Sub Total
Excluding delivery and voucher code discounts.
Go to basket

Free Delivery on all orders to UK mainland within 3 working days.


Exploring today's technology for tomorrow's possibilities
How to Factory Reset a Windows Laptop

How to Factory Reset a Windows Laptop

Daniel Horowitz
Almost every computer experiences performance issues at some point. Luckily, there are simple ways that you can resolve them without needing to contact tech support. One of these ways is performing a factory reset on your computer so you can remove any malware, increase its speed, or get it ready for a new user.
First, you need to identify your operating system and the steps required to reset your laptop. An OS besides Windows may require different steps in order to accomplish a full factory reset, and it’s imperative to know which you are using before you begin the process.
Windows 10 has made performing a factory reset a bit different from the previous versions of the Microsoft OS. It is much easier to do and provides a simpler process for those who may be implementing a reset for the first time. For other versions of Windows, it can be slightly more complicated and require system backups.
Here is a guide to help you easily perform a reset so you can restore your HP laptop.

Before you reset

Whichever operating system you use, it’s recommended that you first back up your system. Even if you plan to resell your device or you don’t foresee yourself needing a backup, it’s good to have one just in case you need to reload files or put them on a new device.
You can even schedule regular backups so you don’t have to worry about losing important data if there are problems loading your OS. You may also want to make sure that these backups are sent to a location other than your hard drive, such as cloud storage, just in case something goes wrong and your hard drive crashes.

How do you factory reset an HP laptop with Windows 10?

There are two ways to access the reset option:
1. Click on the Start menu and choose the “Settings” option. This looks like a cog wheel, and it is where you will access all of the major settings on your laptop.
2. In the search bar, type “reset.”
3. From there, choose the “Reset this PC” option once the results have popped up.
1. Click on the Start menu.
2. Choose “Settings.”
3. Then choose “Update and Security.”
4. From there, select “Recovery” from the left panel within the window.
5. You will then see three options available:
  • “Reset this PC”
  • “Go Back to an Earlier Build”
  • “Advanced”
Note: For most users, “Reset this PC” should be enough in order to solve the issues on your computer and to start from square one. An “Advanced” startup means that you will be rebooting your device from a backup that exists on a disc or USB drive. Only those who have a specific reason to use “Go to an Earlier Build” should select this option.
For a basic reset, you will then:
6. Click on the “Get started” button under “Reset this PC.”
7. From there, you will have to make the choice of whether you would like to keep your personal files on your computer or if you want a clean slate.
  • Choose either “Keep my files,” or
  • “Remove everything” depending on your needs.
Regardless of which you choose, all of your applications will be deleted and any settings will be returned to their default.
9. If you choose “Remove everything,” you will also have to decide whether you want a completely clean drive or if you would like to keep the laptop and you aren’t planning on giving it away.
10. For a device you are not planning to keep, choose “Remove files and clean the drive.” This will make it much more difficult for a new user to access your old files.
11. Otherwise, you will want to click on “Just remove my files.”
You may receive a warning from Windows asking you whether you want to go back to a previous version of your operating system. Click “Next” and after this, your computer will be ready to reset, which you can start by choosing the “Reset” option.
It can take several minutes for your laptop to perform this process. Once it is done, your screen should display an option to continue and you can use your device like it is brand new.

How do you factory reset an HP laptop with Windows 7 or 8?

Many laptops with Windows 7 or 8 installed on them come with recovery discs, which allows you to access the OS through your disc drive. Starting the process is fairly simple. Just insert your recovery disk into the drive. However, you will want to make sure you back up all of your files before you do so.
Before you perform a reset on Windows 8, you should check to see if there is a recovery application within the Windows software instead of on a disc. This can save you a lot of headaches searching for a disc that you may not have received. If you do not have either, you can still reset your computer from a recovery partition.
A partition stores your operating system information, your basic programs, and your main drivers. By using this hidden area of your hard drive, you can reset your computer exactly back to how it was when you first purchased it. Much of this will depend on the brand and model hard drive that you have.
Again, you will want to back up any files that you don’t want to lose during the process. This can include folders, photos, documents, and any other media you don’t want to be wiped from your system. Remember that any software you have installed will also be erased from your laptop.

Reset a hard drive with Window 7 or 8

1. First, you need to start or reboot your computer and then hit the F key or a combination of keys during the startup screen. The combo of keys can vary depending on the manufacturer, so look this up in your system’s manual before beginning the process of resetting your OS. If you have any issues or your computer does not have a recovery partition, then you will need to contact your manufacturer, such as HP®.
2. Instructions should appear on your screen with information on how to reset your device. You’ll confirm that you wish to perform a factory reset and once you have, it can take some time for your computer to erase files and restart your entire system. Make sure not to touch anything until you see that the restoration has finished.
3. From there, your laptop should be reset to its original factory settings.
No matter which version of Windows you use, it may be worth it to set up regular backups for your system. Also, it’s worth checking to see if they have been done recently before you decide to reset your entire computer so you don’t end up losing any data by mistake.
About the Author: Daniel Horowitz is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Daniel is a New York-based author and has written for publications such as USA Today, Digital Trends, Unwinnable Magazine, and many other media outlets.

Popular HP Windows Laptops

Disclosure: Our site may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.

More about these products

Prices, specifications, availability and terms of offers may change without notice. Price protection, price matching or price guarantees do not apply to Intra-day, Daily Deals or limited-time promotions. Quantity limits may apply to orders, including orders for discounted and promotional items. Despite our best efforts, a small number of items may contain pricing, typography, or photography errors. Correct prices and promotions are validated at the time your order is placed. These terms apply only to products sold by; reseller offers may vary. Items sold by are not for immediate resale. Orders that do not comply with terms, conditions, and limitations may be cancelled. Contract and volume customers not eligible.

HP’s MSRP is subject to discount. HP’s MSRP price is shown as either a stand-alone price or as a strike-through price with a discounted or promotional price also listed. Discounted or promotional pricing is indicated by the presence of an additional higher MSRP strike-through price

The following applies to HP systems with Intel 6th Gen and other future-generation processors on systems shipping with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 Pro systems downgraded to Windows 7 Professional, Windows 8 Pro, or Windows 8.1: This version of Windows running with the processor or chipsets used in this system has limited support from Microsoft. For more information about Microsoft’s support, please see Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle FAQ at

Ultrabook, Celeron, Celeron Inside, Core Inside, Intel, Intel Logo, Intel Atom, Intel Atom Inside, Intel Core, Intel Inside, Intel Inside Logo, Intel vPro, Itanium, Itanium Inside, Pentium, Pentium Inside, vPro Inside, Xeon, Xeon Phi, Xeon Inside, and Intel Optane are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.

In-home warranty is available only on select customizable HP desktop PCs. Need for in-home service is determined by HP support representative. Customer may be required to run system self-test programs or correct reported faults by following advice given over phone. On-site services provided only if issue can't be corrected remotely. Service not available holidays and weekends.

HP will transfer your name and address information, IP address, products ordered and associated costs and other personal information related to processing your application to Bill Me Later®. Bill Me Later will use that data under its privacy policy.

Microsoft Windows 10: Not all features are available in all editions or versions of Windows 10. Systems may require upgraded and/or separately purchased hardware, drivers, software or BIOS update to take full advantage of Windows 10 functionality. Windows 10 is automatically updated, which is always enabled. ISP fees may apply and additional requirements may apply over time for updates. See

“Best All In One Printer” and “the easiest printer you’ve ever had to set up” from Wirecutter. ©2020 The Wirecutter, Inc.. All rights reserved. Used under license.

Get Marvel’s Avengers when you purchase HP gaming PCs with qualifying 9th gen or 10th gen Intel® Core™ i5, i7 and i9 processors. Redemption code will be sent out by email within 60 days of purchase. Limited quantities and while supply lasts. Offer valid thru 12/31/2020 only while supplies last. We reserve the right to replace titles in the offer for ones of equal or greater value. Certain titles may not be available to all consumers because of age restrictions. The Offer may be changed, cancelled, or suspended at any time, for any reason, without notice, at Intel’s reasonable discretion if its fairness or integrity affected whether due to human or technical error. The Offer sponsor is Intel Corporation, 2200 Mission College Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95054, USA. To participate you must create an Intel Digital Hub Account, purchase a qualifying product during the redemption period, enter a valid Master Key, and respond to a brief survey. Information you submit is collected, stored, processed, and used on servers in the USA. For more information on offer details, eligibility, restrictions, and our privacy policy, visit

© 2020 MARVEL. © Intel Corporation. Intel, the Intel logo, and other Intel marks are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

The personal information you provide will be used according to the HP Privacy Statement (