Once upon a time, resetting a computer’s operating system was the same process as reinstalling it. In most cases, this meant losing all your data and system settings. Luckily, it’s much easier nowadays to resetand refresh operating systems like Windows 10. If your Microsoft software is causing you problems, resetting it could make a lot of sense. You should give consideration to this option if, for example, the PC is operating very slow, the operating system is constantly crashing, certain functions and applications can only be opened to a limited extent, or if you’d like to sell your PC.
There are different options to reset Windows 10. We’ll show you the three best options.
Reset Windows 10 and keep your files
The first option to factory-reset Windows 10 allows you to keep all of your personal files. However, all installed programs will be deleted. The principal requirement for resetting the operating system is that Windows 10 can be started properly, as it can only be reset via the system settings.
Restoring older versions of Microsoft’s popular operating system is just as easy. In our guide to resetting Windows 8, you can find out how to factory-reset earlier editions of Windows.
Reset Windows 10 with the Media Creation Tool
Another option to reset Windows 10 is to use the free Media Creation Tool. The tool is actually used to prepare USB boot sticks and other removable storage devices to reinstall the operating system. However, you can also use the Media Creation Tool to reset the operating system. This is especially useful if attempts to repair the operating system don’t provide the desired results or it appears to be faulty.
The Media Creation Tool is principally designed to create installation media. Of course, you can also reset to older versions such as Windows 7. You should ideally use the tool to create a so-called USB boot stick, though, from which you can install Windows on any PC you plug it into.
Factory reset Windows 10 (incl. deleting personal data)
The option to factory-reset Windows 10 will return your operating system to the condition it was in the day you first began using your PC or laptop. Apps that were preinstalled by the manufacturer will remain, but all apps and programs you’ve installed subsequently will be deleted – along with any other personal data. A fresh operating system returned to its default settings has the advantage that it will run more smoothly and should generally return to its original level of performance.
If you would like to keep your old data despite returning to factory settings, you’ll have to create a back-up first.
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