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How to Factory Reset Windows 8.1?

Restoring Windows 8.1 to factory settings is sometimes recommended if you want to refresh your Windows 8.1 PC, or if you are having problems with your Windows 8.1 PC, for example, your Windows 8.1 laptop or desktop PC freezes, locks up, or is running slowly.

Windows 8.1 comes with a very useful feature which lets you restore Windows 8.1 to factory settings quite easily. If you are looking for a simple way to restore Windows 8.1 to factory settings or if you want to reset and renew your Windows 8.1 laptop or desktop computer, you can go through this guide and see how to factory reset Windows 8.1.

How to Restore Windows 8.1 to Factory Settings?

1) To restore Windows 8.1 to factory settings, you first need to go to the Recovery section in Windows 8.1 PC settings. To go to the recovery section, press WINDOWS key + Q to open the search tool in Windows 8.1. Search for "reinstall", then click on "Remove everything and reinstall Windows" in the search results as shown below.

Restore Windows 8.1 to factory settings

2) You will see the Recovery section inside the PC settings as shown below. Click on the Get started button just below "Remove everything and reinstall Windows" to reset Windows 8.1 to factory settings.

Start restoring Windows 8.1 to factory settings

3) If you reset your Windows 8.1 PC, all your personal files will be removed and your PC settings will be changed back to their defaults. Click Next.

Click Next - How to restore Windows 8.1 to factory settings

4) If your Windows 8.1 PC has more than one partition on the hard drive, you will see the screen as shown below. You have the option to choose to reset only the partition on which Windows 8.1 is installed, for example, C: drive or reset all the partitions on your computer's hard drive. Remember, all you files will be removed from the drives you choose.

If you want to factory reset the only drive on which Windows 8.1 is installed, click on "Only the drive where Windows is installed". If you want to factory reset all the drives on your Windows 8.1 computer, click on "All drives".

Choose the drives you want to factory reset in Windows 8.1

5) Now, Windows 8.1 will ask you "Do you want to fully clean your drive?". If you want to erase your data quickly, you can choose "Just remove my files". According to Microsoft, if you choose "Just remove my files", your data will be erased quickly and some data might remain recoverable by using special softwares even after your Windows 8.1 laptop or desktop PC has been restored to factory settings.

If you choose "Fully clean the drive", it will take around an hour or more to reset depending on the computer's speed. Your data will be erased thoroughly, and it is less likely to be recoverable. If you are planning to sell or donate your Windows 8.1 PC after factory reset, you should choose this option.

Choose how you want to clean drives - How to factory reset Windows 8.1

6) Remember, after you click the Reset button as shown below you might not be able to cancel the resetting process. Make sure your Windows 8.1 laptop or desktop PC is plugged to the power supply and is not running on the battery. Click Reset to start restoring Windows 8.1 to factory settings and follow the instructions.

Reset Windows 8.1 to factory settings

Later in the process, you might be asked to accept the Windows license and enter some details such as PC name.

Resetting Windows 8.1 to factory settings

After your Windows 8.1 computer is restored to factory settings, you can use it.

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