How To Reset Windows 8 To Factory Settings

Windows 8 has been packed with two fantastic features to restore your Windows PC to its original state in a few minutes. Reset your PC and Refresh your PC are the two features that help you save your PC and time when you have issues with your Windows or when you want to give away your PC to another person.

Windows 8 logo

While Refresh your PC option lets you refresh your PC by retaining your documents, personal settings, accounts, applications, the advanced Reset your PC restores your PC to its original state by removing all documents, files, settings, accounts and installed applications.

In this guide, let’s see how to use Reset your PC feature to reset Windows 8 PC to its original state. To begin the procedure, you must have your Windows 8 installation media.

WARNING: All your documents, pictures, settings, accounts and any other data on your Windows 8 drive will be deleted while performing Reset PC.

Step 1: Begin the procedure by inserting your Windows 8 DVD into the optical drive. If you have an ISO file, simply mount it to use as installation media (see how to mount ISO file in Windows 8).

Step 2: Open Metro Control Panel by going to Start screen and then clicking on Metro Control Panel tile. In the left pane of Control Panel, click on General to see Restore your PC and Reset your PC options on the right-side.

Reset Windows 8

Reset Windows 8 Step12

Step 3: Click on Get started button just below the Reset your PC.

Step 4: In the following screen, you will see a message stating that “”Your personal files and apps will be removed and Your PC settings will be restored to their defaults” message. Simply click on Next button to continue.

Reset Windows 8 Step11

Step 5: In the next screen, Windows will ask “Do your want to remove all files from all drives”. As we don’t want to delete all files from drives (partitions) other than Windows drive, select the option named Only the drive where Windows is installed. You can click on Show me the list of drives that will be affected to view all drives that will be affected if you click All drives option.

Reset Windows 8 Step1

So, once again, if you just want to reset your Windows 8 to original settings, click the first option named Only the drive where Windows is installed.

Step 6: You are one click away from resetting your PC to original state. In this screen, you will see “This will permanently remove your personal files and apps from your PC and restore all settings to their defaults. Your PC will restart. This will take a few minutes” message.

Reset Windows 8 Step2

Click Reset button to automatically reboot your PC.

Step 7: Windows will reboot and your will see screens with ”Preparing your PC” and “Resetting your PC” messages. Within the next few minutes all your documents, apps, and other settings will be removed to restore your Windows 8 its original state.

Reset Windows 8 Step3

Reset Windows 8 Step44

Reset Windows 8 Step6

Step 8: Once done, you will be offered a screen to enter your product key. Enter your Windows 8 product key and click Next button to continue. If you are on Windows 8 Developer Preview build, you can choose skip button as Windows 8 DP doesn’t have a product key.

Step 9: Lastly, you will see license agreement screen where you need to tick the option named I accept the license terms for using Windows and click Accept button to boot into Windows 8.

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Comments

  1. Et says

    Yesterday I had to do a factory reset with a two weeks old Windows 8.1 where system files got corrupted. Windows then entered a broken Safe Mode boot loop, a black screen with the mouse pointer flashing. After trying several things I spent quite some time fighting with xcopy to copy the user profile because of settings, downloads and documents. Then I prepared for an ‘everything will be deleted’ message, but the install recommended to leave the partition as it was. The old Windows and old Users were going to be moved to a folder called Windows.old, and so it actually did.

    Install went fine, so there had been no need earlier to copy everything to a safe place. Maybe this is new with Windows 8.1, or this is just how it goes if you boot from your DVD instead of using that desktop wizard in the screenshots. I didn’t see these screens and I wouldn’t use it in the future if something goes wrong again. Just boot from DVD, all files are safe.

    I keep most of my data and installation files (including latest drivers) on a different partition. I also have a hardcopy of CD/product keys off-PC, and I always want genuine install media with my system. After a factory reset the first thing to install is the network driver, then (lengthy) all Windows Updates. When finished I install all the other drivers, make a restore point and then install all the software plus patches, if needed. For some titles it’s possible to copy related appdata from windows.old. For instance, I got Photoshop CS2 up and running again with all custom brushes and settings back. Chrome was OK too, just without the extensions. I do not use its built-in sync because that once replaced my bookmarks with older ones.

    Anyway, if you’re fine with a complete reset of course you can start entirely from scratch.

  2. jayme says

    Alexandre, it states right at the top “WARNING: All your documents, pictures, settings, accounts and any other data on your Windows 8 drive will be deleted while performing Reset PC.”
    how did you miss that? Even Stevie Wonder could have seen that!

  3. kat says

    hi, just wondering if I reset my windows 8 to factory settings will this delete my Microsoft office? and if so can I reinstall it with the same info?

  4. Alexandre says

    I dont know what I did wrong but when I reset windows 8 format all my hard disc, I loose a lot data.

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