How to reset a Windows 11 PC to factory settings

How to reset a Windows 11 PC to factory settings

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Guide: How you can reset a Windows 11 PC to factory settings

If you have been using the same setup for a long time or are having troubles with your computer, you may utilise the “Reset this PC” function in Windows 11 to restore the system to factory default settings and enhance performance.

Since Windows 10, the “Reset this PC” feature has allowed you to reinstall Windows with multiple options. In Windows 11, it also allows you to reinstall Windows with multiple options. For example, you can restore factory settings while maintaining your settings and files, or you can erase everything to help with problems starting up or shutting down, excessive memory utilisation, performance running apps, battery depleting quickly, or getting rid of unwanted apps.

The option to use the original image rather than a custom manufacturer recovery image, which may contain undesirable bloatware and customizations, is also available.

We’ll walk you through three distinct techniques to restore your PC to factory settings without losing your files or wiping anything in this Windows 11 article.

How to factory reset Windows 11 preserving files

To reset a Windows 11 laptop or desktop to its factory default settings without losing the files, use these steps:

  • Open Settings.
  • Click on System.
  • Click the Recovery page on the right side.
  • Under the “Recovery options” section, click the Reset PC button for the “Reset this PC” feature.
  • Click the Keep my files option.
  • Select the option to reset Windows 11:
  1. Cloud download: Download a fresh copy of the installation from the cloud and reinstall Windows 11. However, this option will not restore the tools, apps, and configuration that came with the original image provided by the manufacturer.
  2. Local reinstall: Uses the files already available to reset the computer. If this is a branded device (such as Dell, Asus, Lenovo, etc.), this process will restore the factory drivers, settings, and tools.
  • Review the apps to reinstall after the reset to factory settings.
  • Click the Next buttion.
  • Click the Reset button.

Once you complete the steps, the computer will reset to the factory settings preserving your files.

After factory reset

After the reset is complete, check for updates to ensure that Windows 11 is not missing any security, patches, or drivers. Also, you may need to reinstall any of your previous applications as necessary.

Check for updates

To install updates for Windows 11, use these steps:

  • Open Settings.
  • Click on Windows Update.
  • Click the Check for updates button.

If you have one or more devices with missing drivers, check the computer manufacturer support website to download and install the latest drivers available.

The last thing left to do is to reinstall any app previously installed on your computer (if applicable).

How to factory reset Windows 11 using remove everything option

To use the reset feature removing everything on a computer that you use for working at home or gaming, use these steps:

  • Open Settings.
  • Click on System.
  • Click the Recovery page on the right side.
  • Under the “Recovery options” section, click the Reset PC button for the “Reset this PC” feature.
  • Click the Remove everything option.
  • Select the Cloud download or Local reinstall, depending on how you want to reset the system.
  • (Optional) Click the Change settings option.
  • Turn on the Data erasure toggle switch.
  • (Optional) Turn on the Data drives toggle switch to erase the Windows 11 installation drive and any other storage drive connected to your computer.
  • Click the Confirm button.
  • Review the apps to reinstall after the reset to factory settings.
  • Click the Next button.
  • Click the Reset button.

After you complete the steps, the process will erase the drives depending on your configuration and install a clean copy of Windows 11.

After factory reset steps

If you are selling the device, you don’t need to do anything else. However, in the case that you are starting over with the device, there are some extra steps, including checking for updates and missing drivers, and you want to reinstall your applications and restore your files from backup.

Checking for updates

To install updates for Windows 11, use these steps:

  • Open Settings.
  • Click on Windows Update.
  • Click the Check for updates button.

Once you complete the steps, Windows Update will download and install any missing updates and drivers.

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