How to Factory Reset Windows 10 or Use System Restore

Christian Cawley Updated 22-10-2018

Running Windows 10 and hit a problem? Perhaps malware has disrupted your system, or things are generally running slowly. You might even be planning to sell your computer.


Fortunately, Windows 10 has the tools to help: System Restore and Factory Reset, utilities that enable you to easily reset and refresh your PC.

Here’s how to restore and reset Windows 10.

Windows 10 Has a Hidden Recovery Partition

When you open File Explorer, you should see all the disk partitions.

However, some are hidden. One of these is the recovery partition, which Windows 10 uses to reset and restore itself.

Although it takes up some space, and you can delete this partition, it isn’t advisable.


Sure, deletion, in conjunction with file compression, can save over 6GB on 64-bit systems running Windows 10 What's the Difference Between 32-Bit and 64-Bit Windows? What's the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit Windows? Here's a simple explanation and how to check which version you have. Read More , but the recovery partition is pretty vital for getting your PC back up and running following a serious crash.

Meanwhile, if you’re using a small capacity Windows 10 device, it’s recommended that you use an SD card or an external storage device. Keep the recovery partition and store personal data, and apps on the secondary storage.

At some point, you’ll probably need the recovery partition, especially if you haven’t downloaded the installation media. However, the refresh and reset tools should be sufficient to deal with the vast majority of issues, as long as you make the right decision between a system restore and refreshing Windows. We’ve also looked at specific ways to factory reset an HP laptop How to Factory Reset Your HP Laptop Wondering how to factory reset an HP laptop? Here are the methods to restore any HP computer to its default settings. Read More .

How to Do a System Restore in Windows 10

If you’re having problems with Windows 10’s performance, the first thing you should look at is your list of restore points. If one of these coincides with when Windows started to misbehave, then you can use the System Restore tool to reinstate the settings and software that were in place at that time.


Search the Windows 10 Settings menu

Open Start (or press Windows key + I to open Settings) and in the search box type create a restore point.

Click the matching result, select the drive you want to use to store your restore point (typically the system drive) and click Configure > Turn on system protection. This action activates the system restore functionality.

Set the disk space allocated to System Restore


You also need to specify the maximum disk usage dedicated to Disk Space Usage. Drag the slider to determine how much space to allocate. Click OK to confirm.

How to Factory Reset Windows 10 or Use System Restore muo windows w10 restore reset restorepoint

You’re now ready to create a restore point, so click Create, give it a name, then OK.

The system protection software will create the restore point, which you can revert to later using the System Restore button. Working through the wizard will restore your previous state.


You may need to spend a few moments checking through what will be affected so that you can reinstall software and—hopefully—avoid any apps that caused the problem that prompted you to use System Restore.

Note that System Restore is not perfect. Winding back to a restore point may not work, so refer to our list of things to check when System Restore won’t work System Restore Not Working? 5 Fixes for Windows 7 and 10 System Restore saves your PC from disaster. But what if it System Restored failed you? We've got the fix. Read More .

Accessing Advanced Startup

What if you need to roll back to a saved restore point, but cannot boot into Windows 10? The answer comes through Advanced Startup (accessible on a working system through Settings > Recovery).

If your PC isn’t booting, you’ll need to access Advanced Startup via your PC manufacturer’s instruction. For instance, on HP computers, this would be by pressing F11 to prompt the System Recovery mode as your computer boots. Choose Repair your computer when Windows Setup launches.

In Advanced Startup, select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > System Restore, and then work through the wizard to find and apply the restore point.

This makes System Restore the fastest solution; at the same time, however, it is also the least reliable. Unfortunately, System Restore is unable to cope with a Windows installation that has been compromised by malware.

How to Refresh Windows 10

Was reverting to a restore point not enough to resolve problems with your computer? You may need to refresh your settings. Remember how your computer was when you bought it, or first installed Windows 10?

That’s what you’re going to get.

Unlike a full Windows 10 system reset, however, you will be able to retain your personal data and settings. However, it’s a good idea to sync these to the cloud regardless.

Open Start > Settings > Update & Security to begin, selecting Recovery in the left-hand menu.

Reset your Windows PC

Under Reset this PC, click or tap Get Started, and use the Keep my files option.

Choose how to reset Windows 10

A warning will be displayed; a second may appear if you have upgraded to Windows 10 from a previous version and informs you that resetting will prevent you from undoing the upgrade.

If you’re happy, proceed with the Reset.

You’ll need to wait for the process to complete. How long this takes will depend on how many apps you’ve installed.

Consider refreshing Windows 10 the second string to your bow. If your computer is running slow, and crashes or freezes regularly, this is the option to take. It’s ideal if you don’t have the time to back up your settings and personal folders first.

How to Reset Windows 10 to Factory Settings

The “nuclear option” when it comes to getting Windows 10 back to its best is to reset it, much as you would a smartphone or tablet. This action restores the operating system to the “factory settings,” leaving it seemingly as new.

As such, you will need to back up your personal data beforehand. Unfortunately, any bloatware you have removed How to Easily Remove Bloatware From Windows 10 Windows 10 comes with its own set of pre-installed apps. Let's look at the methods you can use to remove the bloatware on your PC and debloat Windows 10. Read More  will be reinstated. This is a strong argument against using the factory reset option.

To factory reset Windows 10, go to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery and again click the Get started button under Reset this PC. This time, however, select Remove everything.

Reset Windows 10

This results in two options:

  • Just remove my files for a quick reset.
  • Remove files and clean the drive, a slower, more secure option.

With your choice made, wait for completion. Note that you’ll need a new account to begin using your computer again. If you have a Windows account, use this; your desktop theme, shortcuts, browser favorites (if you use Edge) and some other settings will be synced back to the computer. Otherwise, create a new local profile.

You’ll then be ready to restore any data backups you made before you performed the Windows 10 factory reset.

As before, if Windows 10 won’t boot and you want to perform a factory reset, the option is available from the Advanced Mode screen. After booting into Advanced Options, go to Troubleshoot > Reset this PC and you’ll find the options as discussed above.

Factory Reset and System Restore Made Easy

Whether you need to create or restore a System Restore point, the process should by now be straightforward. Similarly, you should be able to refresh Windows 10 in order to speed things up a bit, and use the reset option to create a freshened-up, good as new operating system.

Regardless of whether you can use System Restore, refresh and reset your PC, or use a Windows PE rescue disk How to Make Your Own Windows PE Rescue Disc (And Keep Your PC Safe) There are several excellent Windows PE-based rescue discs. Create your own custom Windows PE rescue disc for peace of mind! Read More , it’s a good idea to make regular data backups. Our guide to making data backups in Windows will help you out here. You might also want to check your Windows Experience Index to gauge your PCs’ performance How to Check Your Windows Experience Score on Windows 10 Want to figure out your computer performance and any immediate bottlenecks? Check your Windows Experience Score on Windows 10. Read More periodically.

Related topics: Data Backup, Data Recovery, Restore Data, System Restore, Windows 10.

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  1. anil
    February 11, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    I had a typical situation with Lenovo PC model:80T7,Ideapad 110-15IBR.I was asked to scan Hard disc & on restarting my screen turned blue.On switching & trying to reboot,I don't see any result.
    Helplessly I am consulting specialist & go for Formatting.I was provided with CD containing data.
    I am not sure whether I shall be able to restore,Window 10 as installed at Factory.
    My all attempts failed & worried that PC became scrapped.
    Some body can help me thro'email,I shall be obliged.

  2. Chinmay
    November 6, 2018 at 9:08 am

    Reset and Restore are crap, none of them works when you need them the most. I wanted to reset my PC but it didn't allow me to despite having a recovery partition ready.

    In the end had to download Windows using Media Creation tool to format.

  3. Dave
    September 23, 2018 at 3:40 am

    For ASUS TransformerT100 TA Win 10: While holding down F9 key, Press & Hold down the Power key until "Wait a minute" shows up: This Boots into Windows
    recovery mode with options to completely Reset to factory or Refresh. Do
    not need Password (I had forgotten mine).

  4. t hughes
    July 16, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    I can't reconcile these 2 statements in the article

    Windows 10 Has a Hidden Recovery Partition
    On the bright side, since Windows 10 does not come with a recovery partition, software pre-installed by manufacturers is stored separately

    which is it ?

  5. Tom
    August 2, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Brand new Surface Pro 4 bundle from Costco $700 unit. Had face recognition working then installed some apps and auto windows updates and face recognition quit working. Uninstalled all apps, still not working.
    1st attempt:
    I have nothing important on it, so I decided to go for the most drastic first, a "Reset this PC, get started, erase everything", installed auto updates, now its worse, Now it tells me the PC does not have windows hello at all. I can see the IR camera in system and driver is good. I did not even try to install any other applications.
    2nd attempt:
    Reset this PC, get started, keep files, (None to keep anyway)This time it worked. The first thing I did was see if the camera app worked. Then I looked for the windows hello face recognition setup and bingo there it was. Go figure.
    I am now going to make a thumb drive image using the win10 tool before doing anything else including executing any auto updates. This should produce something very similar if not exactly what is in the partition.
    Only took me 3 days to figure this out
    Good luck

  6. Kat
    July 5, 2017 at 12:40 am

    I wish I had read these before I did the restore. Been waiting nearly 12 hours. I guess I need a new laptop now. I hate Windows 10. Need my laptop for work.

  7. Jared
    April 30, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    Unable to restore or reset pc though it won't tell me why

    • Chinmay
      November 6, 2018 at 9:09 am

      Your recovery partition is probably corrupted or missing few files. You can use Microsoft's official Windows 10 Media Creation tool to get a new copy of Windows.

  8. FMStark
    February 25, 2017 at 5:00 am

    Used restore took about 45 minutes to an hour on a Toshiba AMD A4 win 8.1 upgraded to win 10 no issues all seems to be well

  9. Surya Bhai
    February 8, 2017 at 2:35 am

    After pressing reset it's showing nothing a black screen . I have waited for 10hours still not reseted and the same black screen , help me what should I do now??

    Taking you for the post

    • Tony
      February 9, 2017 at 6:41 am

      Mine did the same thing tonight. Black screen with a spinning circle for hours now. No idea what to do from here.

  10. Nicholas
    December 29, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    I want to sell my PC so I clicked "Remove files and clean the drive" ...about 40 hours ago.

    How much longer should this take?

    I bought the computer about 3 years ago and it has a i7-4770 prossesor.


    • Nikki
      December 29, 2016 at 10:50 pm

      Did you PC ever finish with recovery? I am at hour 5 with mine & trying to figure out if I should just try a hard shut down at this point

  11. Daniel
    December 25, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Hi, I just bought a Dell laptop XPS 13 L322x and it came with Windows 10 Pro and I want to resete it to factory settings to be safe from any malware or anything just to have peace in mind. Now, the laptop originally came with Windows 7 when it was bought from the store, but it was updated to Windows 10. If i reset it, will it go back to Windows 7? I want to stay with WIndows 10.

  12. Brooke
    December 20, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    Wow. Do I ever need help.
    Windows 10
    I have been getting the black screen with spinning dots as many have who have had the Anniversay update. Have tried a million things (going back to restore point, installing a patch that Microsoft said would fix it and many more things) all to no avail.
    I am now going to restore the whole thing to factory settings (I have Carbonite to replace files so all is well there) but do NOT have a windows boot disc. In trying to make one, I am now running in to difficulties!! My computer won't boot up enough to make the darn thing!!!
    The other computer I have is a Lenovo. Am I able to make a windows 10 boot disc from that computer and use it to boot this? I've been working on this for two days now and am at my wits end... help me! ;-)

  13. Jackie
    September 26, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    I just finished doing a reset and chose to completely wipe it clean. Now it's not letting me get passed the sign in screen... Shouldn't it be starting over like a new computer where I can creat a new account? My old login info isn't working either. Not sure what to do now.

  14. Shane Matkoskey
    September 21, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Sorry Christian, I cannot find my comment to reply. I believe it is a standard ASUS laptop. I performed a factory reset.

  15. Shane Matkoskey
    September 21, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    I had reset my asus laptop 19 hours ago and it is still rebooting. I do not know what is taking place.

    • Christian Cawley
      September 21, 2016 at 5:49 pm

      That doesn't sound good. Is it a standard laptop or a hybrid? What sort of reset did you perform?

  16. Aaron
    September 12, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Does restoring go back to HOME or does it stay at PRO. Because PRO is the thing i want to get rid of. It upgraded to pro from HOME and now i cant get back to it.

  17. Aaron
    September 12, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    So what to do if you upgraded to W10 Home, and then upgraded to W10 Pro with a faulty Key. Any way to go back to HOME, without losing files considering its the exact same just that PRO unlocks options and doesnt really do anything. Will a Restore to a recent update make it Windows 10 Home again or will it remain W10 Pro stuck un activated till i pay $300 for nothing compared to Home ($199) which is the same but still nothing and isnt worth $200.

  18. Hank
    September 6, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    "How does System Restore Work?"

    It doesn't!

    Seriously though, I've had issues with WSR. I've moved on to Snapshot programs. Microsoft seems to have unofficially stopped supporting Windows System Restore, and I get that, but with better performing alternatives (Comodo Time Machine, RollBack Rx) it's really hard to work with the imitations of the service.

  19. Kamal Ashraf
    July 7, 2016 at 1:43 am

    There are three drives in my laptop, C, D, and E. If i choose Just remove my files for a quick reset, and Remove files and clean the drive, will it also clean my D and E drives or just the C drive, because there are very important stuff in my D and E drives. Thanks.

    • pran
      July 25, 2016 at 11:59 pm

      No your D and E drives should remain intact.

  20. Peter Christie
    March 19, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Peter Christie
    I reset my computer about a month ago and it has never worked better. I upgraded from W8.1 immediately on purchasing it. Unfortunately the mother board had to be replaced and this caused the original W10 to possibly be corrupted. After this was replaced by the guy from HP W10 was reset and there are no further problems. I am wondering if a completely new copy of windows 10 is installed from the internet as there are several new features which were not there before. ln particular more space for tiles in the start area. Altogether better. It is now as though the computer was especially built for Windows 10.

  21. David
    March 8, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    I used the reset feature to reset to the like factory new state. Everything went fine until it reached the 99% reset, at which time it restarted. After restart it tries to load windows I assume but eventually I get an error message stating:The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error. Windows installation cannot proceed. to install windows, click OK to restart the computer, and then restart the installation. It just repeats the error message every time it restarts. Any ideas??

  22. Akash
    February 8, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Hi VikkStar123,

    Firstly you try these step.
    After that you come to me I will give you perfect steps for repairing to you.

    Don't try these step guys you will loss your system.

  23. Ron
    January 22, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    Windows 10 has shut down can't access anything, can't get inside to do a factory reset to see if this fixes it. Have the blue screen saying window has shut down to prevent damage to my computer. Please help and remember I cannot get to anything inside my computer. Please help

  24. jow
    January 2, 2016 at 5:52 am

    I use windows 10 and it uses a recovery partition. I am not sure I can trust this article.

    • Christian Cawley
      January 5, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      Did you upgrade, or was W10 preinstalled?

  25. Anonymous
    December 15, 2015 at 1:24 am

    I spent a lot of time to follow the tips, but still failed. No changes. Then I used Driver Talent, which I downloaded before. It helped me to restore and recovery with just clicks. Anyway, thank you for sharing the information.

  26. Anonymous
    November 9, 2015 at 10:03 am

    When i choose "Remove everything" it just states "No changes were made" and i cant do anything. i dont know what to do

    • azar
      December 12, 2015 at 10:27 am

      same problem with me ...any one have solution?

    • Christian Cawley
      January 5, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      One thing this suggests is an incomplete or corrupted install. Might be worth running Check Disk to check for errors before trying again.

      Did you upgrade or was W10 installed fresh?

  27. Anonymous
    October 2, 2015 at 6:32 am

    will restore factory settings in windows 10 (Third option under 'Reset this PC')delete all hard drive data, or just remove the data that is stored in the partition where windows is installed(C drive).in others words wil it format my D or E drive or just the C?

  28. Anonymous
    September 8, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Hi, I tried to reinstall windows 10 after installing it on my (originally) windows 7 computer. The reinstallation failed at a little bit after 50%. Now when I start my computer there is a black screen:

    An operating system wasn't found. Try disconnecting any drives that don't contain an operating system.
    Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

    Is this normal?

  29. Anonymous
    September 7, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    I did the reset computer option, but at 99% an error popped up saying "The ordinal could not be located in the dynamic link library C:\Windows\System32\MSASN1.dll." and now the mouse and keyboard aren't working and I can't do anything.

  30. Anonymous
    August 28, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    This information was very helpful so far. I am in the middle of doing the factory install (my son had deleted random operating system files and programs and messed it up) so we will see what happens. I do recommend reading the whole article before proceeding. I did not and chose the delete from all drives instead of just the drive with windows. Wonder what that will do...?

  31. Anonymous
    August 18, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Thanks a lot for your nice article, Christian. It prevents me from doing a Refresh/Reset, which could be a nightmare. Just for your information, there is another way to repair the system while keeping all the personal files and apps untouched. I found it online (see links below) yesterday and tried it myself.
    It works just fine.

  32. Anonymous
    August 14, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    According to MS, you do need to create a recovery drive if you hope to do proper recovery.

    Also note in the "Go back to your previous version of Windows section" that you need to do a few things prior attempting this recovery method (a "downgrade").

    The only stated issues so far of downgrading - when done properly - is that some 8.1 apps may not work. To fix them, just re-download them from the MS Store.

  33. Anonymous
    August 14, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Hi, I had just apply a system restore lately, but after the system restore, I found that the microsoft store store can't be open and all the apps along with it such as groove music, mail, calendar can't be open. It said that contact your system administrator about repairing or reinstalling it.

  34. Anonymous
    August 14, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    I have been lucky so far with my Windows 10 upgrades. I have currently upgraded 16 systems ranging from laptops, desktops, and Surface tablets. I always perform the upgrade first. I then on a few systems performed a reset wiping everything for a complete fresh load of Windows 10. Now, on all of my systems I have a secondary drive that I use for storage and point the User Documents, Download, Music, Videos, and Picture directories. This prevents me from having to back that data up before a reload of Windows. My OS drive (root and/or C) only contains the OS and programs. I store everything else on the storage drive. Anyway, each go has been successful for me. I'm not sure if it is because I upgraded the systems first or not. Each system had the latest build and updates of its respective Windows OS whether it be Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. In fact, I think only one system had an issue with the antivirus so I just reinstalled the antivirus and it worked fine. I will say though that if I do run into a problem or glitch I find the recent version of Windows quick to reinstall compared to the past versions. Good luck and Godspeed.

  35. Anonymous
    August 14, 2015 at 12:03 am

    Use system restore to get rid of a critical error (and the useless error message that just came back each time despite promising a fix). Worked a treat.

  36. Anonymous
    August 13, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    I am not technical- I went from windows 7 to windows 10. Now I cannot access any file using explorer.exe. I have tried all the suggestions using the power shell and the task manager-explorer.exe just keeps crashing so I cannot access START or the ACtion Center or Edge. I want to go back to windows 7 and get rid of this but HOW since I cannot access action centre??( I can asccess task manager) should I try a system restore? how does that work - if you can help this old lady get her computer back, I will be very greatful

    have a good day

    • Christian Cawley
      August 13, 2015 at 5:48 pm

      Hi Sharon

      This is very disappointing for you, I'm sure, and I wish I could help you more directly. The best suggestion I can make is - if system restore doesn't work (the steps above should help) is install Windows 7 from scratch again.

      Your old Windows 7 *should* still be on your system, in a folder called Windows.old. By the sound of things your upgrade has more or less failed, so you may well need some on-site assistance.

      • Anonymous
        August 14, 2015 at 2:03 pm

        thanks so much for your reply. For some reason, today, when I logged on, exporer.exe worked and I was able to access the action center. Taking no chances, I immediately instructed it to restore my windows 7! now I have windows 7 problems ( for some reason all my files have become read only although the properties don't show that , but at least i got rid of windows 10 - I am fearful about letting my windows 8.1 laptop upgrade so I may try to stop that when ad if they tell me it is ready

        I truly appreciate your help. hve a fun day

    • Anonymous
      August 14, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      Sharon I am not sure on this but did you have bitlocker or other encryption software on your system? If it was a Surface tablet then bitlocker was on by default. Anyway, I ask because I read some posts on other sites that subjects with encryption software on their systems were experiencing some problems when upgrading and/or performing resets. I have done several Surface tablets but I always turn off bitlocker because one I do not need the encryption protection and feel the performance hit is not worth leaving it on.

      I would recommend if you upgrade to Windows 10 after it fully boots in for the first time I always do a restart before moving around the system. I found in the past sometimes things are a bit corky and that restart helps straighten things out. Good luck and Godspeed.

      • Anonymous
        August 15, 2015 at 2:16 pm

        nope no bitlocker that I am aware of but thank you for your answer!

        I have searched the web and found many users over the years that have encountered this problem with files. I have accepted the easiest solution they offered. Some claim the problem lies in USER so they recommend creating a new folder under c :- when I went to C: I found a my doc folder there and I was able to save to it from word so, since I have no real need for old files, and, if I need them I can resave to the new folder, that will work or me.

        I am very happy to be back to windows 7 and I will follow the old adage- if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

        but I still haven't decided yet whether or not I will allow my win 8 computer to upgrade- I am leaning toward no but since I have to do techy things to stop it, I am concerned I may screw that up too!

        anyway thank you all for your support. I will bookmark this site as it is most helpful for an old untechy lady!!

  37. Anonymous
    August 13, 2015 at 3:43 am

    I highly suggest not recommending the Windows 10 Refresh or Reset option on a machine that has recently been upgraded from Windows 7 or 8.1. Working help desk / IT support for a living I can tell you this has been a nightmare for myself and a lot of people, until Microsoft fixes whatever is wrong with the refresh option. Not only are you at danger of losing your files doing a reset, but your backup partition as well that came with Windows 8.1 computer.

    Every machine so far we have attempted to "Refresh / Reset" Fails to boot afterwards, going through a loop"was unable to start. The message also informs you the PC would gladly restart for you, and that sometime later, you could go online, and research the problem: Inaccessible boot device."

    If you are lucky, Windows 10 will revert back to the previous operating system and undo the changes made, unless you did a hard reset it may have wiped off your factory image! Then you are out of luck because you may not have the Windows 8.1 on a CD.

    This appears to be a problem with UEFI hard drives in particular and should have been addressed by Microsoft before release. Currently there is very little support in the Microsoft forums as well, showing they were not ready for this. This has cost the company I work many man hours.

    Best method for now would be to burn a Windows 10 install onto a USB or external drive / or CD and do a clean install. Make sure all your files are backed up always!

    • Christian Cawley
      August 13, 2015 at 5:41 pm

      "I highly suggest not recommending the Windows 10 Refresh or Reset option on a machine that has recently been upgraded from Windows 7 or 8.1."

      Todd, two weeks in and I am in complete agreement with you.

  38. Anonymous
    August 12, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    I tried to reset my computer after having problems with WIN10. The reset started and then ran into a problem and could no longer continue. Now the computer will not even load up. It is stuck in a continuous loop telling me that Windows could not load, and needs to restart, Windows could not load, and needs to restart, Windows could not load, and needs to restart, Windows could not load, and needs to restart, Windows could not load, and needs to restart,
    You get the idea

    Any ideas?? I have no way of loading anything now and my laptop has become nothing more than a dust catcher.
    Apple computers are looking better and better

    • Christian Cawley
      August 12, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      Hi Grant, are you able to get into the Advanced boot menu? if so, you should be able to restore your previous OS from there (assuming you were on W7 or W8)

      • Anonymous
        August 12, 2015 at 4:16 pm

        Yes i can get to that part and have tried each option with no success. From what im reading im not the only one. Unfortunately the usb backup i created with win8 doesnt even work.
        It keeps telling me there was a problem and needs to restart (again with the endless loop)

      • Anonymous
        August 12, 2015 at 4:18 pm

        I got a big blue screen telling me my PC run into a problem, and was unable to start. The message also informs you the PC would gladly restart for you, and that sometime later, you could go online, and research the problem: Inaccessible boot device! It then restarted, and went into and absolutely endless cycle of restarting, displaying the same error everytime.

    • Anonymous
      August 12, 2015 at 4:13 pm

      Yes i can get to that part and have tried each option with no success. From what im reading im not the only one. Unfortunately the usb backup i created with win8 doesnt even work.
      It keeps telling me there was a problem and needs to restart (again with the endless loop)

  39. Anonymous
    August 10, 2015 at 2:32 am

    Hi Christian,

    Thank you for the very well written article! The info here will definitely come in handy for my Win 10 upgrades.

    Quick question though - if after upgrading to Win 10 I decide to use the 'hard reset' option where my files are removed, is my understanding correct that Windows will only delete the files on the partition that Windows is installed in? I use an SSD for my OS and one or two HDDs for backup/storing files. Just wanted to make sure when Windows does the reset and deletes my files it will only affect the SSD (I only have one partition for the OS on the SSD) and not the HDDs.

    Would really appreciate your input, take care!

    • Christian Cawley
      August 11, 2015 at 6:35 am

      As far as I understand it, you're right. Any files stored on secondary drive/partitions will remain intact. (if you're still unsure, you could always disconnect these drives.)

  40. Anonymous
    August 10, 2015 at 1:57 am

    I recently upgraded to Windows 10, from Windows 7 Ultimate, via the Windows update applet. The update went well, without problems. I reinstalled software as needed, and then like I always do, proceeded to tweak and modify things to better suit me. (I know, right?) When things started misbehaving, and I couldn't get them straight, I decided to try the "reset" feature built into the OS. Wow. What a nightmare! After what looked to be a successful reset, I got a big blue screen telling me my PC run into a problem, and was unable to start. The message also informs you the PC would gladly restart for you, and that sometime later, you could go online, and research the problem: Inaccessible boot device! It then restarted, and went into and absolutely endless cycle of restarting, displaying the same error everytime. My $3200 laptop was now a brick. What I had to do was use the system image provided to me by the vendor I purchased the laptop from, on a thumbdrive, boot from it, and start all over with Windows 7 again. Then all the updates, software reinstalls, etc, etc. What a royal pain in the you know what! So I'm finally up and running this time using Windows 7, waiting patiently for my Windows 10 upgrade to be ready again. In the meantime, I've been studying even more, and educating myself about Windows 10. I can honestly say, when I first upgraded, and all was working as intended, I really liked it. It did seem faster than previous OS's, and I liked the UI. I hope this next round of upgrading goes better, and I don't ever have to "reset" my PC!

  41. Anonymous
    August 7, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Upgraded to Windows 10 after doing a clean Windows 7 install.
    Clicking on "Troubleshoot" opens up the "Advanced Options" under which I just see the "Startup Settings" option.

    I don't have separate options for Reset your PC, Refresh your PC, System Restore, System Image Recovery, Automatic Repair or Command Prompt Options as described in this article.

    Even if I keep the "Shift" key depressed during reboot I still have the above issue.

    Not sure why I am missing all these.

    Also, how does one create a system image, etc. and if there is no recovery partition, how are the backups, installation media, etc. residing obviously in the open partition kept at bay from viruses ?

    Thanks for the replies.

  42. Anonymous
    August 5, 2015 at 4:52 am

    If you ever plan on doing a reset or restore ALWAYS, ALWAYS make sure you boot up into safe mode first. I know some viruses target your restore but they won't be active if you boot in safe mode

  43. Anonymous
    August 4, 2015 at 6:42 am


    " since Windows 10 does not come with a recovery partition "

    My Windows 10 installation indeed DOES have a recovery partition, and it cannot be deleted..


    Upgraded from Win 7 and viola! there was a partition created called "Recovery..."450Mb

    • Christian Cawley
      August 5, 2015 at 10:21 am

      That's interesting. I suspect this might be common on upgrade devices - I've recently upgraded to 10 and my recovery partition was still there too, until I deleted it with Easeus Partition Manager.

  44. Anonymous
    August 2, 2015 at 9:32 am

    i did a reset to my pc after windows 10.. now my pc wouldn't even start or boot. i press the power switch and all it does is just lights up, blinks.. and nothing else is on, does not recognize usb even.

    • Anonymous
      August 3, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      I had a similar problem when trying reset. It would ask me my keyboard layout during boot. However, windows wouldn't detect my mouse or my keyboard. Unplugging and plugging back into different ports wouldn't work either. So I had to force power off and restart the computer. I can't find a solution to this yet but it may be a conflict with usb detection in BIOS and windows 10.

  45. Anonymous
    July 30, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Does it really work in all circumstances including if there are situations when there may be missing system files and cannot reset Windows?

    • Christian Cawley
      July 31, 2015 at 7:27 am

      That's Microsoft's intention. I would recommend having an iso burned to USB or DVD however, just in case. Or a self-managed recovery partition.

  46. Anonymous
    July 29, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Thanks. Great article.