How To Factory Reset Dell Laptop: 5 Easiest Ways

how to factory reset dell laptop

Whether you’re preparing to sell your Dell laptop, encountering persistent software issues, or simply want a fresh start, this is how to factory reset Dell laptop easily.

This process will revert your laptop to its original factory settings, effectively wiping your personal data and making it as good as new.

In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of how to factory reset your Dell laptop in a few simple steps, ensuring that you’re back up and running in no time.

Backup Important Data

Before you initiate the factory reset process, it’s crucial to back up any data you wouldn’t want to lose. This includes files, photos, music, and any software you have installed since you first started using the laptop.

You can backup your data to an external hard drive, a cloud storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox, or to another computer.

How to Factory Reset Dell Laptop on Windows 11

Firstly, ensure all your laptop is turned on and all important data has been backed up. Once you’ve confirmed your data is safe, you can proceed with the factory reset.

Open Settings

Click the Start button in the bottom left corner of your screen, then click on the gear icon that represents Settings.

Navigate to Recovery options

In the Settings window, select ‘System’ from the options on the left side of the screen. Next, click on ‘Recovery’ in the drop-down menu.

Start Reset

Here, under the ‘Reset this PC’ option, click on the ‘Reset PC’ button.

Choose Option

You will be given two options: ‘Keep my files’ and ‘Remove everything’. If you need to keep your files, select the first option. If you’ve already backed up your files or wish to remove everything, select the second option.


Once you’ve selected your preferred option, Windows will prepare to reset, which might take a few minutes. Follow the instructions that appear on the screen and wait for the reset process to finish.

Once Windows finishes resetting, your Dell laptop will restart and you can set it up as new again. Remember, resetting your computer will erase all the data and settings, so make sure to backup any important information beforehand.

Factory Reset Dell Laptop on Windows 10

Just like with Windows 11, it’s crucial to backup all your important data before proceeding with the factory reset on Windows 10 operating system. Once you’ve ensured your data is safe, follow the steps below.

Open Settings

Click the Start button in the bottom left corner of your screen, then select the Settings option, represented by a gear icon.

Navigate to Recovery options

In the Settings window, choose ‘Update & Security’. From the options on the left side of the screen, click on ‘Recovery’.

Start Reset

Under the ‘Reset this PC’ option, click on the ‘Get started’ button.

Choose Option

You will be presented with two options: ‘Keep my files’ or ‘Remove everything’. Select the appropriate option based on your preference.


After you’ve made your selection, Windows will begin the reset process. This may take some time, so patience is key. Simply follow all on-screen instructions and wait for the factory reset to complete.

Upon completion, your Dell laptop will restart, and you’ll be able to set it up as a new device. Remember, the factory reset process will erase all data and settings, so always ensure you have a backup of any important files or information.

Dell Factory Reset on Windows 8 Operating System

Fear not, if you have a Dell computer on Windows 8. The process to factory reset your Dell laptop differs slightly, but remains straightforward. As with other versions, it’s a wise move to safeguard any valuable data you have stored on your device before you venture down the factory reset route.

Access the Charm Bar

Start by accessing the Charm Bar on your screen. Simply move your cursor to the top right or bottom right corner of the screen and the Charm Bar will appear.

Enter PC settings

Look for the ‘Settings’ option within the Charm Bar, and click on it. Then, select ‘Change PC settings’ at the bottom.

Locate the recovery option

Once the PC settings window opens, head over to the ‘Update and Recovery’ section, and within this, you’ll find ‘Recovery’.

Initiate the Dell Factory Reset

Under the ‘Remove everything and reinstall Windows’ section, hit ‘Get Started’.

Choose Your Preference

You’ll be confronted with two choices: ‘Just remove my files’ or ‘Fully clean the drive’. Make your selection based on your preference.

Commence Reset

After making your selection, follow the on-screen prompts in the windows recovery environment and let Windows kickstart reset this PC. Be patient, as this may take a while.

Upon completion, your Dell laptop will reboot, allowing you to set it up anew. Remember, this process will wipe all data and configurations, so make sure any significant data has been backed up ahead of time.

How To Factory Reset Dell Laptop Without Password

If you’re unable to access your Dell laptop due to a forgotten password, it’s still possible to factory reset this PC.

Boot Dell Laptop in Safe Mode

Firstly, start your laptop and continuously press ‘F8’ until the ‘Advanced Boot Options’ menu appears. Choose ‘Safe Mode with Command Prompt’ and press ‘Enter’.

Open Command Prompt

Once you’re in safe mode, the Command Prompt window will automatically open. Here, type ‘rstrui.exe’ and press ‘Enter’.

Restore System

You’ll now be at the ‘System Restore’ window. Follow the prompts to choose a restore point prior to when you forgot your password. This will effectively ‘turn back time’ on your system to a point when you still knew your password.

Confirm Restore

Click ‘Next’ and then ‘Finish’ to begin the system restore process. Your computer will restart and open up with the settings that were in place at the selected restore point.

Change Password

Log in with your old password. Then, immediately change your password to something you’ll remember, but that will also be hard for others to guess.

Note: This method will only work if you had previously set a restore point. If you hadn’t, you may need to resort to other methods, such as using a password reset disk or professional software. As always, ensure you back up any important data before beginning the factory reset process.

Factory Reset Dell Laptop with SupportAssist OS Recovery

In cases where you can’t access a restore point, or you simply want a fresh start, you can use Dell’s SupportAssist OS Recovery tool to factory reset your laptop. This is similar to a Dell factory image disk. Here’s how:

Prepare Dell Laptop for Recovery

before you do a Dell factory image restore, back up any important data as this process will erase everything. Also, ensure your laptop is connected to a power source to avoid any disruptions during the recovery process.

Access SupportAssist OS Recovery

Restart your Dell laptop. As it starts up, press the ‘F12’ key continuously until the ‘Boot Options’ menu appears. In this menu, select ‘SupportAssist OS Recovery’, and press ‘Enter’.

Start Recovery

In the SupportAssist OS Recovery main screen, select ‘Recover System’. Then follow the on screen instructions.

Choose Reset Type

You will be given two options: ‘Preserve new or changed files before resetting to factory settings’ or ‘Remove everything and reset to factory settings’. If you’ve already backed up your data, choose the second option. Click ‘Next’ to continue.

Confirm and Reset

Review your chosen settings and once you’re sure, click ‘Reset’ to start the factory reset process. The restore system software will restart your laptop several times during this process, so be patient.

Once the reset is done, follow the prompts in the windows recovery environment to set up your laptop as new. This includes setting your region, language, and creating a new password.

Remember, always ensure you have a recent backup of all your important files before performing a factory reset. This method completely wipes your laptop, returning it to the state it was in when you first bought it.


In conclusion, restoring a Dell laptop or Dell computer to its factory settings is a straightforward process that can be accomplished with Dell’s SupportAssist OS Recovery tool. Whether you’re experiencing software issues or simply want a fresh start, doing a Dell factory reset effectively wipes your laptop clean, returning it to the state it was in when you first bought it.

However, it’s important to remember to always back up your important data before initiating the reset to prevent any inadvertent loss of information. With the right preparation and attention to detail, you can successfully navigate the recovery process and have your laptop operating like new again.

Now you know how to factory reset Dell laptops!

With over 12 years of experience with laptops, Grayson Uppington has delved deep into the tech world, always learning and sharing. His top pick is the Lenovo Legion Slim 5, blending performance with style. Formerly a pro gamer in CS:GO, those tournaments sharpened his skills and heightened his appreciation for laptop potential.