If you are planning to remove personal data from your device to give it away or if you want to make your device perform like when it left the factory, then resetting the laptop might be the solution you’re looking for.
Unlike other software or tools, which only provide focused fixes to a problem, a system reset provides you with solutions to multiple problems, such as removing malware, deleting apps and personal data or restoring missing/corrupt system files, all inside a single package.
The most straightforward way to reset your Dell laptop would be from Windows Settings. However, Dell gives its users choice by providing them with several ways with which they can reset their device. Here we’ll discuss each of the methods you can use to reset your Dell laptop.
Tips Before Resetting
Before we get to the methods by which you can reset your Dell laptop, we strongly recommend you to perform the following steps. The steps discussed here help minimize data loss and system corruption if the reset process fails to complete successfully.
Create a Recovery Media
A recovery media or tool is a bootable device that restores and repairs the OS image and system files in your device. For Windows OS, Make sure that you have a USB drive with a minimum capacity of 16GB that does not contain any important files. The USB drive will be formatted during the recovery media creation process.
Backup Important Files
After creating a recovery media, backup any necessary files like login credentials, documents, images, and application licenses in a separate hard-disk, USB drive or cloud service. If you have installed any specialized hardware devices, make a backup of the device drivers as well.
Connect a Charger
System reset take a significant amount of time to complete. Make sure that your laptop is connected to a power source during this entire process. Though unlikely, if your device runs out of battery during reset process, it may be rendered useless permanently due to interruption. Therefore, connecting a charger is recommended.
After backing up important files and folders, you can use the following ways to reset your Dell Laptop safely.
How Reset Your Dell Laptop Properly?
A system reset re-installs the operating system in your device and according to your choice, removes or keeps the personal data without you needing to transfer them in a separate drive for safekeeping.
From Dell SupportAssist
SupportAssist is Dell’s proprietary solution that manages the health of your device and monitors system performance. Aside from monitoring the health of your device, SupportAssist can also reset your Dell laptop.
To reset your device
- Firstly download and install Dell SupportAssist
- Next, restart your PC and press the F12 key to Enter the one time boot menu
- In the boot Options section, select SupportAssist OS Recovery and press the Enter key
- On the SupportAssist homepage, click on the Start Reset button on the Reset section
- Now, on the next page, if you wish to reset your device to factory settings, select Reset to factory settings
- If you wish to update your current operating system and remove all the data and settings in your device, then select the Reset and update option
- A confirmation will appear warning you that the data will be deleted from your device. Accept it and follow the onscreen prompts to continue with the reset procedure
Dell Factory Image Restore
Dell Factory Image Restore resets your Dell laptop by restoring it to the configuration when it left the manufacturer. This process requires you to have a recovery image. It re-installs Windows using the image and reverts the settings and configurations made to your device.
To perform a factory image restore,
- Firstly, open Command prompt and type
wmic bios get serialnumber.
Note down the serial number which will be needed while creating the recovery media.
- Download image and create a recovery media, from Dell’s support website, download the recovery tool and install it on your device.
- After installation, launch the tool.
- Select the device you want to recover and enter the serial number.
- In the Select Operating System window, Select Windows and click on Download
- On the next window, click on Burn OS to erase the files from your USB drive and create a bootable key. Wait for the process to complete
- Restart your device. On the boot screen, press F12 until “Preparing one time boot” menu is displayed on the screen
- Select the USB recovery device from the UEFI BOOT section
- After the recovery drive loads, choose the keyboard layout and select Troubleshoot in the Choose an option menu
- Now, click on Reset this PC to reset your Dell laptop
- In the next menu, choose whether to keep or remove files from your device
- Follow the on-screen prompts to proceed and wait until the process boots you to a login screen.
Using Windows Reset
Windows Reset lets you choose if you want to keep your personal files and only remove the applications from your Dell laptop, or completely wipe all the data and configurations from your device. This process will also reinstall Windows OS on your device.
To perform a system reset from Windows:
- Open Settings by pressing the Windows key + I
- From the System tab, scroll down and click on Recovery
- Click on Reset PC from Recovery options
- In the next window, choose Keep my files to keep your personal files or select Remove everything to remove personal files and settings
- Now, in the next window, if the operating system files are corrupt or missing, select the Cloud download option. Otherwise select the Local reinstall option to reset the settings of your device and reinstall Windows
- Follow the on-screen prompts and wait until the process finishes
From Windows System Restore
The system restore option reverts the changes made to your system by restoring it to a previous stable state. This does not exactly reset your PC, but acts in a similar way. It resets configurations to a previous point when the backup image was created.
If your Dell laptop is suddenly slowing down or if it is crashing constantly after an update, installing a new software, or after configuring settings, performing a system restore can help solve the issue with ease.
By default, this option is disabled in Windows. To check if your device has System Restore enabled:
Note: Your device will restart during the process so save any work and close all programs before proceeding.
- Open Settings and click on the System tab
- Scroll down to find About and click on it
- In the About menu, click on System protection from the Device specifications section
- Next, In the System Properties window, locate Protection Settings and check if the system drive has protection on
If the protection is on, the next process will be to perform a System Restore:
- Open Run and type rstrui.exe to open System Restore and click on Next
- On the next page select a restore point from the list and click on Next
- In the next Window, click on Finish to start the restore procedure
- Wait for the process to complete.