Boost Your PC’s Performance: The Quick Guide to Factory Resetting Windows 11

Are you looking to start fresh with your Windows 11 PC? A factory reset Windows 11 can be a game-changer, erasing all your data and restoring your system to its pristine, ready-to-use state.

Whether you’re experiencing performance issues, want to sell your device, or just want a clean slate, this process can breathe new life into your computer.

Here is a quick step guide to factory reset your Windows 11 PC’s and laptops:  

  • Open configuration.
  • Go to System > Recovery.
  • Select Reset this PC.
  • Choose Keep my files to keep personal files or Delete everything for a complete reset.
  • Choose between cloud download for a fresh install from Microsoft or local reinstall to use existing recovery drive or files.
  • Confirm your choice and click Next.
  • Review the reset summary and click Reset button to begin.

In this complete guide, we’ll walk you through step-by-step to perform a factory reset on your Windows 11 machine. Moreover, we’ll cover everything from backing up your essential data to navigating reset options and ensuring a smooth and seamless experience.   

How to backup your files and hard drive in Windows 11 ?

Backing up your files and hard drive, including performing a factory reset in Windows 11, is essential to safeguarding your data and improving device performance.

In Windows 11, you have a few options for creating backups, such as using a USB flash drive or recovery partitions. Let’s explore both physical drive backups and cloud-based backups with detailed instructions.

Additionally, ensure your lock screen settings are configured correctly for added security.

Backup Entire Drive

  • Firstly, open Control Panel.
  • Secondly, click “Backup and Restore (Windows 7)” (ignore the reference to Windows 7; this feature remains in Windows 11).
  • Next, in the left pane, select “Create a system image.”
  • Then, choose the desired backup destination in “Where do you want to save the backup?”
  • Finally, click “Start Backup”.

Cloud backup via OneDrive

To begin with, OneDrive is built into Windows 11 and provides seamless cloud storage. Follow below mentioned steps to back up your files using OneDrive:

  • Firstly, click the Cloud icon in the right corner of your taskbar (you may need to select the caret to reveal hidden icons).
  • Secondly, select the gear icon to open Help & Settings.
  • Next, in the Back up important PC folders to OneDrive section, click Manage backup.
  • After that, you can choose to back up documents, images, and desktop. Switch next to any of these folders you want to back up.
  • Finally, once Windows backup is complete, selected folders and files will automatically sync to OneDrive for safekeeping. ou can retrieve your backed-up files from any compatible device or online by logging in to your Microsoft account or using the OneDrive app.

External Drive Backup

If you prefer a physical backup, you can use an external USB drive to create a complete backup. That is how:

  • First, connect your external drive to your device.
  • Next, open File Explorer by selecting the folder icon on your taskbar, searching for “File Explorer” in the search box, or by pressing Windows logo key + E.
  • Then, the external drive should appear in the left side panel of File Explorer.
  • After that, right-click the drive name or folder icon to open a new File Explorer window containing the contents of this drive.
  • Subsequently, you can manually copy your important files and folders to external drive for safekeeping.

Note: Remember, having backups guarantees your peace of mind. Whether physical or cloud-based, taking a few minutes to set up backups can save you from potential data loss or stress in the future.

Also Check: Set up Windows 11 without Microsoft account

How to factory reset Windows 11 ?

Performing a factory reset on Windows 11 serves as a valuable troubleshooting step when you encounter problems with your computer.

Initially, it basically restores your PC to its original state, similar to when it left the factory. This process gives Windows a clean slate, allowing it to address any lingering issues effectively.

Consequently, follow below mentioned methods to factory rest your Windows 11 PC’s and laptops:

Factory reset while keeping files

This method allows you to reset your Windows 11 PC while keeping your personal files. Follow these steps:

  • Firstly, open Settings (you can press Windows + I on your keyboard).
  • Secondly, click System.
click system to factory reset windows 11
  • Then, navigate to the Recovery mode page on the right side.
scroll down to the recovery page on the right side
  • After that, click on the Reset PC button in the Recovery Options section.
click on reset PC button to factory reset windows 11
  • Subsequently, choose the “Keep my files” option.
choose keep my files option
  • Select the reset method:
  • Cloud Download: Download a fresh copy of the installation from Microsoft servers and reinstall Windows 11. Please note that this will not restore custom drivers or manufacturer-specific settings.
select reset method to factory reset windows 11
  • Local Reinstall: Use existing files to reset your computer. If your device is branded (e.g. Dell, ASUS, Lenovo), this method restores drivers and factory settings.
  • Following that, review the apps to reinstall after reboot and click Next.
click next to factory reset windows 11
  • Finally, click Reset to start the process.
  • After factory reset, check for updates to make sure your setup includes security patches and drivers. You may also need to reinstall any previous apps.

Factory reset removing everything

If you want to wipe the slate clean, including deleting all personal files, follow these steps:

  • First, open Settings menu (press Windows + I).
  • Next, click System.
  • Then, go to the Recovery tab.
  • Under Recovery Options, click the Reset PC button.
  • After that, choose “Remove Everything” (this removes personal files, apps, and settings).
choose remove everything to factory reset windows 11
  • Subsequently, select Local Reinstall or Cloud Download (depending on your preferences).
  • Finally, click Next and then Reset.

Please note, that the “wipe data” option takes longer due to the drive wipe, which overwrites the data multiple times. It’s safer but it takes a lot of time.  

Also Check: Fix Windows 11 Search Bar not working

How to factory reset Windows 11 without Password ?

If you need to factory reset Windows 11 but don’t have the administrator password, there are a couple of ways to bypass this restriction.

Consequently, follow below mentioned methods to factory reset Windows 11 without password:

Factory reset from login screen

If your computer can boot normally but cannot log in, please follow these steps:

  • Firstly, turn on your PC and wait for the login screen to appear.
  • Secondly, in the lower right corner, click Power Options (the icon with a circle and a vertical line) to access power cycle settings and power button options.
  • Next, hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click the Restart button.
  • After that, if prompted, select “Restart Anyway” to forcefully restart your PC.
  • Subsequently, release the Shift key when you see the “wait” screen.
  • Your PC will now reboot and enter the Windows recovery environment.
  • On the Choose an option screen, click “Troubleshoot.”
  • Following that, on the Troubleshoot screen, click “Reset this PC.”
  • You will be presented with two options:
  • Keep my files: This option removes third-party apps and settings, but keeps your personal files (documents, media, etc.).
  • Delete everything: Select this option if you want to delete everything, including apps and settings.
  • Finally, choose between “Cloud Download” (which downloads the necessary operating system files and reinstalls them) or “Local Reinstall” (which uses existing system files for reinstallation).

Note: If your goal is to reset your computer to factory settings and not reset the forgotten administrator password, continue with these steps.

Using bootable Windows installation media

  • Firstly, if you can’t sign in, create a bootable recovery drive with the Windows 11 installation files.
  • Secondly, boot from the USB drive and choose the “Repair your computer” option.
  • In last, follow the instructions to access the Windows recovery mode environment and select “Troubleshoot” > “Reset this PC.”

Note: Remember that these methods will delete apps and settings, so back up all important data before proceeding. The steps are mentioned in the very first section.

Also Check: How to record screen on Windows 11 ?

How to factory reset Windows 11 from BIOS ?

If you need to perform a factory reset of your Windows 11 computer from the BIOS, follow these step-by-step instructions:

Access the start menu:

  • First, turn on your PC and repeatedly press the Start key (usually F2, F12, Del, or Esc) until the Start menu appears. Accessing the boot menu is crucial to initiate a factory reset from scratch. The specific startup key varies depending on your PC manufacturer, so check your user manual or look it up online if you’re unsure.

Choose the troubleshooting option:

  • Next, using your keyboard or mouse, select the “Troubleshoot” option from the start menu. The Troubleshoot option takes you to the advanced options where the reboot process resides.

Select ‘Reset this PC’:

  • Then, from the Troubleshoot menu, choose “Reset this PC.” This is where you tell your Windows 11 computer that you want to start the factory reset process.

Choose delete all:

  • After that, when prompted, select “Delete All” to erase all personal data from the PC. This step ensures that all your files, apps, and settings are erased.

Confirm and start the reboot:

  • Finally, follow the additional on-screen instructions and confirm that you want to reset your PC. Then wait for the process to complete. The duration may vary depending on the speed of your PC and the amount of data to be deleted. Make sure your computer is plugged in to avoid interruptions.

After completing the factory reset, your Windows 11 PC will reboot as if it were new, without any of your personal data or custom settings.

How to factory reset Windows 11 from command prompt ?

You can factory reset your Windows 11 PC using the Command Prompt. Follow the steps mentioned below:

Open the command prompt as administrator:

  • First, press Win + S on your keyboard.
  • Next, type cmd and click Run as administrator.
  • Then, click Yes on the UAC prompt window to continue.

Enter the command:

  • After that, in the command prompt window, type the following command:  
  • Subsequently, press Enter.

Choose Reset Options:

  • Save your files: This preserves everything inside C:\Users\<current user>.
  • Delete All: Delete everything, including personal files.
  • Both options remove installed applications.

Confirm and reset:

  • Next, review the apps to be removed.
  • Finally, click Reset to start factory reset.


In conclusion, performing a clean install by factory resetting your Windows 11 PC can be a powerful solution to a variety of problems, from performance issues to preparing for a sale or simply starting over.

Initially, if you follow the complete guide above, you will be equipped with multiple methods to initiate a factory reset, whether through built-in settings, command prompt, or even BIOS.

Moreover, remember, backing up your essential data is essential before proceeding with any reset option. Finally, with the right approach, you can breathe new life into your Windows 11 experience, ensuring optimal performance and a clean slate.


Frequently Asked Question’s (FAQ’s)

How do I factory reset my boot menu Windows 11 ?

Access the Boot Menu: Turn on your PC and press the boot key (usually F2, F12, Del, or Esc) repeatedly until the boot menu appears.
Choose Reset Option: From the boot menu, select “Troubleshoot” > “Reset this PC” > “Remove everything” to wipe out the hard drive and reinstall a fresh copy of Windows 11.

How do I Reset my computer to remove everything Windows 11 ?

Open Settings > System > Recovery.
Click the “Reset PC” button and select the “Remove everything” option.

Can you factory reset from boot menu ?

Yes, you can start a factory reset on Windows by accessing the built-in options from the boot menu. To do so, follow these steps:
Turn on your computer and repeatedly press the F11 key until the “Choose an Option” screen appears.
Select Troubleshoot, then choose Reset this PC to start the factory reset process

Content Writer

Smith Ron, the writer at Assistme360. He has extensive experience in crafting straightforward, step-by-step guides for technical issues. His broad knowledge ensures accurate solutions. Kindly spare a moment to drop a comment down and express your opinions. Your feedback can be valuable in assisting others who may come across similar problems.

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