Resetting a desktop device

Resetting the device addresses a number of key scenarios:

  • A user may want to reset a device to transfer it to another owner.
  • The device belongs to an organization, and the organization wants to reset the device. For example, when an employee leaves the organization.
  • The device has malfunctioned and the user wants to reset the device.
  • An OEM has completed factory testing and wants to reset the device (optionally preserving preloaded map data).

Important   When you reset a device, it does not return it to the original factory state. For example, any packages that were added or modified during an update remain. To return the device to the original factory state, you must flash it with the original factory image.

Ways to reset a desktop PC

If Settings is accessible:

  1. Click Settings > Update & security > Recovery > under Reset this PC, click Get started.

  2. Select either Keep my files to repair the PC, or Remove everything to prepare the PC for a new user.

    Note   If the device is not responsive, try restarting it first.

If Settings is not accessible:

  1. Click the power button, then hold down Shift while choosing Restart. This opens the recovery menu. This works even if you're not logged into Windows.

  2. Click Troubleshoot.

  3. Select either Refresh your PC to repair the PC, or Reset your PC to prepare the PC for another user.

For PCs, there isn't a built-in way to reset a device remotely. However, you can install third-party tools that allow you to do this.