How long does it take to reset a PC? It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours to reset a Windows PC. Think of it as a nuclear solution to any Windows issue you may be experiencing. For example, if your laptop is far slower than it used to be. Or it’s become the victim of malware that you can’t get rid of with antivirus software. Or you plan to sell your machine. Then you’re going to want to do a reset, which will return your system back to factory settings. We go through just how to do this in what follows.
How Long Does It Take to Perform a Factory Reset?
The process is also referred to as a recovery or delivery status. It will delete all personal data including any documents, pictures, downloads, music, videos and programs you’ve saved over the life of your laptop. We highly recommend backing up all the information you want to keep before getting to work.
Again, factory resetting your laptop can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. In rare cases is, it may even take up to a whole day. This largely depends on the type of operating installed, RAM speed and whether or not your system has a mechanical hard drive or SSD.
Timing varies from laptop to laptop (even if you’re using a recovery partition). But doing a clean reinstallation might only take 20 minutes on a fast machine if using an installation disk you created. This process will also wipe out everything, including bloatware installed by the manufacturer.
How to Reset Windows Using the Built-in Feature
Microsoft introduced a much easier way to do a factory reset beginning in Windows 8. You can also find it in Windows 10 and it’s the best way to factory do a factory reset in most cases.
1. Access the Windows Reinstallation Option
Head to Settings>Update & Security>Recovery to access the Windows reinstallation option. You’ll see Reset this PC header. Click the Get started button to begin.
2. You’ll Be Given Two Options:
Keep my files or Remove everything.
Remove everything is a full factory reset. All options on your device will go back to factory default settings and your files and apps will be removed. Windows will look like your system did when new.
3. How Would You Like to Reinstall Windows?
Cloud download downloads a fresh copy of Windows 10 from Microsoft over the internet. It reinstalls the version of Windows 10 you’re currently running (plus any minor updates). But it won’t upgrade you to a newer feature update.
Local reinstall uses files on your current system to construct a fresh copy of Windows. This option saves you from having to download files from the internet. But it won’t work if your Windows installation is corrupted.
NOTE: Downloading Windows takes several gigabytes of data, which is something to be mindful of if you’re on a limited connection. But if you have a fast internet connection, a Cloud download can be faster than a Local reinstall.
4. Additional Settings Menu
You should now see an Additional settings menu. The Current settings section contains a summary of everything you’ve chosen to do so far. You can click the Change settings link for more options.
Clean data? removes everything on your hard drive, reducing the chance of future recovery. This is a good option if you’ll be getting rid of your laptop. But it will take some time. It’s less necessary if you’ll be keeping your device.
Delete files from all drives? erases everything on all drives connected to your laptop, including external hard drives and recovery drives. Only use this option if you don’t have on those drives you don’t mind permanently erasing.
Restore preinstalled apps? won’t include manufacturer bloatware and other preinstalled apps during the reinstall (you won’t see this option if you installed Windows yourself).
5. Ready to Reset This Machine?
Click Confirm once you’re satisfied with all your options. Then the final screen before the factory reset is Ready to reset this PC. Then you’ll see a list of actions the process will perform. View apps that will be removed lets you double-check the apps that will be affected by the reset process.
6. Confirm the Operation
Finally, click Reset to confirm the operation. Now all there’s left to do is just wait. Since you are resetting a laptop, it would be a good idea to plug it into a power outlet to avoid losing power during the operation. And don’t forget to walk through the Windows setup procedure once complete.
Do You Need a Key to Reset Windows 10?
No product key is required when using the Recovery Drive to reinstall Windows 10. To find out your Activation Status: Click Star>Settings>Update&Security>Activation.
If you upgraded your previous OS to Windows 10, the new OS is automatically updated online. This allows you to reinstall Windows 10 whenever you want without needing to purchase a new license. To reinstall Windows 10 after its free upgrade. You can choose to perform a clean install with a CD or from a USB drive.
Do I Need a Disc to Reset Windows 10?
A Linux CD can be helpful if your device is no longer able to boot. But you won’t be able to save installed programs using this method. So, you will have to reinstall these manually after restoring the factory settings. You’ll need to keep your windows activation key handy for after the fresh install.
If you can’t get Windows to start, you can use a previously created disc repair to restore the system to a specific date. Or to the factory settings in the startup environment.
Will Resetting Windows Remove Viruses?
A System Restore isn’t an affective method for removing or cleaning viruses, trojans or other malware. To clean an infected system requires some good antivirus software. You can pick up Trend Micro from Amazon. We’ve been using it for five years and highly recommend it.
A factory reset also won’t remove infected files stored on backups. This means that viruses can return to your laptop once you restore your old data. To prevent this from happening, make sure to scan your backup storage device for virus and malware infections before you move any data from the drive back to your laptop.