How to Factory Reset a Windows 11 PC

In Short
  • If you want to reset your working Windows 11 PC, navigate to Settings > System > Recovery > Reset PC.
  • When Windows 11 is not booting, you can go to the recovery mode > Advanced options > Troubleshoot > Reset this PC.
  • The final resort is to get a Windows installation media and perform a clean installation of Windows 11.

Factory resetting a Windows PC is one of the fundamental things you’ll need to pull off, as Windows is known for notorious problems that don’t go away even after lots of troubleshooting. A factory reset, as the name suggests, resets your PC’s software to factory condition. There are many ways to factory reset your Windows 11 PC and the most efficient way depends on the state of your PC, i.e., if it turns on or is completely dead. Here’s how to factory reset a Windows PC.

Method 1: Factory Reset Windows 11 from Settings

If your PC is booting fine, and you are able to sign in to your computer, then you can easily reset your Windows 11 PC from the Settings app. Here is how you can do it.

  1. Open the Start menu and start typing “reset.” Now, select Reset this PC. You can also use the Win + I keyboard shortcut to open Settings.
  2. Go to System > Recovery.
  3. Click Reset PC under Recovery.
  4. In the popup window that appears, choose either option depending on what you want to keep. We recommend choosing the second for a completely fresh start.
  5. Next, choose between Cloud download and Local reinstall. Choosing the first will get you back to the latest stable Windows, whereas the Local reinstall will reinstall the current Windows version.
  6. Click Next and then click Reset.
  • How to Factory Reset a Windows 11 PC
  • How to Factory Reset a Windows 11 PC
  • How to Factory Reset a Windows 11 PC
  • How to Factory Reset a Windows 11 PC
  • How to Factory Reset a Windows 11 PC

The reinstallation should begin and will take time depending on whether you chose Cloud download or Local reinstall. It could take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours.

Method 2: Factory Reset Windows 11 from Recovery

If your PC doesn’t boot normally, you can reset Windows 11 from the Recovery screen. Windows automatically shows the recovery option if it can’t load properly, but if that doesn’t happen, you could force Windows to show the option. All you need to do is try turning it on until you see the Windows logo and force turn off. Doing this 2–3 times will force Windows to show the Recovery screen.

  1. Click Advanced options in the Automatic Repair screen.
  2. Click Troubleshoot.
  3. Now click Reset this PC.
  4. Choose between Keep my files and Remove Everything options.
  5. Windows will prompt you to choose between Local and Cloud installation. The flow from here is similar to the steps mentioned in the above section from step 4.
  • How to Factory Reset a Windows 11 PC
  • How to Factory Reset a Windows 11 PC
  • How to Factory Reset a Windows 11 PC
  • How to Factory Reset a Windows 11 PC

Depending on the option you select, give it some time to reinstall, and you should be greeted with the welcome screen in no time.

Method 3: Reset Windows 11 with Bootable USB Drive

If none of the above methods work for you, your only option is to clean install Windows 11 using a Windows installation USB drive. We have a dedicated guide on how to install Windows 11 from USB. Make sure you follow it step-by-step.

Do note that clean installing Windows from USB will remove all programs and files (won’t affect files on any other drive) and will re-install the latest stable build of Windows 11.

windows 11 setup process

These are the three ways you can factory reset your Windows 11 PC. If you can log into your computer, you can reset it from the Settings app. However, if your computer does not boot, there are two ways to restore Windows — using Recovery or using a Windows installation USB.

If you want to create a local account on Windows 11 Home after clean installing the OS, follow our linked tutorial. And if you want to boot Windows 11 in safe mode, our guide will help you do that as well. If you have any questions, shoot them in the comments.

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