Welcome to another post!
Today, we’ll dive into How To Factory Reset Windows 10, I’ll include a couple different methods as well as important aspects to look out for before starting.
I’ve also put this post on my Medium account, in case you prefer reading over there!
There are a ton of different reasons for wanting to factory reset your Windows 10 computer. For me, the most common reasons are:
If you’ve noticed that your computer is running slower than it used to, this is likely down to the age of your Windows 10 installation. Overtime, your install can become bloated with old update information and temporary files, just to name a few.
The best way to get around you computer slowing down, is to just run a fresh install of Windows 10.
This one is definitely more noticeable if you use your system heavily or if you’re a power user. Say you are installing beta updates of Windows or another piece of software, that could cause your system to become more unstable. Resulting in more bluescreens of death of BSOD, making the user experience of your system terrible.
The final common reason for me is that the system is used for testing purposes. This means I will need to reset the system often in order to run tests or diagnose issues found with software. It’s also useful to install software over and over again so that it becomes second nature to you.
It’s important to note, that with some of the reset methods below, you could lose your personal data and applications. Meaning years of family photos or documents could be wiped out in seconds. Whilst there are methods to retrieve this information after the fact, it’s far safer and easier to just run a backup of your system or the items you don’t want to lose. And make sure that the backup is stored off the machine you want to factory reset.
How To Factory Reset Windows 10 – Methods!
This is by far the easiest option when it comes to resetting your Windows 10 system. It even allows you to save your person files, meaning only the operating system is touched.
To perform this action, you can follow the below steps:
Start Menu -> Settings -> Update & Security -> Recovery
From here, you should see the option to reset your system.
You will be greeted with a couple of options: Keep my files or remove everything. You can see this in the screenshot below:
It’s important to note with the above method, that even the keep my files option will still remove your applications. So if you have any custom programs, such as those installed at a workplace, that they WILL be removed and will need to be reinstalled and reconfigured once the reset is complete.
The more drastic method is to completely reinstall a fresh copy of Windows 10 using the Window Media Creation Tool. Now, you will need a USB drive or CD to perform this but it is the most thorough method of reinstall Windows 10 onto your system.
This method is useful if you’ve had a virus or malware attack, something which can often linger even after using the reset method described above. Since the USB or CD method completely reinstalls everything, plus you get the option to remove partitions prior to installing, it often provides a nice method to remove malware too.
You can do this method by using the below steps:
Whilst both methods have their place in your arsenal, it’s important to understand the differences between both.
In short, knowing which method to use when resetting your Windows 10 system can drastically improve not only the efficiency of the system overall, but also the efficiency of any testing or diagnostics you might be undertaking. Resetting and losing important test data or applications and having to reinstall, definitely isn’t a fun way to spend your afternoon.
I hope this helps you!