Factory Resetting your Operating System is the last resort to resolve severe system issues. You may need to reset your PC if you forget your login credentials.
A factory reset reverts your OS to the default state. It also removes all the unnecessary programs that affect system performance. So it’s a good idea to reset your PC regularly, especially if you install many applications.
In this guide, we have explained how you can reset Windows 11 along with the options you get.
How To Factory Reset Windows 11
It’s easy to factory reset Windows 11, and there are many ways of doing so. Pick one according to your preference. Also, make sure to keep a consistent power supply during the process. A power failure will stop the reset and roll back your system to the previous state.
Factory Reset Windows 11 From Settings
The usual way to factory reset your system is from Windows Settings app. Here’s how you can execute this method:
- Press Win + I to open Settings and go to Recovery.
- Click Reset PC besides Reset this PC.
- You’ll get two choices: Keep my files and Remove everything.
- The first one protects your user profile files while deleting everything else. And the second option removes even your user files.
- Follow the on-screen instructions. The interface will also ask you to select between Local reinstall and Cloud download.
- Local reinstall is faster, but Cloud download also includes the latest system updates. Pick one per your need.
- On the final page, select Reset to start the factory reset.
Your PC will restart after a reset and prompt you to set the initial configuration.
Factory Reset Windows 11 From Windows Recovery Environment
Sometimes you may need to reset your system without logging in to your account. Fortunately, you can do so from the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE). Follow the steps below:
- Go to Windows Recovery Environment. There are a few ways of doing so, such as:
- Press Shift while clicking Restart from the Start menu or on the login screen.
- Hard reset your PC three times by holding the Power button on your keyboard and booting it up again. The third boot will direct you to the Startup Repair screen. Click Advanced Options to access the WinRE.
- Go to Troubleshoot > Reset this PC.
- Follow the rest of the steps from the first method.
Factory Reset Windows 11 From Command Prompt
You can also use a simple command to perform a factory reset. It is a quick process, and you can use the command directly on Run or the Command Prompt. Here are the necessary steps to use the Command Prompt to factory reset Windows 11:
- Open the Command Prompt. Enter
cmdon Run (Win + R) to do so.
- If you can’t log in to your account, load the WinRE and go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt.
- On the WinRE Command Prompt, enter
- Then, on both CLIs, type
systemreset -factoryresetand press Enter.
It will load the Reset this PC screen, and you can follow the remaining steps from the first method.
You can also factory reset your system while removing preinstalled apps as well. To do so, enter
systemreset -cleanpc on the Command Prompt and follow the on-screen instructions.
Reinstall Windows 11
Clean installing Windows 11 also gives the same result as factory resetting your PC. Here are the necessary steps:
- Insert a Windows installation drive on your PC and boot using the drive.
- Select your language and other options, and then click Next.
- Select Install now and click I don’t have a product key.
- Accept the license agreements and click Next.
- Pick Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).
- Select the system partition and click Delete.
- Then after selecting the partition to install Windows 11, click Next.
- Follow the on-screen instructions.
How to Roll Back the Factory Reset?
You can’t roll back the factory reset. We recommend creating a backup before resetting your OS if you think you’ll want to roll back.
Can I Recover Old Application and User Files?
Picking Remove everything during the factory reset also backs up the previous files. You can find them inside the
Windows.old folder in the boot drive. Your system will automatically delete the folder after 10 days. So, make sure to recover your files as soon as possible.
How Long Does a Factory Reset Take?
The usual time it takes for a factory reset is about 20 minutes. However, depending on your device’s performance, it may take longer.