How to Factory Reset Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Resetting Windows 11 to its factory settings can solve a variety of issues. It’s like a fresh start for your computer, wiping out all the data and settings you’ve made and returning it to the way it was when you first got it. This can be a useful step for troubleshooting problems, selling your computer, or just starting over with a clean slate.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Factory Reset Windows 11

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand what a factory reset will do. It will erase all your files, settings, and applications, so make sure you’ve backed up any important data before proceeding. Ready? Let’s reset!

Step 1: Open Settings

Click on the Start menu and select the settings gear icon.

In this step, you’re looking for the settings option on your computer. It’s usually located in the Start menu and looks like a little gear. This is where you’ll find all the controls for your computer.

Step 2: Navigate to System

Once in settings, click on the ‘System’ option.

The ‘System’ section is where you’ll find options related to your computer’s performance and how it operates. It’s like the command center for your computer’s basic functions.

Step 3: Select Recovery

Scroll down and select ‘Recovery’ on the right-hand side.

The ‘Recovery’ option is like the emergency room for your computer. It’s where you go when you need to fix something that’s not working right.

Step 4: Reset this PC

Under Recovery options, click on ‘Reset this PC’.

This is the big red button of the computer world. It’s the option you choose when you want to start over completely and return your computer to the way it was when you first got it.

Step 5: Choose to Remove Everything

Select ‘Remove everything’ to completely wipe your computer.

This step is essentially telling your computer, "I want a do-over." It’s the step that will erase all your files, settings, and apps, so be sure you really want to do this before you click.

After you complete these steps, your computer will restart and begin the reset process. It may take some time, so be patient. Once it’s done, you’ll have a fresh, clean version of Windows 11 to set up and start using.

Tips for Factory Resetting Windows 11

  • Back up your files before you start. This can’t be stressed enough. A factory reset will erase everything, so save what’s important.
  • Make sure your computer is plugged in. You don’t want it to die halfway through the reset process.
  • Be ready to set up Windows again. You’ll have to go through the setup process like you did when you first got your computer.
  • Have your Windows license key handy. You may need it when setting up Windows after the reset.
  • Consider if a factory reset is really necessary. It’s a drastic step, so make sure you really need to do it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I lose my files if I factory reset?

Yes, a factory reset will erase all the data on your computer, so back up anything important first.

How long does a factory reset take?

It can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on your computer.

Can I cancel a factory reset once it’s started?

No, once you’ve started a factory reset, you can’t stop it. Make sure you’re ready before you begin.

Will a factory reset remove viruses?

Yes, a factory reset should remove any viruses or malware on your computer, since it wipes everything.

Do I need the internet to factory reset?

No, you don’t need an internet connection to perform a factory reset.


  1. Open Settings
  2. Navigate to System
  3. Select Recovery
  4. Reset this PC
  5. Choose to Remove Everything


Factory resetting your Windows 11 can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With a clear understanding of the steps involved and the right preparation, you can ensure the process goes smoothly. Remember, the factory reset is a powerful tool that can solve many issues, but it’s also destructive to your data. Always back up important files before you begin. If you’re selling your computer or troubleshooting persistent issues, a factory reset is a good option to consider. Just make sure to follow each step carefully and be patient as your PC works through the reset process. Once it’s done, you’ll be greeted with a clean slate, ready for a new beginning with Windows 11.

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