Reset Windows 10 to factory settings without losing files

In case your Windows 10 operating system is not performing properly and is, in fact, giving you problems, you may want to consider using the Reset Windows 10 feature that is available. This tutorial will show you how to Reset your Windows 10 PC to factory settings without losing files.

Reset Windows 10

To Reset your Windows 10 PC:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Click on Update & security
  3. In the left pane, select Recovery
  4. Now in the right pane, under Reset this PC, click on Get started
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions carefully.

Read on for details with screenshots!

From the WinX Menu open Windows 10 Settings and select Update and security as shown below.

reset windows 10

Next click on the Recovery link, which you will see in the left pane. Now under Reset this PC, click on Get started button which you will see on the right side.

You will see the following window open up. If you do not want to lose your files and data, select the Keep my files option. When you select this option, Windows will remove your apps and settings but keep your personal files and data intact.

reset-this-pc-1

If you want to remove everything and start afresh, select the Remove everything option. If you select the Remove everything option, Windows will ask you if you want to remove all files from all drives or only the drive where Windows is installed. You will also be asked if you want to clean the drives too.

Once you make your selection, you will see the following screen, where Windows will tell you that it is getting things ready.

reset-windows-10-pc-2

Once Windows is ready, it will show you a list of your apps that will be removed. It will also save a list of removed apps to your desktop which you can access after the reset operation is over.

reset-windows-10-3

You have the option to Cancel the reset operation if you wish to. If wish to proceed, click Next.

You might see a warning stating that This PC was recently upgraded to Windows 10. If you Reset this PC, you won’t be able to undo the upgrade and go back to the previous of Windows.

Click on Next to proceed and you will see this final screen.

Reset Windows 10

Clicking on the Reset button will start the process, which you will not be able to interrupt, so proceed only when you are sure about it.

The process is expected to take an hour or so and your PC may restart a couple of times.

When you reset your Windows 10 PC, all apps, drivers, and programs that did not come with this PC will be removed, and your settings restored back to defaults. Your personal files may be kept intact or removed depending on the choice you made.

As a matter of abundant precaution, I would still suggest that you backup your data to an external drive just to be safe before your reset your Windows 10 OS.

All the best!

A bunch of posts on this website that will help you reset other functions or software:

Reset all Local Group Policy settings | Reset Windows Store apps | Reset Windows Store Cache | Reset Keyboard settings | Reset Surface Pro devices | Reset Microsoft Edge browser settings | Reset Internet Explorer Settings | Reset Chrome browser settings | Reset Firefox settings | Reset Windows Security settings | Reset Windows Firewall settings | Reset Winsock | Reset TCP/IP | Reset Windows Update | Reset each Windows Update component | Reset Windows password.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.