid of all of your previous data. 

In this article, we’ve set out four easy steps to do a factory reset on your Windows 10 PC or laptop. 

Windows 10 Factory Reset Steps

1. Back Up Your Files

When you’ve made the choice to tune up your computer by doing a factory reset, your first step is to back up any or all of the files you don’t want to lose. Essentially, you’ll move your documents, images, videos, music and applications to another storage device or backup program. Once you’ve completed the factory reset, you can migrate any files back onto the computer or leave them in a backup for safe-keeping. 

2. Open the Windows Recovery Tool

A factory reset can sound complicated, but it really is very simple. 

Click the Windows Start icon in the bottom left corner of your screen, and open your device settings by clicking the gear icon in the left hand menu. 

You can also simply type “settings” into your search bar to the right of the Windows icon. When you see the “settings” option pop up, double click it. 

Once the settings screen appears, select “Update & Security”. 

3. Choose Your Recovery Options

In the “Update & Security” window, choose “Recovery”. 

The first option available is “Reset this PC”. Choosing this option will show a new window with two more specific options, “Keep my files” and “Remove everything”. Straight forward, right?

If you need to refresh your PC or laptop and get it running a bit faster, “Keep my files” is a good choice for you. When clicked, you’ll see a loading message, and then a list of apps and settings that can be removed from the PC. 

Ready to start completely fresh? Planning on giving your computer to a family member or friend? “Remove everything” is the option you want to choose. This will remove all the files and apps added after you powered on the computer for the first time. You’ll be given the choice to “Just remove my files” or “Remove all files and clean drive”. 

If your computer has been slow and you can’t find the cause of the issue, we suggest removing all files and cleaning the drive to ensure any problematic updates or programs you’ve added are removed. 

4. Reset Your PC or Laptop

The last step after confirming what files and applications you would like to remove is to click “Reset”. 

All you need to do now is wait. The recovery tool will do all the heavy lifting and take care of the rest. Your PC will automatically restart and prompt you to restart several times. It’s likely the factory reset may take an hour or longer for computers with lots of files and apps. 

You will know the factory reset is complete when you see the computer login screen again. Then, you can add your backed up files to the computer again or pass it along to someone else. 

Whatever your reason is for doing a factory reset, if you run into any unexpected problems or errors Friendly PC can lend a hand. Our computer repair specialists can help resolve nearly any problem on your home computer or business network. Contact our specialists to set up a remote appointment today!

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