How to Format a Laptop

How to refresh, reset, or restore your PC.

In case you’re having trouble with your PC, you can:

  1. Reinstall Windows while keeping your personal files and preferences by refreshing your PC. The apps that came with your PC and the apps you installed from the Microsoft Store are both kept when you refresh.
  2. Reset your PC to reinstall Windows while deleting all of your files, settings, and apps (except those that came with your PC).
  3. To undo recent system modifications, restore your computer.

Refresh, reset, or restore

To refresh your PC;

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and select Settings, then Change PC settings.
    (If you’re using a mouse, slide the mouse pointer down to the upper-right corner of the screen, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)
  2. Then tap or click Update and recovery, followed by Recovery.
  3. Tap or click Get started under Refresh your PC without impacting your files.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions.

To reset your PC;

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and select Settings, then Change PC settings.
    (If you’re using a mouse, slide the mouse pointer down to the upper-right corner of the screen, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)
  2. Then tap or click Update and recovery, followed by Recovery.
  3. Tap or click Get started under Remove everything and reinstall Windows.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions.

You’ll be asked if you’d like to wipe data quickly or completely. Some data may be recovered with specific software if you choose to wipe data quickly. It will take longer to completely wipe data, but it will make data recovery less likely.

To restore your PC to an earlier point in time;

  1. Swipe in from the screen’s right edge, then hit Search.
    (If you’re using a mouse, move the mouse pointer to the upper-right corner of the screen, then click Search.)
  2. Control Panel may be found by typing Control Panel into the search box and then tapping or clicking Control Panel.
  3. In the Control Panel search box, type Recovery, and then touch or click Recovery.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions after tapping or clicking Open System Restore.
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