Starting over

How to reset WSL2 Linux distro on Windows 10

If you need to start over or have problems with a Linux distro using WSL2, you can reset it using the Settings app, and here's how.

Reset Linux distro on WSL2

The Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL2) is a useful feature that allows you to run Linux distros alongside Windows 10. The biggest advantage of version 2 over version 1 is the new lightweight virtual machine architecture that offers better system performance and full support for call compatibility, rather than a direct translation between both operating systems.

Also, since the distributions are available through the Microsoft Store, they install and behave like an app. This means that if you are having problems or you need to start over with a specific Linux distro, you can reset the distribution running on WSL2 using the Settings app without having to remove and redownload the bits to start over.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to reset a Linux distro (such as Ubuntu, Kali Linux, Debian, or SUSE) to fix problems or reset the configuration on Windows 10. (See also how to install WSL2 on Windows 10.)

How to reset Linux distro on WSL2

To reset a Linux distribution on the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 10.

  2. Click on Apps.

  3. Click on Apps & features.

  4. Select the distribution of Linux and click the Advanced options link.

    Linux app advanced options
    Linux app advanced options
  5. Click the Reset button.

    Reset Linux distro
    Reset Linux distro
  6. (Optional) Click the Repair button.

    Quick tip: Give the reset a few minutes. If you can’t open the distro again, then the repair option may help.

Once you complete the steps, the Linux distro will be reset, and starting it over, you’ll need to go through the set up process one more time.