How to Reset Windows 11 PC to Factory Settings | All You Need Know

If you ever find your PC acting up or slowing down while running an application in the background, you can simply reset it to default factory settings, and this article helps to show you how to take such measures.

On your PC with a Windows 11 function, if you have had the same experience or discovered problems with your PC, the “Reset this PC” feature can assist in resetting the system software to the factory default settings, and fix most problems, which can also improve the entire performance.

What do you think the “Reset this PC” feature does? Let’s find out.

The “Reset the PC” feature enables users to reinstall the operating system with lots of options starting from scratch with a unique copy. For instance, there’s an option to restore the factory settings and keep your settings and files, and there’s also an option to clear everything entirely to solve problems.

Some of these problems involve issues starting up or shutting down, excessive usage of memory, performance running apps, having your battery drain instantly, or eradicating strong malware.

This same feature also offers an option to use the original image in place of a custom manufacturer recovery image that contains bloatware that’s not needed and configurations.

In this guide, you’ll find out three methods to use when resetting Windows 11 to its factory settings by saving your files or erasing them. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

How to Factory Reset Windows 11 without Losing Files

To reset your Windows 11 PC to its factory default settings without losing your relevant files, apply these steps below:

  1. Open your Settings
  2. Click on System
  3. Click the Recovery page on the right sideWindows 11 Factory Reset
  4. Then, click the Reset PC button for the “Reset this PC” feature under the “Recovery Options” section.Windows 11 Factory Reset
  5. Click the “Keep my files” optionWindows 11 Factory Reset
  6. Choose the reset method:

The reset method involves two methods you can use to reset your PC, and they include Cloud Download & Local Reinstallation.

  • The Cloud Download: This downloads a fresh copy of the installation from the Microsoft servers, and reinstalls the Windows 11. On the other hand, this option will not restore the tools, custom drivers, apps, and configuration that’s on the original image provided by the manufacturer.
  • Local Reinstallation: This uses the files that are already on the PC to reset the computer. Meanwhile, this process will restore the factory drivers, settings, and tools if it’s a branded device which includes Dell, ASUS, Lenovo, etc.Windows 11 Factory Reset
  1. Review the apps to reinstall after resetting to factory settings.
  2. Now, click the NextWindows 11 Factory Reset
  3. Click the ResetWindows 11 Factory Reset

Once the steps have been applied, the computer will automatically reset to the factory settings without losing your files. So, after factory reset what should you do? See the next subheading.

What to Do After Factory Reset

Immediately after the reset, it will be a good idea to check out for updates to make sure that the setup doesn’t miss out on any security software or drivers. Moreover, you may want to reinstall any of the previous applications you had if necessary.

How to Check for Updates

To check for updates and install Windows 11, follow the applicable steps below:

  • Open Settings
  • Click on Windows Update
  • Click the “Check for Updates” button.

Windows 11 Factory Reset

Once you’ve applied these steps correctly, Windows Update will download the updated patches and driver packs if any are available.

When you’re done with the update, you need to check for any missing drivers, and to do this see the following subheading.

How to Check for Missing Driver

After you’re done completing the reset of Windows 11, you can now check for missing drivers, these steps below could be an effective method:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Device Manager, and click the result above to access the app.
  3. Confirm that there is no branch named Other Devices, which has the lists of devices without drivers.

Windows 11 Factory Reset

If one or more devices are missing, consider the computer manufacturer’s support webpage, and download or install the latest drivers that are available on the platform.

The final approach is to reinstall any of your previously installed apps on your PC if necessary.

There are alternative methods to apply when you want to factory reset Windows 11, and this includes the use of the “Remove Everything” option.

How to Factory Reset Windows 11 with the Use of the Remove Everything Feature.

To make use of the reset feature “Removing Everything” on your PC, for either working or gaming, follow these effective steps below:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Click on the System
  3. Click the Recovery page on the right side.Windows 11 Factory Reset
  4. Then, click the Reset PC button for the “Reset this PC” feature under the “Recovery options” section. Windows 11 Factory Reset
  5. Click the Remove Everything option.Windows 11 Factory Reset
  6. Choose the Cloud download or Local reinstall method, based on how you want to reset your PC.Windows 11 Factory Reset
  7. Now, click the Change Settings option. (Optional)Windows 11 Factory Reset
  8. Switch on the “Data erasure toggle” switch.

Quick Notice: Use the above option to prepare your PC for sale. Unless the default reset settings are suggested if you try to restart the installation.

  1. Turn on the Data Drives toggle switch to clear the Windows 11 installation drive in addition to any other storage that’s synced with your PC.
  2. Click the Confirm button.Windows 11 Factory Reset
  3. Review the apps to reinstall after the reset to factory settings.
  4. Then, click the Next button.
  5. Click the Reset button.

Windows 11 Factory Reset

After applying these steps, the process will clear the drives, based on your configuration, and install a neat copy of Windows 11.

After Windows 11 Factory Reset

If you want to put your device on purchase, you don’t need to do anything after the factory reset.

On the other hand, you can plan to start all over with the PC, knowing that there are some additional steps, which include checking for updates and missing drivers you might want to reinstall your apps and restore files from the backup.

Check Out for Windows 11 Updates

To install Windows 11 updates, simply apply these steps as follows:

  • Open Settings
  • Click on Windows Update.
  • Lastly, click on the “Check for Updates” button.

Windows 11 updates

Once these steps have been applied, Windows Update will automatically download and install any missing updates and drivers if necessary.

Check Out for Missing Drivers

To look out for missing drivers after the “Reset this PC”, apply the following steps:

  • Open Start.
  • Search for Device Manager, and then, click the above result to open the app.
  • Ensure that there’s no branch known as “Other devices”, which normally lists devices without drivers on your PC.

Windows 11 Missing drivers

If there are components without drivers, consider the computer manufacturer’s support webpage to download and install the newest drivers available.

Restore Files from Backup

If there are backup files on your PC, now is the right time to restore them by applying the steps outlined in this section of this article. The recovery process will entirely vary based on the file backup method.

For example, with the use of OneDrive, the files may be synced on the PC. On the other hand, if not, you may have to reconfigure the app all over.

If your filed files are backed up manually to an external drive, simply connect the portable drive, then apply these steps:

  1. Open your PC’s file explorer.
  2. Click on This PC from the left panel of your PC.
  3. Double-click on the storage with the file backup under the “Devices and drives” section.Windows 11 restore files
  4. Choose the files and folders you want to restore
  5. And then, click the Copy buttonWindows 11restore files
  6. Access the destination folder
  7. Click on the Paste button from the command bar.

Once you’re done applying these steps, then you have to repeat the steps to restore additional files. If one or more apps are missing from your PC after reset, now is the right time to recover or install all of them.

Precautions to Take Before Performing a Factory Reset

A factory reset is a very helpful option when IT has to revert a device to its initial state, and as an IT administrator & operator, you can perform this action quickly & easily in a Windows 11 operating system.

Do you know that not every device is ready to undergo a factory reset? You should keep some like options in mind before you carry out this process.

You should make an image-based backup before carrying out a factory reset on any Windows 11 PC, also, ensure that you have the necessary tools needed to restore such backups.

Some of these backup tools include Macrium Reflect, which creates bootable media, which is called rescue media and is typically stored on a USB flash drive.

If there’s any problem while running the factory reset, you can boot to the media and then restore the PC to its previous state.

Most people wonder why they should perform a factory reset, well, see the reasons why you should perform a factory reset when necessary in the following section of this article.

Why You Should Perform a Factory Reset

You need a factory reset option only in two inappropriate conditions. The first one is when your PC will be decommissioned for sale or transferred to another user.

Here, the factory reset removes all changes since the PC has left the factory unit, which leaves the system in a clear state for sale or handover. Also, apply pending updates to the operating system to make the computer recent and secure.

When you reset, it goes back in time to the date it left the factory, which can be one or more upgrades below current production levels.

The second one is when your PC shows noticeable performances, stability, or behavioral issues. Only a little that an in-place upgrade repair install can’t fix in Windows 11, but at times even the maneuver would not restore a PC to its normal state.

When such happens, a clean installation or factory reset is needed, and it’s the only potential step toward Windows recovery. Further, the factory reset can take the PC back to its initial Windows state, in the process fixing whatever issues it had.

Quick Procedures on How to Factory Reset Your PC

To find the reset options, open the Windows menu on the taskbar and click the “Settings” gear-like icon.

 

In the settings menu, left-click the Recovery option at the bottom of the page. See the image below:

Windows 11 Factory Reset

In the recovery menu, click the “Reset PC” button on the right side of the screen. A new window will pop out as a result. See the image below:

Windows 11 Factory Reset

In the Reset this PC Window, you’ll see two key options, which you’ll have to select, it can be either “Keep my files” or “Remove everything”.

If you select the “Keep my files” option, it’ll direct you to your Windows account. There you can download all of your apps and personal files.

The “Remove Everything” option will wipe the entire data on your PC, leaving your PC clean.

Windows 11 Factory Reset

You can also select the “Help me choose” button below the window page, such an option will guide you through the process, and which option among the two is the best.

Once you decide, your Windows 11 PC will start the factory reset process, and remove old downloads, apps, etc. You just need to follow the prompts on the windows to complete the process.

Things to Consider Before Starting a Factory Reset

First, you should know that Factory Reset means reverting or restoring a device to its initial state as the manufacturer sold it out. You should take note of some precautionary measures before considering the option of a factory reset to wipe your entire PC’s data.

  • Know that resetting your PC will clear your installed programs, settings, and personal files. Ensure to back up any relevant files before wiping your data.
  • Resetting an encrypted Windows 11 Pro installation will need the help of a BitLocker key. Therefore, you should keep it on standby.
  • Make sure you have administrator-level access to your PC because resetting the PC will need you to be at this user access level.

Note: Being at the administrator level means that you need to have full access to all features of your PC’s OS, you should either be the owner of the system.

If you’re not the owner of the system or just a technician, you should have full control over the PC recommended by the owner of the PC.

As said in this article, before factory resetting your PC, you have to back up some relevant files, and most users find it complicated to back up their files on Windows 11 before factory reset.

See the following section of this article, and find out how you can back up your files and hard drive before factory reset.

How to Back Up your Files & Hard Drive before Factory Reset on Windows 11

It’s appropriate to back up your computer frequently just in case something happens to your PC, which you’ll need to factory reset. Losing photos, files, and important documents could be a hassle, and in some cases, you can’t retrieve them back.

Using cloud-based services like Google Drive or OneDrive can be great tools for backing up photos and uploading files regularly, and this can be done automatically for you.

In this manner, you can clear large files off your PC, creating space, and keeping your PC running smoothly. Also, you can quickly make use of these cloud-based services to back up specific files before a factory reset.

How to Back Up Your Whole Drive on Windows 11

To back up your entire drive on Windows 11, simply apply these steps as follows:

  1. Open your “Control Panel
  2. Click on “Back up and Restore (Windows 7).”- Don’t mind the Windows 7 here in the image, Microsoft is expected to replace this feature with the File History System in Windows 10 but ends with both, and it still stays in Windows 11.
  3. Click on “Create a System Image” on the left side of your Panel.
  4. Below the “Where do you want to save the backup” option, select your backup destination.
  5. Then, click on the “Start Backup” option to begin the backup.

Once you’re done backing up your files & data, you can now proceed with your PC’s Factory reset instantly.

While you Factory reset your PC, you might need to upgrade from one Windows to another during the process. You might decide to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11, which is not a bad idea.

But, how do you perform such action on your PC, while factory resetting? See the final section of this article, and learn more.

Why You Should Upgrade Windows 10 to Windows 11 on your PC

According to Microsoft update, Windows 11 brings you many new & interesting features to adopt. After the unveiling of the Windows 11 upgrade, Microsoft made a preview version, which is available for third-party developers to download, install, and experience.

Here are the Highlights of Microsoft’s upgraded operating system:

1. A Refined User Interface (UI)

Windows 11’s visual makeover is the key to first impressions of the new operating system. Meanwhile, the centralized taskbar icons made headlines, these are just a tip of any further details.

Additionally, any open program windows in the new user interface now possess rounded corners, including new desktop themes and a revised eyestrain-saving dark mode.

2. Runs Android Apps on PC

Amazingly, Windows 11’s new Windows store allows you to download and run Android apps, which applauds the partnership with Amazon’s Appstore.

If you’ve ever been stressed out by your PC’s inability to run native apps like TikTok, Snapchat, Ring, Uber, Venmo, Roomba, or Yahoo, then you’re lucky.

Microsoft already has these apps pre-installed in its Windows 11 promotional package and still expects over 100 other popular Android apps to run smoothly on Windows 11 as well.

3. Windows 11 App Store is About to Explode

With Windows 11 installed on your PC, Microsoft has disclosed some changes to how it operates the in-built Windows store. Firstly, the software will no longer push app developers to build products differently.

Currently, any app framework is applicable – from Win32 to Universal Windows platform apps and more, you should expect today’s populated Windows store to become past invention.

4. Yet the Most Secure Windows

There are still hanging questions, what exactly are the hardware requirements for Windows 11? Some report shows that PCs as recent as three years back won’t work with Windows 11.

Wait! That does not mean you should rush to get a new PC yet. Microsoft has already released its current list of Windows 11 hardware requirements. On the other hand, they don’t seem to give a definitive answer on the subject. But what we know is that the main requirements are security-related.

5. Windows 11 is Free for Windows 10 Users

Have we mentioned that Windows 11 is free to get? Yes, if you’re a licensed user of Windows 10, you don’t have to pay a dime for it. Yet, you’ll receive the new operating system through Windows as a free upgrade.

When we say licensed, it means the hardware requirements or even the version and type of license you have for your existing Windows 10 PC.

For instance, OEM Windows licenses that come together with a new PC normally have a close connection to hardware. So, if you eventually build a new PC for yourself, you may need to buy a Windows 11 license before use.

Also, according to Microsoft, most new PCs released & available to buy right now should be compatible with the Windows 11 OS.

6. Best for Gamers

In terms of load times, refresh rate, and HDR, if it means much for you as a gamer, then the new gaming features Microsoft has implemented into Windows 11 may keep your hopes high.

It’s obvious that Microsoft’s gaming ecosystem has a close relationship with its Xbox console brand, so you should not expect the built-in nods to Xbox gaming within Windows 11 to reach anywhere.

Conclusion

To summarize, I hope this article guide on resetting Windows 11 PC factory settings has been helpful to you. If you find it helpful, feel free to leave your remarks in the comment section below.

Also, don’t hesitate to share this article on social platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, or Quora, to help others, including friends and families to learn how to factory reset their PC when necessary, and other applicable measures as explained above.

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