Windows 10 reset PC
Clean start

How to reset your PC keeping personal files on Windows 10

Windows 10 includes a feature to quickly reset your PC to factory default settings without losing your files when things are not working correctly.

If your device isn’t working as correctly, it’s performing very slow, or you experience problems with battery life or Microsoft Store apps, resetting it to the factory default settings may help you to resolve these issues.

Windows 10 includes “Reset this PC,” which allows you to quickly reset your PC keeping your personal files and then reinstalls the OS. However, the process will remove apps and settings, but you can always reconfigure them later.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to use “Reset this PC” to refresh your computer while keeping your files if you’re having problems after a Windows 10 upgrade or as a result of an app or system misconfiguration.

How to use ‘Reset this PC’ on Windows 10

When you’re PC is acting up, follow these steps to reset it:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Update & Security.

  3. Click on Recovery.

  4. Under “Reset this PC,” click the Get started button.

    Recovery settings on Windows 10
    Recovery settings on Windows 10
  5. Click the Keep my files option. However, note that you can also click the Remove everything option, which will result on a clean installation erasing everything on your device.

    Windows 10 reset: Keep my files
    Windows 10 reset: Keep my files
  6. Make note of the apps that will be removed, and click the Next button.

    Windows 10 reset: List of apps to be removed
    Windows 10 reset: List of apps to be removed
  7. Click the Reset button.

    Windows 10 Reset button
    Windows 10 Reset button

Once you’ve completed the steps, the process will remove every application installed on your device, change settings back to their defaults, and Windows 10 will be reinstalled without removing your files.

The process usually takes anywhere between 15-20 minutes, but it could take a long time depending on your device. If you come across any issues, you can submit your questions in the Pureinfotech forums.

Update November 30, 2017: Originally published in July 2015, updated in November 2017 to reflect the most up-to-date changes.