How to factory reset a Windows 11 PC

Windows 11 logo on dark blue background in shadow

Resetting your Windows 11 PC will allow you to fix some issues hours prepare your computer for sale. This erases all your settings and allows you to start over with a clean slate. We’ll show you how to do just that.

When you reset your PC, Windows 11 offers the option to keep or delete your personal files. In both cases, however, it deletes all your apps and settings.

Before you continue, it’s a good idea to back up your data just in case.

CONNECTED: What is the best way to back up my computer?

Reset Windows 11 to factory settings

To start the reset process, open the Settings app on your Windows 11 PC. Do this by pressing the Windows+i keys at the same time.

In Settings on the left sidebar, select “System.”

On the System page, click Recovery.

On the Recovery menu, next to Reset this PC, click Reset PC.

You will see a “Reset this PC” window. In this window, select one of the following two options:

  • Save my files: Select this option to delete your apps and settings but keep your personal files.
  • Remove everything: Select this option to remove your apps, settings and even personal files. You should definitely choose this if you are selling or giving away your device.

Select an option on "Reset this computer" window in Windows 11.

A “How would you like to reinstall Windows” screen will appear. If you want reinstall Windows 11 from the cloud, select the “Cloud Download” option. For a local reinstall of Windows 11, select the “Local reinstall” option. If you’re not sure, we have a guide for that choice between cloud and local reinstallation.

Choose "Cloud download" hours "Local reinstall."

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the reset of your computer.

When your computer is completely reset, you are ready to configure it from scratch. If you reset to fix a problem, be careful what you install and how you customize Windows, or you may need to reset it again!

Did you have a mapped network drive before the reset? If so, you might want to card on this device again.

CONNECTED: How to map a network drive in Windows 11

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