Windows 10 is prone to all sorts of issues, from the sudden disappearance of files to problems with installing updates. If your computer isn’t running the way it should, giving you strange errors or performing slowly, then it’s probably time for a reset.
You might also want to reset your Windows 10 laptop if you’re upgrading to a new device and want to sell your old one. Of course, you don’t want to give a laptop filled with sensitive information and personal documents to a stranger. So before you exchange cash for tech, be sure to reformat your Windows 10 laptop.
Reformatting your PC or restoring to an earlier state can clean out any pesky background programs and wipe your computer’s hard drive of any unneeded files. The operating system provides a number of options that let you reset your Windows 10 computer to an earlier state.
Here’s how to reset your PC in Windows 10 using the settings menu. If you can’t access Settings, scroll down to instructions on formatting Windows 10 from the sign-in screen.
How to Reset Windows 10 PC
1. Navigate to the “Start menu”
2. Click on “Setting”
3. Select “Update and Security”
4. Click “Recovery” in the left pane
5. Windows presents you with three major options: Reset this PC, Go back to an earlier build and Advanced startup. Reset this PC is the best option for starting fresh. Advanced startup lets you boot off a recovery USB drive or disc and “Go to an earlier build” is made for Windows Insiders who want to roll back to a previous version of the OS.
6. Click “Get Started” under “Reset” this PC.
7. Click either “Keep my files” or “Remove everything,” depending on your choice to keep your data files. If not, Remove everything will do as it says: it will delete all of your files, photos, and programs. Either way, all of your settings will return to their defaults and apps will be uninstalled.
When you Select Just remove my files or Remove files and clean the drive if you chose “Remove everything” in the prior step.
9. Cleaning the drive takes a lot longer but will make sure that, if you are giving the computer away, the next person can’t recover your erased files. If you are keeping the computer, choose “Just remove my files.”