How to Reset Your PC in Windows 10

Resetting Windows 10 progress bar

Resetting your PC is a common solution when Windows begins to feel slugglish or your computer just needs a fresh start. The “Reset This PC” option in Windows 10 will allow you to reset your Windows installation to factory defaults, and give you the option to either keep your personal files or delete them in the process.

When You Should Consider Resetting Your PC

Normally, if Windows is behaving, it’s just a matter of finding the culprit and fixing it – such as uninstalling a program that’s causing problems on your system. However, Windows can certainly get cluttered up after a while, and the more nuclear option of resetting the PC can be easier.

If your system is infected with a virus or malware that you can’t get rid of, resetting the PC is an appropriate remedy, as it clears everything and puts a fresh copy of Windows in its place.

Has your PC slowed down a lot since you first got it? Resetting the PC should get it back to its glory days. Microsoft has made the resetting process quite streamlined in recent years, so “resorting” to resetting your PC isn’t even a big to-do anymore.

What Does “Reset This PC” Do?

Resetting your PC will put Windows back to how it was when you first got the computer. If you installed Windows yourself, you’ll end up with a completely fresh PC and no additional software or drivers apart from what comes with Windows itself. If your PC came with some software and drivers installed from the manufacturer when you bought it, then they will be present after resetting your PC.

You’ll have the option to keep your personal files or get rid of them. Either way, Windows is reinstalled and all programs and apps that you installed will be removed. “Personal files” doesn’t mean programs, software, system files, settings, etc. It’s strictly personal files that are kept and you can say goodbye to everything else.

How to Reset Your PC

1. Get started by opening the Settings app from the Start menu.

Open the Settings app from Windows Start menu

2. In the Settings app, click on “Update & Security.”

Click on Update & Security

3. Then, open up the “Recovery” tab on the left side of the window.

Click on Recovery

4. You’ll be brought to the Recovery menu. Click on “Get started” under the “Reset this PC” heading.

Click Get Started in the Recovery menu

5. Choose whether you’d like to keep your personal files or clear the Windows partition entirely.

Choose whether to keep your personal files or delete everything

6. Finally, click “Reset” and Windows will begin the process of resetting your PC.

Click the Reset button to initiate the reset process

This process takes some time, so be patient. Your computer will restart automatically and continue to reset, before finally booting into the fresh install.

Reset This PC waiting screen

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