How to reset Windows 11 manually and fix your PC problems immediately

Dave W. Shanahan


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If you are running into issues with Windows, or other foreseen software problems, when you factory reset Windows 11, you can start with a clean slate. In some cases where you can’t pinpoint the specific issue, but in cases where you are getting Windows errors on a regular basis, it may be time for you to factory reset Windows 11.

Reset Windows 11 from Windows Settings

Microsoft’s instructions for factory resetting your PC have not changed much since Windows 8.1.

1. Go to Windows Settings (Windows key + I)
2. In the Find a setting search box, type Reset this PC
3. Click Reset PC on the right to get started.

factory reset windows 11

4. Next, you can choose to Keep my files or Remove everything. If you are having issues with your PC, it’s best if you choose to Remove everything and start with a fresh install of Windows 11.

factory reset windows 11

5. Now, you have to decide how you would like to reinstall Windows 11. You can use Cloud download, where your PC will download Windows 11 from Microsoft.

Keep in mind that if you use Cloud download, the speed of your connection matters as it is a 4 GB download.

If you use Local reinstall, your PC will install Windows 11 using old files already present on your PC.

factory reset windows 11

6. When you are satisfied with your options, click on Next to factory reset Windows 11.

Depending on your device, it will take some time to completely reset your device back to its factory settings. When the process is complete, you will be greeted by the Windows 11 OOBE

Reset Windows 11 from the boot menu

There may be instances where your PC is so plagued by errors that it no longer boots to Windows 11. In that case, your best bet is to try pressing F11 to open up the Windows Recovery Environment.

If that doesn’t work, you can also long press the power button for about 10 seconds to force launch the Windows Recovery Environment.

Once there, choose Troubleshoot > Reset this PC and follow the instructions. Still having issues with your PC? You can also install Windows 11 with a USB drive.

Be sure to check out all of OnMSFT’s Windows 11 coverage and stay tuned for the OnPodcast! Tune in every Sunday on YouTube at 12 PM EST and discuss all the Microsoft news of the week.

Have you ever had to reset Windows 10 or Windows 11 on a PC to factory settings? Let us know in the comments!