How to Restore Windows 10 to Factory Settings

How to restore Windows 10 to factory settings when your computer does not work as it should or you just want to sell it? Here is a step by step guide for you.


by Ivy Updated on October 20, 2022

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What do factory settings refer to?

When we talk about restoring Windows 10 to factory settings, it actually means bringing the system state (including settings, drivers, programs, etc.) of the computer back to the point where it was first purchased from the manufacturer. This operation is also known as factory reset or factory restore.

People used to factory reset computers with a recovery disc came with the PC or made from built-in software. But nowadays, Microsoft offers you a useful recovery option called Reset this PC, which allows you to restore Windows 10 to factory settings with ease.

When to restore Windows 10 to factory settings?

Here're some situations you need to reset computer to factory setting in Windows 10.

1. Your computer does not run well. After you purchase the computer for a period of time, you may encounter system crash or other serious errors. And you cannot solve it in a very short time.

2. You want to sell the computer or give it away. If you want to sell your computer or give it to your friend, you are supposed to remove all the personal data on it ahead of time. The best way is to fatory reset Windows 10 and remove everything on the PC.

What will happen if you factory restore Windows 10?

During the process of Windows 10 factory reset, you have to decide whether you want to keep your files intact or not.

If you want to keep your files, the operation will only remove the installed apps and settings on the computer. If you choose to remove everything, the operation will remove all of your personal files, apps, and setting. At last, you will have a computer with factory settings, including the original software, drivers, and operating system.

If the operation uninstalls the apps you will use in the future, you need to reinstall again.

How to reset computer to factory settings in Windows 10

If your computer is bootable, you can follow the following steps. If not, you can boot your computer into Startup options via a Windows 10 recovery drive.

Step 1. Navigate to the Recovery Settings window. You can click Start menu > Settings > Update and security > Recovery to summon the Recovery Settings window.

Step 2. Click Get started under the Reset this PC option.


Step 3. Choose the Keep my files or Remove everything option. It depends on whether you want to keep your files intact. Both options will return your settings to its default and uninstall all the apps.


Step 4. Click Next when you receive the following prompt.

App Will Be Removed

Step 5. Confirm the following things and click Reset to start the pending operation. At last, just wait. The operation may keep 30 minutes to several hours based on the computer performance.

Reset PC

What to do after you factory reset Windows 10?

Indeed, there is no way to promise that your computer will run well all the time. A prevention measure is needed.

To protect your computer, you can create a system image backup. A backup can restore your computer to previous good state, even your computer crash.And this operation can be finished in a very short time. What’s more, you do not need to reinstall operating system and programs.

Here are some things you need:

1. A backup and restore software.To create a full backup, backup and restore software is essential. I recommend you free AOMEI Backupper Standard. It can satisfy your needs.

2. An external storage device to save your system image backup. An external storage device like USB flash drive can avoid system image backup damaged owing to a system crash or hard drive failure. And It’s portable to take.

Detailed steps:

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper Standard, install and launch it.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Click System Backup under the Backup tab.


Select System Backup

Step 3. Select the destination path. To ensure you can boot your computer after restoring system image backup, AOMEI Backupper Standard will select all the related partitions automatically.

Select Destination

Note: It's a waste of time to do full backup every time. And your disk will be fullfiled with image backup sooner or later. So, you'd better do differential backup(supported on the Professional version), which only backup the changed files. 

Step 4. Click Start Backup.

This article is also applied to reset laptop to factory settings in Windows 10, reset desktop to factory settings in Windows 10.


When your computer does not run well, you can choose to restore Windows 10 to factory setting. After that, your computer will run well. But, you cannot promise that your computer will work forever.

Thus, you still need a backup image. A backup image can save your computer, even when system crash. And it can overcome the limitations of factory reset computer. you can restore your computer in a very short time. At the same time, you do not neeed to reinstall all the apps you will use in the future.

If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician. 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.

Ivy · Editor
Ivy is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore,hard disk & partitions management and cloud files transfer and so on for AOMEI. She is an outgoing girl and enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She usually hangs out with friends at her leisure time.