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HP PCs - How to reset your computer to factory settings in Windows 10

Resetting your computer to factory settings might be necessary if the operating system is damaged, the hard drive is corrupted, the computer is infected by a virus, or you are transferring ownership of the computer. HP System Recovery removes all hard drive data and reinstalls the original operating system.

Note:

The HP Recovery Manager program is part of the original hard drive image on HP computers released prior to 2018. You can use it to recover the operating system from files stored in a partition on the hard drive without recovery media. You can also use it to create a personalized recovery disc or USB drive for a specific computer. If your Windows 10 computer does not have Recovery Manager, go to Windows Reset for more information.

Preparing for system recovery in Windows

Before performing a system recovery, review the topics that might prevent the need to run a recovery or might help to ensure a successful recovery.

Correct startup or boot issues

Many startup or boot issues are caused by minor problems that are easily corrected. Before recovering your computer, try to determine if other, non-destructive, corrective actions will fix the problem.

For more information, see HP PCs - No Power or No Boot Troubleshooting.

Back up important files

HP recommends that you back up your files on an external drive or CD/DVD on a regular basis. Scheduled backups can help you recover some, if not all, of your information in the event that something happens to the original files on your computer.

Note:

Factory resetting your computer destroys all the files on the hard drive. If you did not back up your files prior to running a factory reset, a prompt might display to make a backup copy of your files before the reset performs any action that erases or deletes files.

For more information on backing up your important files, see HP PCs - Backing Up Your Files.

Complete a Microsoft System Restore

If your computer develops a problem, perform a Microsoft System Restore before performing a system restore.

The Microsoft System Restore function returns the computer to a restore point, which resets all of the settings for the operating system to those settings that existed at the time the restore point was created. No personal data files, such as email, documents, or pictures are lost. For more information on Microsoft System Restore, see Windows System Restore.

Know which type of recovery to perform

There are several different types of recovery. See the following tables for more information on recovery options.

HP Recovery Manager options

Customizations

HP Recovery Manager

Microsoft Reset

Operating system

Restores the original OS from HP.

Restores the release to manufacturing (RTM) state of the currently installed version of Windows.

Drivers

Restores the original drivers from HP.

Only INF (setup information) based drivers are kept. Device applets installed outside of INF are discarded.

User data (picture, documents, music, videos, desktop shortcuts)

Options to backup user data on separate disk or keep nothing.

Options to keep user data or keep nothing.

Store apps (HP preinstalled)

Built-in Store apps are reverted to factory state.

Built-in Store apps are kept.

Store apps (User installed)

All user-installed Store apps are discarded.

All user-installed Store apps are discarded.

Desktop apps (HP preinstalled)

All preinstalled desktop apps are reverted to factory state.

All preinstalled desktop apps are reverted to factory state.

Note:

Keeps preinstalled antivirus program as default.

Desktop apps (User-installed)

All user-installed desktop apps are discarded.

All user-installed desktop apps are discarded.

Personalized Windows settings

Personalized Windows settings are saved in the cloud through your Microsoft account.

Note:

For details, from the Desktop, search for and open Settings > Accounts > Sync your settings.

Personalized Windows settings are saved in the cloud through your Microsoft account.

Note:

For details, from the Desktop, search for and open Settings > Accounts > Sync your settings.

Fresh Start options

Customizations

Fresh Start (Creators Update)

Comments

Operating system

Always on the latest version of Windows.

Fresh Start requires PC to be connected to the Internet to install updates and upgrades.

Drivers

All drivers are kept.

Only INF (setup information) based drivers are kept. Device applets installed outside of INF are discarded.

User data (picture, documents, music, videos, desktop shortcuts)

Always keeps user data. No option to remove user data.

Store apps (HP-preinstalled)

Built-in Store apps are kept.

Fresh Start keeps Store contents modifier (SCM) to show recommended Store apps in Store.

Store apps (User installed)

All user-installed Store apps are discarded.

Desktop apps (HP preinstalled)

All preinstalled desktop apps are discarded.

Fresh Start makes Windows Defender your default antivirus program.

Desktop apps (User installed)

All user-installed desktop apps are discarded.

Personalized Windows settings

Personalized Windows settings are saved in the cloud through your Microsoft account.

For details, from the Desktop, search for and open Settings > Accounts > Sync your settings.

Other settings

Bluetooth pairing info is kept for HID-class devices (keyboard, mouse, game controller, for example). Power settings are kept.

Perform a system recovery in Windows

Identify the correct recovery tool for your computer and find step-by-step instructions for performing a recovery or reset.

Select a recovery process for Windows

Use one of the following links based on the type of recovery or reset you want to perform:

Recovery processes

Recovery type

Recovery procedure information

System recovery

Windows System Restore

Microsoft reset

Windows Reset

Fresh start (Creators Update)

HP PCs - Improving Device Performance with Windows Defender and Fresh Start

Solve common Windows recovery issues

The most common cause of recovery issues is interruption of the process or turning off the computer before the recovery and setup is complete.

For more information, see Windows Reset.

Update your computer after system recovery

After performing a system recovery, HP recommends installing updates through Windows Update.

For more information, see HP PCs - Updating drivers and software with Windows Update (Windows 10).


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