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How to factory reset a Windows 11 PC

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We explain what are the steps you must follow to leave your computer with the original configuration.

As time goes by, PCs tend to lose performance. Perhaps it is due to the accumulation of files or the installation of multiple applications that, finally, you don’t need them as much as you thought. A good measure to try to recover the original performance of your equipment at the time you took it out of the box is to reset it. But, How to factory reset a Windows 11 PC?

If you want to get rid of programs that you no longer use, that may even run in the background, or recover disk space, you are interested in knowing how to factory reset a windows 11 pc. Oh, and what we tell you here will also come in handy if your goal is to sell the computer. Thanks to this simple method, your team will return to its original splendor and offer superior performance.

Considerations prior to factory resetting a Windows 11 PC

Restoring is a quick and simple method to get your computer back to the way it came out of the box, with factory settings

Before getting down to work, it is opportune to make some observations so that, if you follow the method mentioned in this guide, you do not suffer unexpected and unpleasant consequences. The points to consider are the following:

  • With this process you can lose all your data. One of the purposes of the reset is to remove all of the user’s personal information. Although there is a modality that allows you to keep it, it is not the most recommended if what you are looking for is to leave your computer as the first day. Therefore, it is crucial that you have made a previous backup of all content that really matters or that you have synchronized it in the cloud.
  • This is not a clean reinstall. While it is true that Windows 11 removes all settings, this process is not the same as reinstalling the operating system from scratch. To do this, you will need to prepare a bootable USB and then follow the steps required during the installation.
  • The installed license is not lost. It is common for the computer to be activated with a digital license associated with the Microsoft account or the hardware of the computer. Be it one way or another, since it is not a reinstallation from scratch, you will not have any problem with this matter. The computer will continue to be activated as before.

With all these clarifications on the table, it is time to review what are the steps to restore a Windows 11 PC from factory. It won’t be too long until you realize that we are facing a truly simple process.

Factory reset a Windows 11 PC step by step

The first step you need to take to begin the process of restoring your computer is open system settings. You can do it from the start menu, with the Windows search or with the keyboard shortcut Windows + I. Once you have the configuration panel before you, click on System and then in Recovery.

Among the options that appear you will come across Reset the computer. Click this button to get started.

From the settings recovery menu you access the wizard to start the reset

A pop-up window with a very striking blue color will be displayed on the screen. The first dilemma you have to face is whether to keep personal files or not.

How to factory reset a Windows 11 PC

Keep files or delete them all? Here’s a big dilemma

Here is a more detailed explanation of each option:

  • keep my files. Windows removes all user settings. However, personal files housed in personal folders remain. It is true that it is a very attractive option, but one of the advantages of this process is precisely freeing up space to improve performance. Our recommendation is that you create a backup copy of your files and, later, recover them.
  • Remove all. It’s a more radical tweak that removes your settings as well as all files. Leave the PC as fresh out of the box. It is the best option when looking to improve performance, increase free space and forget about annoying errors. Similarly, we recommend it if you are going to sell your PC.

When you’ve resolved this dilemma, the next dilemma before you is whether to apply a local installation or from the cloud.

How to factory reset a Windows 11 PC

It is possible to reinstall Windows 11 from the cloud or locally. The best choice depends on the time you have and your connection

This is what each parameter means:

  • cloud download. The wizard downloads the latest version of Windows 11 from Microsoft servers. The negative point is that it takes longer and that, with slow connections, the restoration takes a little longer.
  • local reinstall. The current version of Windows 11 is used to reset the computer. As a consequence, it is a faster method. Remember that even if you choose this option, you always have the possibility to update the operating system after resetting it.

Finally, check that the chosen configuration is appropriate. If everything is ok, click on the corresponding button to start the restore. Laptop users should keep the device connected to power. Otherwise, they will receive this error:

How to factory reset a Windows 11 PC

Watch out! If you have a laptop, keep it connected to power. If not, forget to reset it

Make sure your PC doesn’t run out of battery while Windows 11 resets it.

Reset a Windows 11 computer: when is it necessary?

Although we have already advanced something, let us delve further into this issue. When is it advisable to factory reset a Windows 11 PC? The cases that require it are diverse, but here are some that may fit your current situation:

  • The team’s performance has worsened.
  • You’re running out of space and want to clean up your entire storage drive.
  • The operating system has errors.
  • You have many programs that you don’t need and some of them are running in the background.
  • You suspect that you have entered a virus.
  • You are going to sell the equipment and, as usual, you do not want the new user to take it with your documents or personal settings.

Have you seen yourself in any of these circumstances? So, follow the steps mentioned here to leave your computer as if it just left the factory.

Related topics: Windows

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