Windows 11 allows you to reset your Windows 11 installation to default factory settings. When you reset Windows 11 PC to factory settings, all files, apps, and other data will be deleted before reinstalling/resetting Windows 11.
You can consider resetting your Windows 11 PC to factory settings if you feel that Windows 11 is not working correctly or encountering issues that you cannot resolve.
So, in this guide, we will show you how to reset Windows 11 PC to default factory settings.
What happens when you reset Windows 11 PC?
Resetting will remove all apps and programs, delete personal files from all user accounts and user accounts, and delete changes made to Windows settings. Only apps that came with your PC will be available after the reset.
What happens to Windows 11 activation when you reset?
Resetting Windows 11 will not affect your Windows 11 activation status. So, if your Windows 11 is activated, you do not need to worry. After the reset process, your Windows 11 will be automatically activated. Therefore, you do not need to do anything. Also, you will not be asked to enter the product key during or after the reset operation.
NOTE: Please connect your Windows 11 device to a power source before attempting to reset.
IMPORTANT: All files, including your personal data, will be deleted. So, back up or move critical data from the Windows 11 installation drive to any other location.
IMPORTANT: In order to perform the reset operation, there must be approximately 15 GB of free disk space on your Windows 11 installation drive, particularly if you go for the Cloud download option. We recommend checking the available free drive space and free up drive space if required before starting the reset job.
Reset Windows 11 to factory settings
Step 1: Open the Windows 11 Settings app. On the left side, click System. On the right side, click Recovery to open the System > Recovery page.
Step 2: Under the Recovery options section, click on the Reset PC button.
Step 3: Clicking the Reset PC button will bring up the Reset this PC dialog. Here, click on Remove everything as you want to reset to factory settings by deleting all data and apps.
If you select the Keep my files option, Windows 11 will be reset without deleting data.
NOTE: If you get the Could not find the recovery environment error message, it’s because Windows RE is disabled on your PC. Refer to our how to fix the Could not find the recovery environment message in Windows 11/10 guide for directions.
Step 4: Next, you will get the following dialog with two options: Cloud download and Local reinstall.
The Cloud download option downloads the latest version of Windows 11 from Microsoft servers and installs the same. Go for this option if you are on a relatively fast internet connection. The download size will be around 4 GB.
On the other hand, the Local reinstall option uses files already on your PC (current Windows 11 installation files) to reinstall/reset Windows 11 installation. This option is ideal if you are on a slow or limited internet connection.
For the best results, we recommend the Cloud download option.
Step 5: You will get the Additional settings dialog. The dialog shows selected settings for the reset job and offers an option to change the current settings.
Review the settings and click on the Next button to continue.
Step 6: Finally, you will see the Ready to reset this PC dialog. Here, click on the Reset button.
Step 7: Upon clicking the Reset button, your PC will start downloading Windows 11 files (if you selected Cloud download) and use the same to reset/reinstall Windows 11. If you selected the Local reinstall option in Step 4, your PC will be restarted immediately to begin the reset/reinstall process.
Step 8: Once your PC restarts, you will see the following screen for a while. Your PC might restart several times during this. Wait patiently.
Step 9: Next, you will see the following screen. Once again, your PC might restart several times and show the same screen.
Step 10: Once the reinstall/reset job is completed, you will see the “Hi” and “This might take a few minutes” screens for a while before seeing the desktop.
Once you see the desktop, you can install the required programs, check for Windows 11 updates, and start using Windows 11 PC.
How to add hibernate to Windows 11 Start menu guide might also interest you.