In this tutorial on how to reset «to factory settings», rollback to its original state, or, otherwise, the automatic reinstallation of Windows 10 on your computer or laptop. To make it easier than Windows 7 and even 8, due to the fact that the changed method of storing the image to reset the system and in most cases you do not need a disc or flash drive to perform the following procedures. Cm. also: How to roll back from Windows 10 to Windows 7 or 8 after the upgrade.
Reset Windows 10 to the initial state can be useful in cases when the system began to work correctly or even does not start, and to recover it (on this topic: Restore Windows 10) in another way does not work. While reinstalling the OS in this manner is possible with keeping your personal files (but not save programs). Also, at the end of the instructions, you will find a video which describes clearly shown.
Note: description of problems and errors during the rollback Windows 10 to the initial state and possible ways of their decision are described in the last section of this article.
Reset Windows 10 from your system
The easiest way to reset Windows 10 suggests that the system your PC runs. If so, some simple steps allow you to perform an unattended reinstallation.
- Go to the Settings (via start menu or press Win+I) to Update safety and Rescue.
- In the section «to Return the computer to its original state» and click «Start».
- You will be prompted either to save your personal files, or delete them. Select the desired option.
- In the case of selecting the option to delete the files, you also will be prompted to either «delete files» or «Fully clean the drive». I recommend the first option unless you give the computer or the laptop to another person. The second option deletes files without possibility to restore them and takes more time.
- In the window «ready to return this computer to its original state, click Reset».
This will begin the automatic process of reinstalling the system, the computer will restart (possibly several times), and after the reset you get a clean Windows 10. If you choose «Keep personal files», then on the system drive also contains a Windows folder.old, contains the files of the old system (it can be useful to the user folder and the desktop). Just in case: How to remove the Windows folder.old.
Automatic reinstall Windows 10 if Windows does not start
In those cases, when Windows 10 does not start, do a reset either by using the tools the manufacturer of the computer or laptop, or using the recovery disc or bootable USB flash drive with the OS.
If your device was preinstalled license of Windows 10 at buy, the easiest way to reset it to factory settings is to use certain keys when turning on the laptop or computer. Details on how this is done is written in the article How to reset a laptop to factory settings (suitable for a branded PC with a preinstalled OS).
If your computer this condition does not respond, then you can use the recovery disc or Windows 10 bootable USB flash drive (or disk) with the distro you want to boot into recovery mode system. How to get to the recovery environment (for the first and second case): Disk recovery Windows 10.
Once you have booted into the recovery environment, select «Search and Troubleshooting», then «Return your computer to its original state».
Further, as in the previous case you can:
- Save or delete unwanted files. When choosing «Delete» will also be offered either fully clean the drive without possibility of recovery, or a simple removal. Usually (if you’re not giving the laptop to someone), it is better to use a simple delete.
- In the select the target operating system, select Windows 10.
- After that in window «to Return the computer to its original state» see what is done — remove programs, reset settings to default and automatic reinstall Windows 10 Press «reset».
This will begin the process of resetting the system to its original state, during which the computer may restart. If in order to get into the Windows recovery environment 10 you used the installation drive during the first restart is better to remove boot from it (or at least not press any key when prompted Press any key to boot from DVD).
In the video below shows the two ways to start the automatic reinstallation of Windows 10, one described in the article.
Errors reset Windows 10 to factory condition
If you try to reset Windows 10 after reboot you see the message «Problem when returning the PC to its original state. The change is not made», this usually indicates a problem with the files needed to restore (for example, if you had something to do with the WinSxS folder, from the files and resets). You can try checking and restoring the integrity of the system files of Windows 10, but often have to do a clean install of Windows 10 (though, you can also save personal data).
The second variant of the error — you are asked to insert the recovery drive or installation drive. In this situation, you can make a bootable USB flash drive with Windows 10 (on the current computer or on another if this does not start) or the recovery drive of Windows 10 with the inclusion of system files. And use it as a target drive. Use the version of Windows 10 with the same bitness, installed on your computer.
Another option in the case of the requirement to provide the drive with files is to register the native image for system recovery (to do this, the operating system must be, the actions performed in it). I have not checked, but I had found that worked (but only for the second case with an error):
- Need to download the ISO image of Windows 10 from Microsoft Techbench (the second method in the instructions for the link).
- Mount it and copy the install file.wim from the sources folder to a separate folder ResetRecoveryImage on a separate partition or hard drive (not the system).
- At the command prompt as administrator use the command reagentc /setosimage /path «D:ResetRecoveryImage» /index 1 (here as a separate partition is D, you may be a different letter) to register the recovery image.
Then try again to start the resetting the system to its original state. For future reference you can recommend to make your own backup copy of Windows 10, which can greatly simplify the process of rolling back the OS to a previous state.
Well, if you still have questions on how to reinstall Windows 10 or to return the system to its original state — ask. Also let me remind you that for pre-installed systems usually there are additional ways to reset to the default settings provided by the manufacturer and described in the official instructions.