A factory reset, also called master reset or hard reset, is a restoration of software of an electronic device to its initial system state by erasing all of the information stored on the device. Factory reset is done to restore the device to its actual manufacturer settings. You can erase the device’s data, settings, and applications through it. Further, it is applied to fix an issue with a device and restore it to its original settings. Such electronic devices include smartphones.
Factory reset deletes all information stored in the device, and it is the same as formatting a hard drive. However, pre-installed applications and data on the card’s storage card (such as a MicroSD card) will not erase.
How to Factory Reset a Laptop
Laptops can reset to factory settings. So primarily, what will occur is the laptop will wipe all the data off of the hard drive that you are using and then will reinstall the operating system and applications. To do a factory resetting of your laptop, follow the steps mentioned below:
1) Do a backup.
Before doing a factory reset, remember to back up all the documents you want to keep. Nothing will be separated from your clean wipe of the hard drive, so back it up to an external hard drive. Further, if you are doing a factory reset of your laptop due to a virus, be careful that the virus may be attached to your backed-up documents and settings, so make sure that you can destroy the virus before you restore your settings.
2) Find out which F key you press to boot to start the factory reset.
You have to press a specific F key when the laptop boot’s up to start the factory reset to do a factory reset. It differs from the various brands and models of laptops; you have to press alt+F10 during boot to do the factory reset process. Before you start your factory reset, research the structure and model of the laptop to know what you need to press.
3) Get the key for the Operating system that originally came with the laptop.
All paid operating systems require an activation code to activate your operating system. The operating system action code is several times on the laptop itself, and you will find it at the bottom of the laptop. If it isn’t there, check the box or manual that came with it to see if it is there.
4) Start the process of Factory Reset
- Start with your activation code and the F key combination to start the factory reset.
- Have a backup of your documents and setting; you are ready to do a factory reset.
- First, restart your laptop.
- When it’s booting up, press the F key combination.
- It should fetch up the system recovery console.
- Select to do a whole system wipe: it will clear all the data from the hard drive you are using.
- The process will start when you click the next button.
- Once it’s done wiping the hard drive, the laptop will start to reinstall the operating system.
- Now, install the operating system, and once you are done with that, the laptop will restart and ask you to install the applications.
- Reinstall the applications as well.
- Once the applications and the OS are installed, you have successfully done a factory reset on your laptop!
- Now update the operating system, install anti-virus software, and restore your backup.
How Long to Perform the Factory Reset?
The factory resetting your laptop takes as little as 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the OS you have installed on your Laptop, RAM, processor speed, and whether you have an SSD or an HDD hard drive. In rare cases, the process may even take up your entire day.
The same goes for the recovery partition; the timing varies from computer to computer. Instead of performing a clean reinstallation using a previously created installation disk, the process can take as little as 20 minutes on a good machine. During this process, everything gets wiped out, including the bloatware installed by the manufacturer.
Factory Reset Windows 10 Laptop Directly Without an Admin Password
Windows 10 users can directly format laptops to factory settings without administrator passwords. Just do the following:
1. If you locked out your laptop and cannot access the system, click the Power button on the login screen while pressing the shift button. Then select Troubleshoot > Reset this PC. If you can access your PC, click on the Start button > Settings > Update & Security and Reset this PC.
2. Choose to Remove everything and reinstall Windows.
Is Factory Reset Safe?
It will not remove the device’s operating system (iOS, Android, Windows ) but go back to its original apps and settings. Also, resetting it doesn’t harm your laptop, even if you do it multiple times.
- If your laptop requires a hard reset regularly, try reloading your operating system and software. Hard resets do not harm your laptop hardware but may eventually affect the performance of your operating system or system software.
- Sometimes Windows can be clogged with speed-sapping software or even malicious programs. The best bet is to wipe the slate clean and reinstall Windows if it happens.
How you achieve factory resetting your laptop depends on the company that assembled it. Custom-built desktop PCs and laptops from smaller system builders may include a Windows installation DVD. Still, if your PC comes from Lenovo or HP, you’ll need to follow a specific process to reset your laptop to its original factory settings.