How to Factory Reset Your HP Laptop
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At certain times, you may find it necessary to restore your Windows computer to factory settings. Maybe you ran into malware and need a fresh start, or perhaps you plan to sell your computer and wipe it clean.

Whatever the reason, we’ll show you what to do. Here’s how to factory reset your HP laptop.

First: Don’t Forget to Back Up!

Before you perform a factory reset, you should make sure you have a backup of your files. In most cases, performing a factory reset will remove all data from your machine.

See our guide to backing up Windows 10 The Ultimate Windows 10 Data Backup Guide The Ultimate Windows 10 Data Backup Guide We've summarized every backup, restore, recovery, and repair option we could find on Windows 10. Use our simple tips and never despair over lost data again! Read More for how to do this.

Factory Reset Your HP Laptop Using Recovery Manager

Until 2018, HP computers came with a tool called HP Recovery Manager. You can use this to restore your laptop to its default settings, but it comes with a few stipulations. To see if you have it installed, open the Start menu and search for Recovery Manager.

If you don’t see it, your computer may be too new and thus doesn’t include the software. You also can’t use this option if you’ve deleted the HP Recovery partition on your system’s hard drive. Finally, HP’s recovery tools only work for the version of Windows that your computer shipped with. Thus, if you bought your laptop with Windows 8.1 and later upgraded to Windows 10, you can’t use the utility.

Should you fulfill all these conditions, you can use HP Recovery Manager to restore your PC to its default state. The app will walk you through the process, including backing up your files first. Once it completes, you can set up Windows again.

See HP’s page on Recovery Manager and the below HP Support video for help with this process. If your computer doesn’t have Recovery Manager, HP recommends using the built-in Windows options (covered below).

Factory Reset an HP Laptop Using Pre-Boot Options

If you can’t boot into Windows normally, or you don’t have the Recovery Manager available, you can instead turn to pre-boot options. When you start your laptop, you’ll see some text on-screen telling you what keys you need to press to access the startup environment. On my HP laptop, this is the Esc key, but it may be different for yours.

As soon as you boot your computer, rapidly press the button until it jumps to an options screen. You may see a key that corresponds to a Recovery option of some sort. On my laptop, I had to press F10 to access the BIOS Setup menu first.

HP Laptop Boot Menu

After this, in the Security section, I found an option labeled Secure Erase. This allows you to erase the entire hard drive, useful for when you plan to give your computer away.

HP Bios Secure Erase

Be careful what you choose here. Your computer may not include an option to reinstall Windows through this menu. The above Secure Erase option wipes the hard drive clean, meaning you would have to reinstall Windows yourself.

Windows 10’s Factory Reset Options

If you don’t want to use any of the above methods, or find that they didn’t work, you can turn to the universal reset options in Windows 10. No matter what kind of laptop you have, you can use these to get your computer back to its default state.

See our guide on factory resetting your Windows 10 computer 4 Ways to Factory Reset Your Windows 10 Computer 4 Ways to Factory Reset Your Windows 10 Computer Want to know how to factory reset a PC? We show you the best methods to reset a Windows computer using Windows 10, 8, or 7. Read More for all you need to know on this. You can use the Reset this PC options in Settings, open the advanced startup options to reboot into a recovery environment, or even reinstall Windows with installation media.

All You Need to Factory Reset an HP Laptop

Now you know your options for resetting an HP laptop to factory settings. It seems HP has acknowledged that Windows 10 has great factory reset options built in, making old-school recovery methods less important. You’re probably best off using those, but it’s good to know what HP includes so you have all the bases covered.

If you forgot your Windows password, you don’t have to go through a factory reset. See our guide to resetting a lost Windows 10 password How to Reset Your Lost Windows 10 Password How to Reset Your Lost Windows 10 Password You forgot your Windows 10 login password? Don't despair! We'll show you how to reset your password and recover your account. Read More on how to recover it.

Explore more about: Computer Maintenance, System Restore.

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  1. Lionel Lee
    January 22, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    I have a HP Omni27 1055 that came with Windows 7 pre installed. I installed Windows 10, a couple of years ago. Now I cannot use the HP BDDVD player that came with it, not compatible with Windows 10. How do I restore the computer to factory set Windows 7?

  2. William Rittwage
    August 1, 2017 at 12:30 am

    Revert this copmputer backto factory state,Ihavetogetmoreramandgetridofunwanted software.

  3. ashfaq
    March 19, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    very stupid idea, wants to know what to do to start factory settings.

  4. polly bryant
    March 6, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    i hate windows 10 but can,i do a factory reset.

  5. Claire
    February 24, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    I really hate that windows updates things without letting you know its charging for everything. Windows 10 sucks big time. I can't get back to excel or anything else....my scanner is not working with this program and I can't even go back to Factory setting.... Total Aholes.....

  6. Nikki
    February 14, 2016 at 10:46 am

    So I got the no start up mgr message and figured out I need to change the boot sequence.....restored that and all settings to factory and did a factory restoration. All this started because I got a laptop from a family member who gave up on it cuz it was ridiculously slow. Right clicked 'm computer's and activated CD Rom boot sequence as described in another article and I guess that messed it up and obviously caused the boot up issue message. That is when I went back and reset boot sequence and all settings back to standard. When that didn't work did the restoration. All steps were done according to articles on this site. Still getting start up manager problem messages.....note that I had started by restoring to the earliest point listed thru the easy system restore... please help

  7. kimberly mcgahee
    January 31, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    ineed help restrting myt computer some one goton here and changed everything pass word now I can not get into nothing

  8. amanda
    December 23, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Can I do this without the disk I don't know where they are

  9. 009nu2
    February 21, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    This article is useless.

  10. C7B9E4
    September 9, 2010 at 8:21 am

    It's actually a really good idea that they had to introduce using images on the hard drive, it saves you from having another disc to find.

  11. donald choi
    June 22, 2010 at 3:41 am

    I normally use Macrium Reflect Free (windows) or CloneZilla (linux) to create an image of the hard drive, in its freshly installed state. Just re-image if the system gets screwed up along the way,

  12. donald choi
    June 22, 2010 at 1:41 am

    I normally use Macrium Reflect Free (windows) or CloneZilla (linux) to create an image of the hard drive, in its freshly installed state. Just re-image if the system gets screwed up along the way,

    • M.S. Smith
      June 22, 2010 at 5:06 pm

      Also a good way to go about it. Preparation is always best.

  13. Hblair66
    June 21, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    "factory settings which are important to the computer’s operation." Or aren't; usually only the hardware drivers are important. You can use the PC Decrapifier to remove the toolbars, trial software, and other junk that are unimportant after your restore is completed. (Don't forget to install a full-version antivirus, like AVG Free 9, after removing the trial version antivirus that ships on most PCs.)

  14. Hblair66
    June 21, 2010 at 11:54 am

    "factory settings which are important to the computer’s operation." Or aren't; usually only the hardware drivers are important. You can use the PC Decrapifier to remove the toolbars, trial software, and other junk that are unimportant after your restore is completed. (Don't forget to install a full-version antivirus, like AVG Free 9, after removing the trial version antivirus that ships on most PCs.)