Windows 10 offers an easy way to reset your Windows 10 desktop, laptop, or tablet with a few clicks. The Reset PC feature allows you to reset Windows 10 either by keeping personal files or removing personal files.
What happens when you Reset your Windows 10 PC?
The Reset PC reinstalls Windows 10 operating system, keeps or removes personal files depending on your request, removes all apps, classic programs as well as drivers that you installed, removes all changes you made to Windows 10 settings, and also removes apps your PC manufacturer installed (if you upgraded from Windows 7/8 to Windows 10). That said, if your PC came with Windows 10 preinstalled, all apps installed by your PC manufacturer would be reinstalled during the Reset PC operation.
Resetting a Windows 10 PC is reasonably easy but might take up to an hour or two to complete the job.
Follow the given below directions without any deviation to successfully reset your Windows 10 PC.
Method 1 – reset Windows 10 by keeping personal files
Method 2 – reset Windows 10 by deleting personal files
Method 1 of 2
Reset Windows 10 PC by keeping personal files
This method is helpful if you want to reinstall Windows 10 without losing files.
Step 1: Open the Settings app by clicking its icon in the left pane of the Start menu or simultaneously pressing the Windows logo and I keys (Windows logo + I).
Step 2: Click Update & security icon.
Step 3: Now, click Recovery icon to see Reset this PC option.
Step 4: Under Reset this PC section, click Get started button to see Choose an option screen.
Step 5: The Choose an option screen offers two options:
# Keep my files
# Remove everything
Since you don’t want to delete your personal files such as documents and pictures, you need to click the first option labeled Keep my files.
Step 6: Next, you will see the list of apps that will be removed during the reset PC operation. Click the Next button to continue.
Step 7: You might see the following warning screen if you recently upgraded from Windows 7/8/8.1 to Windows 10 or upgraded from an old build of Windows 10 to the latest build. Click the Next button to proceed to the next screen.
Step 8: Finally, when you see Ready to reset this PC screen, click the Reset button to restart your PC and start the reset PC job. The operation might take up to an hour but might take less than 20 minutes if you have installed Windows 10 on an SSD.
Step 9: Once the reset job is done, you will see the lock screen. Click the lock screen and enter your user account password to view your Windows 10 desktop in a few seconds.
Method 2 of 2
Reset Windows 10 by removing everything
Step 1: Open Settings app and navigate to Update & security > Recovery.
Step 2: Under Reset this PC section, click Get started button.
Step 3: When you see Choose an option screen, click Remove everything option.
Step 4: If your PC has two or more drives, you will see the following “Your PC has more than one drive” screen with two options:
# Only the drive where Windows is installed
# All drives
We recommend you click the first option labeled Only the drive where Windows is installed as the other option will delete everything from all drives.
Use All drives option only if you have backed up all data from all drives or planning to sell or donate your PC. Click Show me the list of drives that will be affected link to see a list of drives that will be affected if you click All drives option.
Click Only the drive where Windows is installed to proceed further.
Step 5: Next, you will see, “Do you want to clean the drives, too?” screen.
Here, click Just remove my files if you want to quickly reset Windows 10 by deleting files. Use the other option labeled Removes files and clean the drive if you want to securely delete all files. This option is handy if you are planning to sell or donate your PC and don’t want others to retrieve your files.
Step 6: You might see the following warning screen if you recently (in the last 30 days) upgraded to Windows 10 or recently upgraded from a previous build of Windows 10 to the latest build.
Click the Next button to continue.
Step 7: Finally, you will see Ready to reset this PC screen where you need to click the Reset button to restart your PC and begin resetting your Windows 10 installation.
Depending on the option you selected and the size of the data, the process might take 20 to 120 minutes.
Step 8: Once resetting is done, you will see the lock screen of Windows 10. Press Enter key or click on the lock screen and enter your user account password to view the desktop.
peter still says
Thank you for your excellent advice. However, I have tried ever method advised on the internet but with no success.
Every time it reaches its conclusion, it states unable to reset and no changes have been made. Very frustrated.
Any further advice please.-regards- Peter
Thank you, Richard Brown.
Richard Brown says
Here is a link what will give you what you need to check the Image health and repair it if it reports bad:
Richard Brown says
Here is one website that lists the syntax
Richard Brown says
I would advise people to be careful with this step. Reset is predicated on having a “healthy” Windows 10 image. I have seen the syntax somewhere on the web on how to check its health. Reset is not the that easy plus bad images often result from an upgrade from Windows 7 to 10. 2 out of 3 computers i have done this too failed and i had to do a clean install which is better.
Also – thank you for such a superb website. I have learned so much from what you post!!