By AOMEI / Last Updated April 19, 2021

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How does Reset This PC work in Windows 10?

Windows 10 Reset this PC feature can reset itself to its factory default state. It comes with two options, Keep my files and Remove everything.

If you choose Keep my files, your computer will boot into Windows recovery environment (WinRE), scan and palce all your files and personal settings aside, install a fresh copy of Windows with Windows recovery image, and then put your personal files and settings back where they were found.

If you choose Remove everything, WinRE will erase and format your C: drive and then install Windows from scratch.

No matter which option you choose, your installed programs will be erased. If you do not want your installed programs lost, you can custom Windows 10 reset image from command prompt and use the custom refresh image to reset your Windows 10 PC beforehand.

Start Windows 10 reset from command line

For those who prefer command line, you can use one command to bring out Windows 10 reset feature.

1. Open an elevated command prompt. You can type “cmd” in the search box and right click on the result Command Prompt and then select Run as administrator.

2. From there, type “systemreset” (without quotes). If you want to refresh Windows 10 and install Windows updates, then you should type “systemreset -cleanpc”.

System Reset

3. Then you can select the option you need to reset your PC.

>> If your Windows 10 cannot load normally, you can boot into WinRE and select Command Prompt from the recovery options. Command prompt from WinRE the working directory is X:\windows\system32\. Since the systemreset.exe is located in C: drive, you should type “C:” to change the working directory to C: drive.

Notice: sometimes, the drive letter assigned in WinRE may not be the same as normal Windows. So you can type “diskpart” and then use “list volume” command to show the drive letter assigned to each drive.

>> If WinRE also fails to load you can boot your computer from Windows 10 recovery disk or installation disk to use the recovery options.

>> If Windows 10 reset failed with no changes were made, then you should check if the WinRE image and reset image are in place. You can run the command “reagentc info” to check the recovery image status.

As mentioned, resetting Windows 10 will remove all the software you installed, which means you have to reinstall a lot of software. What’s worse, you have to reactive, re-login, and re-configure some of the software.

Do you really have to reset your PC when your system has problems?

It is not hard to see that command prompt factory reset Windows 10 is not an ideal way to solve system problem, because you will lose all your installed software and games. In case Windows 10 system issues that may occur in the future, you should create a full system backup while everything runs great.

In order to get all latest files and programs in the backup, you can set up a scheduled backup task to automatically backup your system on a regular basis. Would that require a very large backup disk? The answer would be “no” if you use free backup software like AOMEI Backupper.

  • It supports all editions of Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP.
  • It allows you to backup Windows in a more professional way. You can choose from system backup, disk/partition backup and file backup based on your need.
  • You can set incremental backups and differential backups to only backup newly added or modified data.
  • With its concise interface, you can easily get a backup done even if you use it for the first time.

Now refer to the following steps to see how it works.

Step 1. Go to Download Center or click the button below to download and install AOMEI Backupper Standard on your computer.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Click System Backup under the Backup tab. If you need to backup the entire hard drive, just select Disk Backup instead.

System Backup

Step 3. To make a system backup even easier, AOMEI Backupper Standard will include all the related partitions in the backup automatically. You need to just click to specify a location to save the image backup.

Backup Location

Step 4. For auto backup task, just click Schedule to configure one. After that, click Start Backup to launch the backup process.

Start Backup


Compared with Windows backup tool or other backup software, AOMEI Backupper is really fast. A full system backup usually takes a few minutes. When that is done, you can create a bootable media under Utilities tab so you can restore your PC when computer fails to boot. With a backup ready, you can solve any system problem without losing programs by restoring from a backup. If you do not have backups, then resetting Windows 10 from command prompt is also an option.

If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician. It enables you to create a portable version on removable device, and connect it to target PCs to use AOMEI Backupper without installation. With the inbuilt AOMEI Image Deploy tool, you are also allowed to deploy/restore system image file on server-side computer to multiple client-side computers over network.