How to Reset a Windows Computer: A General Guide

When it comes to resetting a Windows computer, many people may feel intimidated or overwhelmed. However, with the right knowledge and steps, resetting a PC can be a straightforward process. In this article, we will explore the 12-step process of resetting a Windows computer and provide additional tips and tricks to simplify the process even further.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Reset a Windows Computer

Step 1: Back up Your Data

Before resetting your Windows computer, it’s essential to back up all your data, including personal files, photos, music, videos, etc. You can save your data to an external hard drive or cloud storage service. Doing this ensures you have all your essential files secured and can restore them after resetting your PC.

Step 2: Disconnect Peripheral Devices

Next, disconnect all non-essential peripheral devices such as printers, scanners, and projectors. Leaving these devices connected may interrupt the resetting process.

Step 3: Open Settings

Once you have backed up your data and disconnected peripheral devices, click on the “Start” menu and select “Settings.” This will open the Settings menu.

Step 4: Select “Update & Security”

Within the Settings menu, select “Update & Security.” This option contains various settings related to your Windows computer’s updates and security.

Step 5: Choose “Recovery”

Within the “Update & Security” menu, click on “Recovery.” This option allows you to reset your Windows computer and start fresh.

Step 6: Select “Reset this PC”

Under the “Recovery” menu, select “Get started” under “Reset this PC.” You will be presented with two reset options. The first option allows you to keep your personal files but removes all apps and settings, while the second option removes everything from your PC.

Step 7: Choose Your Reset Option

Select the reset option that suits your needs. If you want to start fresh without losing your personal data, select the first option. Alternatively, if you want to erase everything from your computer, select the second option.

Step 8: Follow the On-Screen Instructions

Once you have chosen your reset option, follow the on-screen instructions to continue the process. Windows may ask for confirmation before proceeding, so be sure to read and answer accordingly.

Step 9: Wait for Windows to Reset Your PC

Your Windows computer will now start resetting. This process may take some time, so be patient and do not interrupt the process.

Step 10: Reinstall Necessary Apps and Programs

After your PC has been reset, you will need to reinstall any apps and programs that you would like to use again. Make a list of essential programs and apps you need beforehand to simplify the reinstallation process.

Step 11: Restore Your Backed-Up Data

Once you have reinstalled all your necessary apps and programs, restore all your backed-up data, including your personal files, music, photos, videos, etc. to your Windows computer.

Step 12: Update Your Windows PC

Finally, ensure your Windows PC is up-to-date by installing all necessary updates. This step ensures that your computer runs smoothly and securely.

Additional Tips and Tricks

1. Create a Backup Plan

As we mentioned earlier, backup all your essential data before resetting your Windows computer. Additionally, create a backup plan and schedule regular backups to avoid losing any valuable data in the future.

2. Remove Bloatware

During the resetting process, consider removing any bloatware, including apps and programs that come pre-installed on your PC. These programs may slow down your PC and take up valuable storage.

3. Turn on Windows Firewall

Enable Windows Firewall to protect your computer from malware, viruses, and hackers. Windows Firewall provides an added layer of security that protects your PC from unwanted threats.

4. Use Antivirus Software

Installing antivirus software is one of the best ways to protect your Windows computer from malware and viruses. Ensure your antivirus software is updated regularly to maximize its effectiveness.

5. Create a Restore Point

Before making any significant changes to your Windows computer, create a restore point. This option allows you to undo any changes made when you encounter any issues.

6. Optimize Your PC

Once you have reset your Windows computer, consider optimizing it by removing unnecessary files, disabling start-up programs, and defragmenting your hard drive.

7. Update Drivers

Ensure that all drivers, including audio, video, and network drivers, are up-to-date to maximize your computer’s performance.

8. Clean Your PC

Periodically clean your Windows computer, including the inside of your PC tower if you have a desktop computer. Dust and debris can cause your computer to overheat and reduce its performance.

9. Use Windows Troubleshooter

If you are experiencing any issues with your Windows PC, consider using the Windows Troubleshooter. This tool identifies and resolves common issues related to your Windows PC.

10. Allocate Enough Storage Space

Ensure that your Windows computer has enough storage space to prevent it from slowing down. Delete any unnecessary files, increase your RAM, or add an external hard drive if needed.

In conclusion, resetting a Windows computer is not as complex as it may seem. By following the 12-step guide above and implementing additional tips and tricks, you can reset your PC and have it running smoothly and securely in no time. Remember to back up your data, update your Windows PC, install antivirus software and optimize your computer regularly to maintain optimal performance.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Resetting a Windows Computer


1. Increases Performance: Resetting a Windows computer can help to increase its performance by deleting unnecessary files and programs that may be slowing it down.

2. Fixes Problems: If your Windows computer is experiencing problems such as freezing, crashing or errors, resetting it may fix the issue.

3. Eliminates Malware: Resetting your computer to its original settings can eliminate any malware or viruses that may have infected your system.

4. Fresh Start: Resetting your computer can give you a fresh start and help you get rid of any unwanted settings or programs that you may have installed.

5. Saves Time: Resetting your computer can save you time by eliminating the need to troubleshoot and fix individual problems.

6. Easy Process: Resetting your Windows computer is a relatively easy process that can be done by following a few simple steps.

7. Removes Personal Information: Resetting your computer can remove all your personal information, making it a better option if you plan on selling or giving away your computer.

8. Saves Money: Resetting your computer can save you money by getting rid of problems that may require expensive repairs or professional help.

9. Reinstalls Necessary Drivers: Resetting your computer reinstalls necessary drivers, which can improve its performance and compatibility with other software.

10. Increases Security: Resetting your computer can increase security by removing any older software or programs that may be vulnerable to attacks.


1. Loss of Data: Resetting your computer will wipe all data, files, and programs stored on your computer.

2. Need to Backup Data: Prior to resetting your computer, you will need to backup your data to an external hard drive or cloud storage to avoid losing important files.

3. Reinstalling Programs: After resetting your computer, you will need to spend time reinstalling all the necessary programs that you had on your computer previously.

4. Configuration Time: Resetting your computer requires time to configure settings and personalize it again.

5. No Guarantees: There is no guarantee that resetting your computer will fix all of the problems, especially if they are hardware related issues.

6. Additional Updates Needed: After resetting your computer, you will need to download and install any additional updates and patches for Windows.

7. Potential Hardware Risks: If your computer has hardware issues, resetting your computer may only temporarily fix the problem and may actually cause further damage to your computer.

8. Loss of Licenses: Resetting your computer may result in the loss of licenses for certain paid software programs that you have installed.

9. Difficulties for Non-Technical Users: Resetting your computer may be difficult for those who are not tech-savvy or have no technical knowledge.

10. Loss of Custom Settings: Resetting your computer means that any custom settings that you have configured on your computer will be lost.


1. What is reseting a Windows computer?

Resetting a Windows computer means restoring the system to its initial settings, as if it was just out of the factory, removing all your data, apps and personalization.

2. When should I reset my Windows computer?

You should reset your Windows computer when it’s slow, when it’s acting up or when you are about to sell or give it to someone else.

3. Do I need a backup before resetting my Windows computer?

Yes, to avoid losing important files or data, you should backup your data before resetting your Windows computer.

4. How do I backup my data before resetting?

You can backup your data by saving it externally to an external hard drive, USB flash drive, or cloud storage services like OneDrive or Google Drive.

5. What happens to my personal files when I reset my Windows computer?

All personal files and data will be erased during the reset process, so make sure you backup important data before resetting your Windows computer.

6. Can I reset my Windows computer without a password?

Yes, you can reset your Windows computer without a password, but you might lose important data stored in your user profile, so make sure you backup everything before resetting.

7. How long does it take to reset a Windows computer?

Resetting a Windows computer usually takes up to an hour, but it depends on your computer’s hardware and how much data you have stored on it.

8. Will resetting my Windows computer speed it up?

Resetting a Windows computer might speed it up if it was slow because of software issues, but it might not if it was slow due to hardware limitations like an old CPU or RAM.

9. How frequently should I reset my Windows computer?

There’s no specific time frame for resetting your Windows computer, but you might want to do it every few years or when your computer starts acting up.

10. Can I undo a Windows computer reset?

No, once you reset your Windows computer, you can’t undo it, and all your personal files and data will be erased.

11. What happens if my Windows computer crashes during the reset process?

If your Windows computer crashes during the reset process, you might lose important data, and you would need to try the reset process again.

12. How can I reset my Windows computer with a recovery drive?

You can reset your Windows computer with a recovery drive by booting it from the recovery drive and following the instructions on the screen.

13. Can I reset my Windows computer without losing my apps and files?

You can reset your Windows computer without losing your apps and files if you choose the “Keep my files” option during the reset process, but it’s still recommended to backup your data before resetting your Windows computer.

Resetting a Windows computer may seem like a complicated process, but in reality it is quite simple. Whether you are experiencing software issues, want to start fresh, or just want to clean up your device, resetting your Windows computer can provide an effective solution. Here’s how to reset a Windows computer.

Steps to Reset a Windows Computer

Step 1: Go to the Start Menu and click on the “Settings” icon. This will open the Settings page.

Step 2: On the Settings page, click on “Update & Security”. This will take you to the Update & Security page.

Step 3: On the Update & Security page, click on “Recovery” from the left sidebar. This will display the Recovery page on the right.

Step 4: Under the “Reset this PC” section, click on “Get Started” to begin the reset process.

Step 5: You will then be asked to choose between keeping your files or removing everything. Choose the option that suits your needs.

Step 6: If you choose to remove everything, you will be given the option to simply remove your files or to clean the drive. Cleaning the drive will take longer, but will ensure that your files cannot be recovered.

Step 7: Once you have made your selection, click on “Reset” to confirm. Your computer will then begin the reset process. This process may take some time, so be patient and wait for the process to complete.

Conclusion and Closing

Resetting a Windows computer can be a great way to solve software issues, clean up your device, or start fresh. By following the steps outlined above, you can reset your Windows computer in just a few clicks. Remember to choose the option that suits your needs and be patient during the reset process. Good luck!

Thank you for reading this article. We hope this guide has helped you to learn how to reset a Windows computer. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Until next time, happy resetting!