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

Factory resetting Windows 11 might sound like a daunting task, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. Whether you’re experiencing system issues or planning to sell your computer, a factory reset can restore your device to its original state. This process will erase all your personal files and settings, so be sure to back up any important data before proceeding. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through it.

How to Factory Reset Windows 11

Factory resetting Windows 11 restores the operating system to its original settings, eliminating all installed applications, settings, and personal files. Follow these steps to reset your device.

Step 1: Open Settings

Go to the Start menu and click on Settings.

Once you’re in the Settings menu, you’ll see a variety of options. We’ll be diving into the Update & Security section to start the reset process.

Step 2: Navigate to Update & Security

In the Settings menu, click on ‘Update & Security.’

This section is where you can manage updates, recover your system, and access other security settings. The “Recovery” tab will be our next stop.

Step 3: Click on Recovery

In the Update & Security window, find and click on the ‘Recovery’ option in the sidebar.

The Recovery tab provides several options to either troubleshoot or reset your system. You’ll want to focus on the “Reset this PC” section.

Step 4: Start the Reset Process

Under the Recovery tab, click on the ‘Get started’ button under ‘Reset this PC.’

At this point, Windows will prompt you with two options: “Keep my files” or “Remove everything.” The choice depends on whether you want a full factory reset or just a system refresh.

Step 5: Choose an Option

Select either ‘Keep my files’ or ‘Remove everything’ depending on your needs.

If you choose “Keep my files,” Windows will remove apps and settings but keep your personal files. “Remove everything” will completely wipe your system, providing a fresh start.

Step 6: Follow On-Screen Instructions

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the reset process.

You’ll be asked to confirm your choices and might have to wait while Windows completes the reset. Your computer will restart several times during the process.

After you’ve completed the action, your device will restart and you will be greeted with the initial setup screen, just like when you first bought your PC. You’ll need to go through the setup process again, including setting up your user account and preferences.

Tips for Factory Resetting Windows 11

  • Make sure to back up all important files before starting the reset process.
  • Ensure your device is plugged into a power source to avoid interruptions.
  • Disconnect any external devices like USB drives or printers.
  • Be patient; the reset process can take some time depending on your system’s specifications.
  • After the reset, update Windows to the latest version to ensure all security patches are installed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to my files after a factory reset?

A factory reset will remove all personal files and settings, so be sure to back up any important data before proceeding.

Can I cancel the reset process once it starts?

No, once the reset process begins, it cannot be stopped.

Will I lose my Windows 11 license after a factory reset?

No, your Windows 11 license is tied to your hardware and will remain intact after the reset.

How long does a factory reset take?

The duration can vary, but it’s generally between 30 minutes to a few hours depending on your system.

Do I need an internet connection to factory reset Windows 11?

An internet connection is not required to perform the reset, but it’s recommended for downloading updates after the reset is complete.


  1. Open the Settings
  2. Navigate to Update & Security
  3. Click on Recovery
  4. Start the Reset Process
  5. Choose an Option
  6. Follow On-Screen Instructions


Factory resetting Windows 11 is a useful tool for anyone looking to troubleshoot or prepare their device for a new owner. The process is relatively simple and can be done in a matter of steps, but it’s crucial to back up your important files before diving in. Once the reset is complete, you’ll have a fresh start with your operating system, free of any clutter or old settings.

For those looking to maintain their system’s health, keeping your software updated and running regular scans for malware can help prevent the need for future factory resets. If you’re curious about more ways to optimize your Windows 11 experience, consider checking out additional resources or guides. Happy computing!

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