Most computers and laptops allow you to reset your device to factory settings in order to repair certain serious issues that you may be experiencing due to a software bug. This article will run through the most basic process for resetting your computer to its default state. Note that the procedure for resetting your device to its factory default varies slightly by model.
Before beginning the restoration process, it is crucial that all of your important data be backed up on an external hard drive, or on a cloud storage service. All personal data (documents, photos, music) will be deleted during the recovery process.
Windows 8.1 has a built-in feature that enables you to quickly and easily reset your computer to its factory default. To begin, open the Charms bar, and click on Settings > Change PC settings > Update and Recovery:
Under the Recovery section, you will see two options: Refresh your PC without affecting your files and Remove everything and reinstall Windows. The latter option will completely reset your computer, deleting files and any personal information you have saved:
For more information on how to reset your computer without a dedicated disk, please see our article on restoring a PC to factory settings without Windows CD/DVD.
The links below will provide you with information on the restoration process for other computer brands:
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