GuidesTech & Computing

How to Factory Reset Windows 10 or Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Posted on 23 April 2023

Are you having issues with your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC? Are you experiencing slow performance, constant crashes, or have a virus or malware? One solution to these problems is to factory reset your computer. This process will erase all data on your PC, so be sure to back up important files before proceeding. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to factory reset your Windows 10 or Windows 11 computer.

Before We Begin: Backup Your Data

As mentioned earlier, factory resetting your computer will erase all data on the device. Therefore, before proceeding with the reset, it’s important to back up any important files. You can either use an external hard drive, a cloud storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox, or copy files to a USB flash drive.

Step 1: Open the Settings App

The first step in resetting your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC is to open the Settings app. You can do this by clicking on the Start menu and selecting the gear icon in the lower-left corner of the menu.

Step 2: Access the Recovery Option

Once you have opened the Settings app, click on the “Update & Security” option. In the left-hand menu, you should see a “Recovery” option. Click on it to access the recovery options.

Step 3: Choose Your Reset Option

Under the “Reset this PC” section, you will see two options:

  • Keep my files: This option will remove all installed apps and settings, but it will keep your personal files like documents, photos, and music.
  • Remove everything: This option will remove all data, including personal files, apps, and settings.

Select the option that best suits your needs. If you are planning to sell or give away your computer, we recommend choosing the “Remove everything” option to ensure your data is erased.

Step 4: Choose Your Data Erasure Method

If you have chosen the “Remove everything” option, you will see two additional options:

  • Just remove my files: This option will erase all data from your PC but will not securely erase it. This means that someone with the right tools could potentially recover your deleted data.
  • Remove files and clean the drive: This option will take longer but will securely erase your data, making it much more difficult for someone to recover it.

We recommend choosing the “Remove files and clean the drive” option if you are planning to sell or give away your computer. If you are just resetting your PC for personal use, the “Just remove my files” option should be sufficient.

Step 5: Start the Reset Process

Once you have chosen your reset option and data erasure method, click on the “Reset” button to start the process. Windows will prompt you to confirm your decision and warn you that this process cannot be undone. If you’re sure you want to proceed, click on “Next” to continue.

Step 6: Wait for the Reset to Complete

The reset process can take some time, depending on the speed of your PC and the amount of data you have stored on it. Windows will keep you informed of the progress, and your computer may restart several times during the process. Do not turn off your computer during this process, as it may cause irreparable damage to your system.

Step 7: Set Up Your PC

Once the reset process is complete, your PC will restart and take you through the setup process. You will need to configure basic settings like your language and time zone and create a new user account. You can also choose to skip this step if you want to configure these settings later.


Factory resetting your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC can be a daunting process, but it’s an effective way to resolve issues with your computer. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can reset your PC with confidence, knowing that you have backed up your important files and chosen the best reset option for your needs. Just be sure to follow the instructions carefully, and don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional if you need assistance.

If you’re selling or giving away your PC, it’s essential to securely erase your data to protect your privacy. Choose the “Remove files and clean the drive” option to ensure that your data cannot be easily recovered by someone else.

In summary, here are the steps to factory reset your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC:

  1. Backup your data.
  2. Open the Settings app.
  3. Access the Recovery option.
  4. Choose your reset option.
  5. Choose your data erasure method.
  6. Start the reset process.
  7. Wait for the reset to complete.
  8. Set up your PC.

By following these steps, you can reset your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC and get it back to working condition. Good luck!