Issue How to Reset Laptop to Factory Settings

How to Reset Laptop to Factory Settings

Laptop owners experiencing severe or difficult-to-resolve problems with their devices can consider a total reset as a fast and efficient, one-size-fits-all solution to most issues. Depending on the reset's specifics, it may or may not remove all personal files, along with system changes like recently installed programs. For users wondering How to Reset Laptop to Factory Settings, Windows includes several means of accessing a reset, although OS-external alternatives also are available for those in need.

Easy Reset Options for Windows Users

Modern Windows versions include user-friendly rollback features of various types and extremities, including ones that revert the system to 'fresh out of the factory' condition. A critical difference between a factory reset and a reversion to a designated backup save point, such as a Restore Point, is that factory resets will remove all non-default software and settings changes – a 'clean slate' for eradicating unwanted apps or performance problems. Usually, it also will remove personal files such as the user's documents.

Typing 'Reset This PC' in the taskbar's search field and selecting the result brings up the Recovery sub-section of Windows Settings. Users who have a factory DVD, USB, or another recovery resource can choose the 'Restart now' option to boot the laptop from it instead of through the internal hard drive's operating system. Those without these external loading options should choose 'Get started,' which brings up the proper Reset This PC menu. From there, they can choose to reset to factory condition with or without keeping their files intact throughout the process.

Users experiencing issues with UI accessibility while in Windows may require an alternate boot-up method. While restarting the computer but before Windows begins loading, tap F11. The Advanced options menu should appear. It provides another way of accessing the Reset This PC option after the user selects Troubleshooting.

Being Sure Before Burning Down All System Changes to the Ground

Generally, our experts recommend avoiding using factory resets unless the laptop is changing ownership or the user has systematically ruled out less extreme solutions. Users who suspect problems related to particular programs should consider restarting with the Safe Mode environment instead of indiscriminately removing all software. Like the Reset This PC menu, Safe Mode boot-up options are available from inside Windows's interface and as a keyboard shortcut while the laptop boots.

The BIOS, which is essential to the laptop's correctly loading, is another factor worth troubleshooting in factory reset scenarios. If Windows factory resets don't solve all issues, users can revert the BIOS to its default settings, too. Tap the F10 key while the laptop boots to access BIOS. From inside BIOS, F9 will bring up the setup default option, and F10, again, will confirm it. Users should be cautious of any other changes they make to the BIOS. Inappropriate settings in this environment can turn the laptop inoperable, AKA 'bricking' it.

When first learning How to Reset Laptop to Factory Settings, users should choose the more manageable and less invasive solutions from within their operating system and proceed to alternate boot-up or even BIOS solutions, as necessary. Although it's a highly unusual scenario, users who can't access any factory reset features due to various UI problems should boot the system from a peripheral device.

Factory condition is a stable baseline for most laptops and other devices. While jumping back to it shouldn't be the first go-to option for anyone, it's a nearly foolproof way of getting back to a working PC environment and resolving miscellaneous, difficult-to-root-out issues.

Reasons to Consider Resetting Your Laptop

Before addressing the issue of how to reset the laptop to factory settings, let’s address potential reasons to take this step.

  1. The computer isn’t running smoothly anymore, and there’s a noticeable drop in performance
  2. The computer has developed new issues, and you don’t know what to do about them
  3. You’ve decided to repurpose or sell your laptop

These are all valid reasons to want to reset your laptop to factory settings.

How to Reset Laptop to Factory Settings

Resetting your laptop is straightforward if you have no problems signing into Windows.

    1. Use the “Reset This PC” Option

Your computer makes it easy to reset your computer. Type “Reset this PC” into the search bar on the Start menu to open the wizard to do so. It should be under the Recovery options.

Windows will present you with two options – you can either save your personal files or remove everything from the computer. If you want to keep using the laptop, you might want to consider keeping your personal files. You should remove everything if you plan on selling the computer or giving it away, however.

Make sure that you’ve backed up any important files you need before removing them from your computer.

Windows guides you through the process, either way, so you should have no problem following along and resetting your computer.

    1. Reset Your Laptop Without Logging In

If your computer doesn’t work correctly anymore, you can still reset it to factory settings. This option might be your only choice in such a situation anyway. The Windows Recovery Environment is your friend here.

Press the F11 key while your computer boots up to open the menu. You may have to press the button several times to get it to work. Choose “Troubleshoot” and then “Reset This PC” to start the process.

Resetting your laptop this way follows a similar procedure. You’ll have the option to delete everything or save your personal files. Go through the options and click on the prompt to reset the computer and let Windows take care of everything else.

    1. Reset Laptop To Factory Settings With BIOS

You might not need to reset the computer to get it working again. The problem could be in the BIOS settings. You might have changed them without realizing it. We recommend resetting the BIOS to their factory settings if you’ve changed them and are experiencing trouble because of it.

Restart your computer and press F10 during the bootup sequence. You might have to press it several times. Press the F9 key to reset the BIOS to default and choose “Yes” when prompted. Press F10 to save the changes, reset the BIOS, and restart the computer.

Keep Drivers Updated for Better Performance

A drop in performance is a common reason people want to know how to reset a laptop to factory settings. If your computer isn’t running as it did before, then there are other options to consider.

The Windows operating system was created to run on different makes and models of computers and interface with any piece of hardware you can imagine. Each laptop has devices it interacts with, from the keyboard and mouse to wireless and Bluetooth connections. The hardware needs software to communicate with the computer. This software is known as a “driver.”

Outdated drivers are a common source of computer problems. It would help if you considered updating your computer drivers before going so far as to reset it to factory settings. You can update drivers through the Device Manager, Windows Update, and specialized driver updating software. The software checks for – and installs – updates for you to remove all the guesswork that comes with navigating websites looking for driver updates.