How to Factory Reset Windows 11? [Easy Method 2023]

Windows 11 is the latest operating system from Microsoft, boasting a range of new features and improvements. However, there may be instances where you encounter issues or simply wish to start fresh with a clean installation. 

In such cases, performing a factory reset can be an effective solution. This article will guide you through the process of factory resetting Windows 11, ensuring that you can regain stability and optimize your system’s performance.

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Understanding Factory Reset

A factory reset is a process that restores your Windows 11 computer to its original state when it was first purchased. It erases all the data, settings, and applications you have installed, reverting the system to a clean slate. 

This action can be helpful when dealing with persistent software issues, and malware infections, or when preparing to sell or donate your device.

Reasons to Factory Reset Windows 11

There are several situations where performing a factory reset on Windows 11 can be beneficial:

Resolving Software Issues: If your system is experiencing frequent crashes, errors, or sluggish performance, a factory reset can eliminate any underlying software conflicts or corruption.

Removing Malware: In case your device gets infected with malware or viruses that are difficult to remove, a factory reset can effectively eliminate them.

Preparing for a Fresh Start: If you plan to sell or give away your Windows 11 computer, a factory reset ensures that your personal data is completely wiped, protecting your privacy.

Preparing for the Factory Reset

Before proceeding with a factory reset, it is crucial to back up your important data to avoid permanent loss. You can either transfer your files to an external storage device or make use of cloud services to ensure their safety. 

Additionally, make a note of the applications you use and any licenses or product keys required for their reinstallation.

Step-by-Step Guide to Factory Reset Windows 11

Follow these steps to factory reset your Windows 11 computer:

Back-Up Your Data

Ensure all your important files, documents, and media are safely backed up to an external storage device or a cloud-based solution.

Access the Settings Menu

Click on the Start button located in the bottom left corner of the taskbar, and then select the Settings icon (shaped like a gear).

Navigate to the System Section

In the Settings menu, choose the System option. This will open a new window with various system-related settings.

Choose the Recovery Option

Within the System settings, click on the Recovery tab located on the left-hand side. Here, you will find different recovery options for your Windows 11 system.

1. Press The Window Key

Hit the Windows key to open the Windows 11 Start menu.

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2. Head to Settings > System > Recovery

Now you need to get to the Recovery subsection of the Windows 11 Settings menu. The fastest way is to type “reset” while the Start menu is open, then press Enter when the “Reset this PC” option is highlighted in the results. That will take you directly to the right section.
Alternatively, you can simply click the Settings icon in the Start menu and then navigate to System > Recovery.

How to Factory Reset Windows 11

3. Click “Reset PC”

Once you’ve reached the Recovery subsection of the System Settings menu, you will see some recovery options available. 

The one you want reads “Reset this PC”, so click the Reset PC button next to it.

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4. Switch Use HDR to On

Now you just have to configure how you want your Windows 11 PC reset.

At the time of publication, you typically get two options, “keep my files” and “remove everything”, which do basically what they say on the tin

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Initiate the Reset Process

Under the Recovery options, select the “Reset PC” button. You will be presented with two options: “Keep my files” and “Remove everything.” Choose the appropriate option based on your requirements.

Restoring Windows 11 After Factory Reset

After the factory reset process is complete, Windows 11 will guide you through the initial setup, allowing you to configure your preferences, create a new user account, and reinstall your applications from scratch.

Conclusion

Factory resetting Windows 11 can be a powerful tool to resolve software issues, eliminate malware, or prepare your device for a fresh start. 

By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can confidently perform a factory reset and restore your Windows 11 system to its default settings. 

Remember to back up your data before proceeding to avoid any permanent loss.

FAQs

Will a factory reset remove all my personal files?

A: Yes, a factory reset will erase all personal files, applications, and settings from your Windows 11 computer. It is essential to back up your data beforehand.

Can I undo a factory reset on Windows 11?

A: No, a factory reset is irreversible. Make sure to create a backup of your data and proceed with caution.

How long does a factory reset take on Windows 11?

A: The duration of a factory reset varies depending on your system’s specifications and the amount of data stored. It can take anywhere from several minutes to a few hours.

Will I need to reinstall all my applications after a factory reset?

A: Yes, a factory reset removes all installed applications. You will need to reinstall them manually after completing the reset process.

Can I perform a factory reset without a Windows 11 installation disk?

A: Yes, Windows 11 provides built-in recovery options that allow you to perform a factory reset without the need for an installation disk.

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