Windows 10 has a nice feature that allows you to reset the Operating System in the event you want to start over 100% back to factory defaults or, just reinstall the Operating System yet keep all your Files. The feature is called Reset this PC and it’s extremely handy if you’re experiencing stability of performance issues or, you are selling the computer and want to clean it up.
Windows 8 actually had the same feature however I like how Microsoft improved on it for Windows 10. Previously they separated the feature into Windows Refresh vs. Windows Reset. With Windows 10, it’s just Window Reset with a guided menu to walk you through the steps.
Reset this PC in Windows 10
To get started, go to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. Then click the Get started button under the Reset this PC section.
Then you will have two options: Keep your files or remove everything — settings, files, apps.
Note that whichever option you pick; you’ll still need to reinstall all of your apps and desktop programs and reconfigure your settings. And some computers will give you the option to restore your PC to factory settings.
The process will start and will only take a few seconds.
Next, you get a couple of options. You can just remove your personal files, which is faster, but less secure. Or remove the files and clean the drive — this option is the closest to doing a clean install with an ISO image. Microsoft says this is a good option if you’re selling your PC.
However, for a PC with an HDD, I would feel safer using a proven secure method…DBANs Boot and Nuke to scrub the drive clean before recycling it. But if you’re just resetting your PC, this is a great option.
Microsoft will give you a warning letting you know that you can’t undo the process.
The next screen will show you what resetting the PC will remove. This is your last chance to back out if you have any doubts.
Now your PC will restart several times, and after it’s done scrubbing the drive, Windows 10 will be reinstalled. Everything is automatic except the initial setup, i.e. entering Microsoft account or naming the computer. These are the same onscreen instructions you go through when upgrading Windows 10.
That’s all there is to it. Windows 10 should be running much better, and you can start reinstalling apps and getting things set up how you like.