How to Reset Windows 10 PC back to its original state.

Windows 10, 8 & 8.1, includes the "Reset this PC" feature, that gives you the ability to easily restore your system to a clean state (default configuration) without losing you personal files. The "Reset this PC" feature (also know as "System Refresh"), is the last option to fix problems on Windows 10 (or Windows 8), that cannot be fixed in other ways.

Reset Windows 10

 

How the "Reset this PC" feature works on Windows 10:
If you choose the "Reset this PC" option, on a computer that the OS was preinstalled from the manufacturer, then – after the refresh – all the manufacturer's preinstalled software and drivers will be reinstalled.

– If you choose the "Reset this PC" option, on a computer that the OS was installed by you, (clean Windows installation), then – after the refresh – you should have a clean Windows installation without any additional software.

In this tutorial you will find detailed instructions on how you can reset Windows 10 to a clean state.

How to Refresh Windows 10 PC back to its original state.

You can reset your Windows 10 PC to a clean state by using the following methods, according to your case:

Case A. If Windows 10 Start Normally.
Case B. If Windows 10 Cannot Start.

 

Case A. How to Reset Windows 10 if Windows Start Normally.

If Windows start normally, then you can refresh your PC by using one of the following options.

Option 1. Refresh Windows 10 or Windows 8 from Recovery options.

1. Navigate to Settings > Update and security.

2. Choose Recovery from the left pane and then choose Get Started under the Reset this PC section.

 

reset this pc Windows 10

3. At the next screen choose one of the displayed options:

  • A. Keep my Files: This option will remove all apps and settings but will keep your personal files.
  • B. Remove everything: By selecting this option, your PC will be restored to a clean state, by removing all apps, settings and personal files. If you choose this option, make sure that you have a backup of your personal files to another storage media (e.g. a USB disk), otherwise all your files will be lost.

refresh Windows 10

 

 

Option 2. Reset Windows 10 using Fresh Start option in Windows Defender.

After the Windows 10 Creator update, you also have the option to perform a fresh Windows 10 installation, by using the "Fresh Start" option in Windows defender program.

1. Double click on the Windows Defender icon image on the taskbar.

2. At Windows Defender Security center options, select Device performance & health at the left pane and then click Additional info under the Fresh start section.

fresh start windows 10

3. Click Get started.

fresh start windows defender

 

4. At the next screen click Next. *

* Note: "Fresh start" will remove all installed apps and third party programs, but your personal files will be retained. Your device will also be updated to the latest version on Windows.

Windows 10 Fresh Start

 

 

Option 3. Refresh Windows 10/8 from Recovery Mode.

1. To start Windows 10 in recovery mode, use one of the following ways:

A. From Windows GUI: Right click on Start menu and then press the Restart button while pressing the SHIFT key on your keyboard.

B. From Windows Sign-in screen: Click on the Power button and then choose Restart while pressing the SHIFT key on your keyboard.

Start Windows 10 in Recovery Mode

 

2. After restart, at "Troubleshoot options, choose Reset this PC. *

* Note: In Windows 8 & 8.1, you will see two options: Refresh this PC & Reset this PC and Refresh this PC. If you choose the "Refresh this PC" option, your personal files will be kept. If you choose the "Reset this PC" option the personal files will be removed.

Refresh Windows 10 - Recovery Mode

 

2. Then choose one of the following options:

  • A. Keep my Files: This option will remove all apps and settings but will keep your personal files.
  • B. Remove everything: By selecting this option, your PC will be restored to a clean state, by removing all apps, settings and personal files. If you choose this option, make sure that you have a backup of your personal files to another storage media (e.g. a USB disk), otherwise all your files will be lost.

image

 

 

Case 2. How to Reset Windows 10 if Windows CANNOT Start.

If Windows cannot start, then you can refresh your PC, by using the following options:

Option 1. Perform a Windows 10 Refresh by using the Recovery Key.

If you own a laptop or Desktop computer, that the OS is preinstalled from the manufacturer, then you can restore your computer to the factory default state, by pressing the appropriate recovery key during system power up.

To refresh Windows 10 by using this option, follow the instructions mentioned on this article: Laptops Recovery Instructions & Keys

 

Option 2. Perform a Windows 10 Refresh by using a Windows Installation Media.

1. Using another working computer, create a Windows installation media (DVD or USB), according to the installed Windows version and Edition of the problematic computer.

2. Boot the problematic computer from the Windows Media and at the first screen, choose Repair your computer.

3. At Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot.
4. Select Reset this PC to reinstall Windows 10.
5. Then choose one of the following options:

  • A. Keep my Files: This option will remove all apps and settings but will keep your personal files.
  • B. Remove everything: By selecting this option, your PC will be restored to a clean state, by removing all apps, settings and personal files. *

* Note: If you choose this option, make sure that you have a backup of your personal files to another storage media (e.g. a USB disk), otherwise all your files will be lost.

That's it! Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.

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