How to Factory Reset Windows 11

Imagine this: you’ve been using your Windows 11 computer for a while now, and suddenly, you start encountering software issues. Your system becomes slow and unresponsive, and you’re left wondering what went wrong. Frustrated, you try different troubleshooting methods, but nothing seems to work.

Before you give up and consider buying a new computer, there’s one solution you can try: Factory Resetting Windows 11. By performing a factory reset, you can restore your system to its original configuration and overcome stubborn software problems.

This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of factory resetting Windows 11, so you can start fresh and enjoy a smoother computing experience. Whether you’re a tech-savvy user or a beginner, these instructions will help you reset your Windows 11 system with ease.

Windows 11 Factory Reset Options

When factory resetting Windows 11, you have the option to keep your personal files or remove everything. Keeping your personal files will reinstall Windows 11 while preserving your files and documents. Removing everything will delete all files, applications, and settings before reinstalling Windows 11.

If you choose to keep your personal files during the factory reset process, Windows 11 will reinstall the operating system without deleting your documents, pictures, videos, and other personal data. This option is recommended when you want to start fresh with a clean Windows installation while keeping your important files intact.

On the other hand, if you decide to remove everything, Windows 11 will erase all files, applications, and settings on your computer. This option is useful when you want a complete clean slate, getting rid of all installed programs and data. However, make sure to back up any essential files before proceeding with this option, as everything will be permanently deleted.

Tip: Before performing a factory reset, it’s always a good idea to back up your files to an external storage device or cloud storage. This ensures that you have a copy of your important data in case anything goes wrong during the reset process.

To achieve the Windows 11 factory reset, you can follow the appropriate steps based on your chosen option. Whether you decide to keep your personal files or remove everything, Windows 11 will guide you through the reset process to reinstall the operating system and restore your computer to its default settings.

Performing a Factory Reset through Windows Settings

To perform a factory reset through Windows Settings on Windows 11, follow these steps:

  1. Type and search for “Reset this PC” in the Windows search bar.
  2. Open the reset option and select “Reset PC.”
  3. Choose whether to keep your files or remove everything.
  4. Proceed with the reset process.

This method is recommended for most users as it provides a straightforward way to reset your Windows 11 system. By accessing the Windows Settings, you can initiate the factory reset and customize the reset options according to your preferences.

Performing a factory reset through Windows Settings allows you to reset your PC while retaining your personal files or removing everything to start fresh. This flexibility ensures that you can choose the option that best suits your needs.

Please note that before proceeding with a factory reset, it is crucial to back up your important files to avoid any potential data loss. Additionally, ensure that you have a stable power source to prevent any interruptions during the reset process.

Here is an image illustrating the Windows 11 Reset Process:

By following these instructions, you can perform a factory reset through Windows Settings on your Windows 11 computer, restoring it to its original state and resolving any software issues you may be experiencing.

Performing a Factory Reset using Windows Recovery Environment

If you encounter serious issues with your Windows 11 computer that cannot be resolved through other methods, performing a factory reset using the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) can help restore your system to its original state.

To access the Windows Recovery Environment, follow these steps:

  1. Restart your computer and press the appropriate key to enter the BIOS or boot menu. The key may vary depending on your device manufacturer (common keys include F2, F10, and Del).
  2. In the BIOS or boot menu, select the option to boot from a USB or DVD. Make sure you have a Windows 11 installation media or recovery drive ready.
  3. Once you boot from the installation media, select your language preferences and click “Next”.
  4. On the next screen, click “Repair your computer” to enter the Windows Recovery Environment.
  5. In the Windows Recovery Environment, select “Troubleshoot” to access advanced recovery options.
  6. From the Troubleshoot menu, choose “Reset this PC” to initiate the factory reset process.

When prompted, you will have the option to keep your personal files or remove everything:

  • Select “Keep my files” if you want to perform a reset while preserving your documents, pictures, and other personal data. However, it’s important to note that any installed applications and settings will be removed.
  • Select “Remove everything” if you want to completely erase all files, applications, and settings on your computer.

Follow the on-screen instructions to proceed with the factory reset. It may take some time for the process to complete, so be patient and avoid interrupting the reset.

Once the factory reset is finished, your computer will boot into a fresh installation of Windows 11. You can then set up your device and personalize it according to your preferences.

Important Note:

Performing a factory reset using the Windows Recovery Environment will erase all data on your hard drive. It’s crucial to back up any important files before proceeding.

By using the Windows Recovery Environment to perform a factory reset, you can effectively address severe software issues and restore your Windows 11 computer to its default state.

Resolves stubborn software problemsErase all data and applications
Reinstalls Windows 11 with default settingsRequires a Windows 11 installation media or recovery drive
Provides a clean slate for troubleshootingCan be time-consuming depending on system specifications

Precautions and Considerations before Factory Reset

Before performing a factory reset on Windows 11, it is important to take some precautions. By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth and successful reset process.

Create a Backup of Your Files

Before proceeding with a factory reset, it is highly recommended to create a backup of all your important files and documents. This will help you safeguard your data and ensure that you don’t lose any valuable information during the reset process. One popular backup tool you can use is Macrium Reflect, which enables you to create rescue media that can be utilized to restore your PC if any issues arise.

Considerations for Backup Tools

When selecting a backup tool, make sure it is compatible with your Windows 11 system and provides the necessary features to suit your needs. Take into account factors such as ease of use, flexibility, and the ability to restore data easily. It is also advisable to keep your backup files in a separate location, such as an external hard drive or cloud storage, to mitigate the risk of losing your files.

Ensure You Have the Necessary Tools

Before initiating the factory reset, ensure that you have all the necessary tools at your disposal. This includes the product keys, installation media, and license information for any software or applications you use. It is vital to have these resources readily available as they may be required during the reinstallation process.

By taking these precautions and considering important factors before performing a factory reset, you can minimize the risk of data loss and ensure a smoother experience with your Windows 11 reset.


Factory resetting Windows 11 can be a beneficial solution when you are faced with software issues or need to prepare your computer for sale. By following the step-by-step process, you can easily reset your Windows 11 system and start fresh. However, it is crucial to take precautions and make backups before proceeding.

To ensure that your important files and documents are not lost during the reset, it is highly recommended to create a backup. Backup tools like Macrium Reflect can help you safeguard your data and create rescue media to restore your PC if any issues arise during the reset process.

When performing a factory reset, Windows 11 provides two options: keeping personal files or removing everything. Depending on your needs, choose the appropriate reset option. If you want to preserve your files and documents, select the option to keep personal files. On the other hand, if you want a clean slate, choose the option to remove everything.

By being prepared, backing up your data, and selecting the appropriate reset option, you can successfully factory reset your Windows 11 computer. This process will help you resolve software issues, improve system performance, and ensure a fresh start for your device.

Nilesh Kamble is Certified in Microsoft & GCP, having 13+ Years of Experience in IT Industry. As a Senior IT Employee, having vast experience on Windows Server, Windows Client, Powershell, Cloud Technologies. Passionate about Laptop, Mobiles & Other emerging Technologies.