You may be looking forward to factory resetting your Windows 11 PC if you got a used computer or need to reset an old one to fix its problems. Or maybe you want to reset your computer before selling it to someone on eBay.
A factory reset removes all personal files and installed apps and software from the system, thus it returns the computer to its original state. This also boosts performance and makes it more secure by removing malicious programs.
Whatever may be your reason, here’s a guide to factory reset your Windows 11 PC. The simplest way to factory reset your Windows 11 is through the Windows Settings, which we will do here.
However, there are other more complex methods as well; you can read about those here.
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Preparations before Factory Reset
Before factory resetting your Windows 11 PC, do remember to back up your personal data like files in Documents and downloads, create a recovery drive for fixing your computer in case something goes wrong while factory resetting it.
And last but not least, check if you need to reset your computer.
In case you are resetting to fix problems, maybe you can fix them by troubleshooting using these steps:
- Open Windows Settings.
- Go to System > Troubleshoot.
- Click Other troubleshooters > Run on a specific troubleshooter.
- In case of common or minor problems, troubleshooting should detect and solve it. If it does not get fixed, go ahead with factory resetting.
Factory Reset Windows 11 via Settings
After you are sure you want to factory reset and have prepared per the above section, you can start with factory resetting Windows 11 PC as follows:
- Open Windows Settings.
- Click System > Recovery > Reset PC.
- Choose one of the Reset this PC‘s options per following information:
- Keep my files: Removes installed apps and settings, but this option keeps your personal data like files under Documents, Downloads, etc.
- Remove everything: Removes everything, i.e., installed apps and settings as well as your personal data like files under Documents.
- Click Next on any confirmation screens if any.
- Finally, click Reset to factory reset your PC.
Once you complete these steps, Windows 11 will reset your PC to its factory defaults and may or may not remove your personal data based on your preference. Your computer may restart a few times during the reset process.
Once your computer is done resetting, you can restore your backed-up data if you choose Remove everything in Step #3 above. Also, you must update your computer to ensure you are safe from new security bugs. Then, you can go on installing apps from the Microsoft Store and configuring Windows Settings.
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I hope this guide helps you to factory reset your Windows 11 PC. Do remember to back up your data before factory resetting your computer in preparation of the worst case, i.e., you might lose all your data.