Reset this PC lets you restore 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 this PC feature that is available in Windows 10. This tutorial will show you how to Reset your Windows 10 PC to factory settings without losing files.

Reset this PC 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.


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.


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 this PC windows 10

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.

PS: Reset this PC in Windows 10 may fail if you have Get Office app installed. This post may help you if you receive a There was a problem resetting your PC  message.

All the best!

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

Our portable freeware FixWin allows you to reset most of the following with a single click.

fixwin 10.1

Reset all Local Group Policy settings | Reset Windows Store apps | Reset Notepad | Reset Windows Store CacheReset Recycle Bin | 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/IPReset DNS cache | Reset Windows Update | Reset each Windows Update component | Reset Windows password | Reset Touchpad settings | Reset WinHTTP Proxy Settings | Rebuild Icon & Reset Thumbnail cache | Reset WMI Repository | Reset Data Usage | Rebuild Font cache.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & 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.


  1. Ziggy

    Thanks, Anand! On occasions that I’ve had to fix Windows 10 installations (and not lose Programs and Data) I’ve simply used the appropriate Media Creation Tool and re-upgraded Windows 10. In effect an upgrade over an upgrade giving a clean installation without loss of programs! However, if certain programs are the culprit to an unstable installation then the information given here would be the way to go.

  2. Alberto Gorin

    your apps be lost
    next time you can keep your apps

  3. Abdul Malik

    dell lap 32 bit windows 10, intel graphics 3000, while restarting doesn’t start after closing lid it starts

  4. Wayne Hughes

    Crazy; uninstall the driver uninstall the device manager then restart, if that doesn’t help go to Control PanelAll Control Panel ItemsPower OptionsEdit Plan Settings and check to make sure none of the advanced settings are wrong. If that doesn’t work create a new power plan and turn off all the nannies such as sleep after 30 min etc.

  5. Chi

    What if my start button and task bar doesnt respond. What i can only do is to shutdown in lock screen mode.
    Please help

  6. Madathil Venugopal

    I have question. Recently I reinstalled windows 10 on my Dell 32 bit laptop. But its installed on logical drive. There is 2 primary partition one is system reserved. Is there any problem?

  7. Brad Bergeron

    I did a in place upgrade via media creation tool with Window Tech help and you dont loose your apps or programs thats true but my games such as Forza 7 and Gears of War 4 and Halo Wars 2 would not load properly and thus has to delete and reinstall them anyways. This took 24 hours each for me atleast. Also my windows store app live tiles do not work. No fixes repair them I have tried them all. In my test account they dont work either so it is clearly a pc problem or something. In place upgrade is not advised in my experience. I give up on tiles.. Even when they worked it was hit a miss. Most dont work period and my pc is under a year old.

  8. Jack

    If reset this pc is performed, do the pre-installed apps from the manufacturer remain? and what about the microsoft pre-installed apps?

  9. Bob Pelletier

    I performed a reset on w10 and an alarm went off TPN requirement to choose f1 or f2 to continue. I chosed f2 which was reject “clearing the TPN” and the system would not accept the choice. System remains locked up

  10. Bob Pelletier

    I’ve added a post is anyone online?

    Bob Pelletier

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