If your Windows 10 machine is acting up, it may be time for a tune-up. If it’s a new purchase, you may just need to clear the junkware using Microsoft’s Refresh Windows tool.
However, if you don’t think your computer is running as well as it should be, or you’re getting worrying error messages, it might be time to reset your PC to its factory settings. If you choose the nuclear option, make sure to back up your files before the big reset, so you don’t lose anything. Then follow the directions below to (hopefully) get it running smoothly again.
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Click the Start Menu and select the gear icon () to open up the Settings window. Or type Settings in the search bar and click when it appears.
Update & Security
Under Settings, click Update & Security to continue.
Choose Recovery Options
Click the Recovery tab and select “Get started” under Reset this PC. If you’re looking to recover your instance of Windows 10 from an external source, you may want to look into a Recovery Drive.
Save or Remove Files
At this point, you’ll have several options. To start, you can either choose to keep your files and only remove downloaded apps, or you can wipe everything and start from scratch.
If you select Keep my files, you will be shown a list of apps that will be removed from your computer with the rest. If you choose to remove everything, you can then decide whether you just want to remove the files or completely wipe the hard drive.
In the event that you’re looking to get rid of your PC, Windows 10 recommends that you clean the drive, making it much harder to recover lost files.
Reset Your Computer
Finally, click “Reset” in order to make the reset final. Your computer will restart, and after several minutes, it will boot back up again. When you return to Windows 10, you’ll see that whatever you selected to be removed has been wiped from the machine.