How To Factory Reset A Laptop: Beginners Guide

How To Factory Reset A Laptop

Does your laptop act sluggish in some way or does it get all cluttered with stuff? Are you tired of its slow performance and speed? Well, you are lucky to be in the right place! There is a trusted and tested way you can fix all those problems and give your laptop a fresh start — and it's called factory reset. 

In layman's terms, factory rest means restoring your laptop to its original settings, just like when you first got it out of the box. 

Here in this article, we will explore several tips and hacks to effectively carry out a factory reset on a lagging laptop providing you with the basic necessary information that is required for you to even get it done all by yourself without seeking the expertise of a computer technician.  

In other words, this guide was made to help tech savvies, newbies and casual users alike improve the performance of their laptops as it was designed to be. So without wasting much of your time, let's get started and give your laptop the reboot it deserves! 

How To Factory Reset a Laptop (Step by Step) 

Here is a step-by-step process on how to factory reset a laptop either for use or resale: 

Step 1: Backup Your Important Data 

You must back up every important file or document you want to keep before proceeding with a factory reset this is to ensure that you don't lose them against your wish.  To do this, simply transfer your data to an external hard drive, cloud storage, or another computer where it can safely be stored for later use.  

Step 2: Check the Power and Connection 

One more thing you need to do before you kick start the factory reset process is to ensure that your laptop is connected to a power source and plugged into a reliable power outlet. It's important to have a stable power supply during the factory reset process to avoid any interruptions or potential damage.

Step 3: Access the Recovery Environment 

The method to access the recovery environment may vary depending on your laptop's brand and model. Here are some common methods:

Windows Key + I: 

  • Press the Windows key and the "I" key simultaneously to open the Settings menu. 
  • From there, select "Update & Security," 
  • then click on "Recovery" in the left-hand menu. 
  • Under the "Reset this PC" section, click on the "Get started" button.

Windows Key + X: 

  • Press the Windows key and the "X" key simultaneously to open the Power User menu. 
  • From the list, select "Shutdown or sign out
  • and then click on "Restart." 
  • When your laptop restarts, it will enter the recovery environment.

F8 or F11 (Depends on the manufacturer): Some laptop brands may require you to press the F8 or F11 key repeatedly during the startup process to access the recovery environment. Check your laptop's user manual or the manufacturer's website for the specific key combination.

Step 4: Choose the Reset Option 

Once you are in the recovery environment, you will see different options for resetting your laptop. The wording may vary, but you'll typically encounter options such as "Reset this PC," "Troubleshoot," or "Recovery Options." Select the appropriate option that allows you to reset your laptop to factory settings.

Step 5: Select Reset Method 

In the reset options, you'll typically have two choices which include; "Keep my files" or "Remove everything." Selecting "Keep my files" will reset your laptop while preserving your files, while choosing "Remove everything" will remove all files and restore your laptop to its original state. Select the option that suits your needs.

Step 6: Start the Reset Process 

After selecting the reset method, you will be prompted to confirm your decision. Read the information provided and double-check that you have backed up any essential data. Once you are ready, proceed with the reset process.

Step 7: Wait for the Reset to Complete 

The factory reset process may take some time to complete, depending on your laptop's specifications. However, it will involve reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling the operating system. During this time, it's important not to interrupt the process or turn off your laptop to ensure smooth running. 

Step 8: Set Up Your Laptop 

Once the factory reset is complete, your laptop will restart, and you'll be guided through the initial setup process. Follow the on-screen instructions to configure your language, time zone, user accounts, and other settings to continue using your laptop as usual. This should take just a few minutes to completely set up the entire process.  

Step 9: Restore Your Backed-Up Data 

If you backed up your files before the reset, you can now restore them to your laptop. Simply copy the files back from your external storage or cloud storage to your laptop's internal storage. Ensure that you have installed any necessary software or applications to access your restored files.


By following the above-listed step-by-step process you should be able to successfully perform a factory reset on your laptop whether you are tech-savvy or a complete beginner.  The process may usually take up to a few hours to be completed however it is nothing to worry about as long as you have the right knowledge on how to go about it yourself. 

By the time you are done, your laptop should now be in a clean and reset state, ready for you to use or prepare for resale. Mind you, if you doubt that you can do all of these yourself, it would be best if you consult an expert or a computer technician to help you factory reset your laptop to avoid any further damage. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Will a Factory Reset Delete all My Files and Programs?

Yes, a factory reset is capable of delivering your files, programs, and documents if not properly saved in a cloud, storage, or transferred to another computer as mentioned earlier in this article.  If you don't secure your files and programs before performing a factory reset then there is every tendency that you will lose them.  

Will a Factory Reset Remove Any Viruses or Malware from My Laptop?

A factory reset will delete all the data on your laptop, including viruses and malware. However, it's important to note that a factory reset alone may not guarantee the complete removal of all malicious software. It's advisable to use an up-to-date antivirus program to scan your laptop after the reset to ensure it is free from any potential threats.

  • Some Common Mistakes to Avoid During a Factory Reset 
  • These are some common mistakes people make hence should be avoided by all means: 
  • Not backing up your important data.
  • Not charging your laptop or keeping it connected to a power source.
  • Not checking system requirements.
  • Not updating your operating system and software. 
  • Neglecting to disable antivirus software.
  • Not following provided instructions and rushing the process. 
  • Not reinstalling necessary drivers after the reset.

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