In this video we demonstrate how you perform a factory reset on a Windows 11 computer. As performing this action will return a Windows computer back to its original factory system state. Typically you would perform a factory reset if you intend to decommission, sell or give away your computer.
In some instances you might find that factory resetting your computer, will improve its performance. However usually the main benefit in performing a factory reset. Is that it can repair a corrupt instance of the Windows.
While you can perform a factory reset that will remove everything from your computer. It might be possible to restore the data that has been removed. However if the computers hard drive has been encrypted. As long as the person trying to recover your data does not have the decryption key. That person will not be able to access your data.
If you intend to sell or give away your computer, and your computer uses an SSD (Solid State Drive). Make sure to encrypt your hard drive before you perform a factory reset. However, if you have a mechanical hard disk drive (HDD). You can either encrypt your hard drive or perform a secure wipe.
Notes: You should only perform secure wipes on magnetic mechanical hard drives. As performing a secure wipe on a Solid State Drive will reduce its life.
Quick reference notes:
- From the Windows desktop locate and select Settings
- Now from within Settings choose System – Recovery
- In Recovery, under the heading Recovery Options select Reset PC
- When prompted to enter the username and password of an account with administrators rights over the computer
Note: There are two reset options to choose from. “Keep my files” which will perform a reset but keep personal files, and “Remove everything” which will wipe the computer and return it to its factory defaults.
- Select one of the reset options [We chose “Remove everything“]
- Confirm what you wish to remove
- Choose Change Settings
- Under Clear Data, switch the toggle to Yes and select Confirm
- A summary is displayed, choose Confirm for a second time.
- Select Reset
Note: How long it takes to perform a reset will be determined by the speed of your computer. So while Windows is performing a reset do not remove the power, or attempt to switch off your computer. As either of these actions may cause corruption in the reset process.
- Microsoft support article – Give your PC a Fresh Start
- Toms Hardware article – How to Secure Erase an SSD or HDD before selling it or your PC