If your Windows 10 system isn't playing ball, you can reset it back to its factory conditions
Although Windows 10 is supposedly the most stable release of Microsoft’s operating system, things can (and often do) get a little slow after a lot of use. As your computer becomes clogged with files and folders, unused libraries and applications you perhaps don’t use anymore, its performance will start to degrade. This “digital litter” can be infuriating as you struggle to perform tasks that used to happen without any problem at all.
So if you’ve decided it’s time to partake in a computer spring clean, you’ll be thankful to hear that you can have a big clearout without affecting any of the important files and folders stored on your PC.
Windows 10 ships with the ability to reset your entire computer back to factory settings without removing any of the essentials, vastly improving the performance of your machine and perhaps re-igniting the love you had for it when you first took it out of the box.
Not only can resetting your computer make the device run faster, but it can also fix a lot of problems, such as problems with drivers or software issues. If you are experiencing issues with your Windows 10 computer, we suggest resetting your computer before spending money on IT support services.
How to perform a factory reset on Windows 10
It’s a pretty simple process to perform a factory reset on your Windows 10 computer. First, open up the Start Menu and choose the settings menu (the cog icon). Select “Update & Security” from the pop-up screen and then “Recovery.”
You’re then presented with three options - Reset this PC, Go back to an earlier build and Advanced startup. If you choose Reset this PC, everything will be wiped and you can start from a fresh install, while Go back to an earlier build allows Windows Insiders testers to roll back to a previous version of Windows. The third option, Advanced Startup, provides the option to boot the PC from a recovery USB drive or disc.
After you’ve chosen “Reset this PC” - the option for reinstalling Windows 10 on your computer, you can either choose to keep your files on the machine or remove everything - the latter of which will do as the name suggests - remove absolutely everything.
It’s important to note that whichever of these two options you choose, all applications will be removed from the computer and everything else will return to their defaults. Although if the first option is picked, any data will stay on the machine, you may find you won’t be able to open them if you don’t have the corresponding software installed.
If you chose to remove everything, you will be asked to “Just remove my files" or "Remove files and clean the drive". The latter option will take longer as the drive is properly erased. This is a good option if you are giving the PC to someone else. If you are keeping the computer, choose the former for speed.
The next window will warn you that you won’t be able to roll back to a previous version of Windows. If you're happy with that, click 'next' to proceed. Then click on the Reset button and Windows will then restart and reset itself. This process will take several minutes. Lastly, click on continue when prompted.
Once the PC is restarted, you can then reinstall your apps, and configure settings. If the system still crashes, there may well be a hardware problem, in which case a hardware engineer may need to inspect the system for any issues the PC might have.
How to remove bloatware from Windows 10
It is a fact of life that most Windows PC comes with a stunning array of software that most users never wanted or will ever use. Luckily, Microsoft has a tool that allows a user to install a clean version of Windows without any OEM programs to clutter up your system.
To download the tool, click here. To use it, you will have to sign up to the Windows Insider programme. If you don’t mind being a guinea pig, you can do this by clicking on Settings > Update & security > Windows Update > Advanced options > Get Insider Preview builds > Get started. The link above gives more details about this approach.