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How to Factory Reset a Windows 11 PC or Laptop

There could be a lot of reasons for you to reset your Windows 11 PC. System running slow, infected OS files, high resource utilization issues, audio & driver problems, OS upgrade issues are a few things that might force you to install a clean copy of Windows. And why shouldn’t you? After all, a factory reset to Windows 11 provides you with the OS in its purest form. So, let’s get started! We have provided thee different solutions using which you can reset your PC.

Did you know? You can run Windows 11 from an external SSD. Click here to learn how!

Factory Reset Windows 11

There are multiple ways to reinstall Windows on your PC. We have covered three different methods so that even if your PC is not booting up, you can factory reset your Windows 11 machine using this tutorial. The first method requires your PC to be bootable, while the other two need to be performed from outside the Windows.

Factory Reset Windows 11 from Settings App

  1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard and search ‘Reset this PC’. Click on the first search result. You can also use Windows + I shortcut key to open Windows 11 Settings menu, scroll down a little click on the ‘Recovery’ option.
Windows Start Menu - Reset Windows 11 PC

Note: If you’ve encrypted your device, you’ll need the BitLocker key to reset your Windows PC.

  1. In the Windows 11 Recovery options, press the ‘Reset PC’ button. A recovery option pop-up window will open.
Reset this PC in Settings
  1. You’ll find two option to reset Windows 11. You can refer below table to know what ‘Keep my files‘ and ‘Remove everything‘ options do. No matter what option you choose, we will highly recommend that you make a backup of all the valuables files you need.
Keepy my Files option while Resetting Windows 11 PC

Option

Function

Keep my files 

  • Reinstalls Windows 11 and keeps your personal files such as Pictures, Documents, Music, Downloads etc.

  • Removes apps and drivers you installed.

  • Removes changes you made to settings.

  • Restores any apps your PC manufacturer installed if your PC came with Windows 11.

Remove everything

  • Reinstalls Windows 11 and removes your personal files.

  • Removes apps and drivers you installed.

  • Removes changes you made to settings.

  • Removes any apps that PC manufacturer has installed. (If your PC came with Windows 11, apps from your PC manufacturer will be reinstalled.)

  1. Next, you’ll again have two options to choose from. Refer the table below to know what ‘Cloud download‘ and ‘Local reinstall‘ options do. Select an option accordingly.
Local Reinstall option selected

Option

Function

Cloud download

  • Installs Windows 11 by downloading the latest build from Microsoft’s server.

  • The build is around 5GB in size so the overall installation time depends on your network speed.

Local reinstall

  • Resets PC and installs Windows 11 from the local recovery partition.

  • Since everything happens locally, the time taken to install Windows 11 is less.

  1. On the ‘Additional settings‘ screen, you can review the mode you have chosen under Current settings. If you want to switch to the other mode, you can use the ‘Change settings’ option. For example, if you chose Cloud download then you can switch it to Local reinstall from the Change settings option.

    Click Next to proceed to the last screen.
Additional settings review
  1. Finally, Windows will show you the summary of what all things it will reset. Go through the list once. You can even check what all apps Windows will remove by clicking on ‘View apps that will be removed‘. Once you are through the list, you can hit the ‘Reset‘ button. Your PC will reboot at this stage and the factory reset process for Windows 11 will begin.

Things to try: Log in automatically into Windows 11 without entering Username and Password

Final step to reset Windows 11 PC

Factory Reset Windows 11 from Recovery (for Non-bootable PCs)

If your PC has stopped booting, you need to reset Windows 11 from Windows Recovery. The recovery screen appears by itself if it detects that Windows 11 cannot boot up. If that doesn’t happen, you can manually get into the Recovery mode of Windows 11. The simplest method for doing that is to power off your PC/Laptop, turn it on, and turn it off again when you see the Windows logo. Do it twice or thrice, and Windows will show the ‘Automatic Repair‘ screen.

  1. Once the Automatic Repair screen appears, press the Advanced options button.
Windows Advanced Repair Menu
  1. From all of the options, select ‘Troubleshoot‘.
Troubleshoot selected in Windows Recovery
  1. On the next screen, choose ‘Reset this PC‘.
Reset this PC under Windows 11 Recovery
  1. Now, just like the previous section, you’ll have two options. You can choose ‘Keep my files‘ followed by ‘Local reinstall‘ on the next screen. Further steps are pretty much the same that we saw in the previous section.
Keepy my files selected in Windows Recovery
Local reinstall option selected
Reset Windows 11 PC final step in Advanced Repair Menu

Install Fresh Copy of Windows using USB Drive

If you cannot use any of the methods mentioned above, there is no need to worry. A third option is to use a bootable USB drive to reset the PC and install a fresh copy of Windows 11. You can download windows 11 ISO yourself. Using a tool like Rufus, flash the Windows image on a USB drive and make it bootable. Once everything is in place, restart your PC/laptop and boot the USB drive using the boot menu. From there, follow the on-screen instructions, and within some time, your PC will be as good as new.

Make Your Windows 11 PC Faster!

We hope that the methods mentioned above were of help to you. Now, with a factory reset, your PC will be faster than before and free of any malware, viruses, and trojans that infected the OS files.

After the reset is complete, you can try some new things to speed up your PC even further. One of the things you can change is the right-click context menu in Windows 11, which can enhance your experience with the OS. You can also try the live wallpapers on your newly installed copy.

That’s all from us in this guide. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below. We’ll surely help you as we always do.

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