How Do You Reset a Laptop?

To reset a laptop, back up everything you want to keep, reboot the computer, press the button indicated in your owner's manual to send you to a menu with boot options, and follow the prompts to return your laptop to its factory settings. This tasks takes around 30 minutes.

  1. Prepare the laptop for the reset

    Look through your user folders for documents, music, pictures and videos that you want to save, and download them (as well as any desired programs or data) to an external hard drive or flash drive, or upload them to cloud storage. Unplug any devices that are connected to the laptop through the USB ports.

  2. Reboot your laptop

    Restart the computer, and hit the F key (or combination of keys) listed in your owner's manual. Hit F9, for example, if your computer was made by Asus; for a Lenovo laptop, the key is F11. Keep hitting this key until you see a boot options menu rather than the login screen. Restart the computer again if you make it to the login screen.

  3. Follow the prompts to reset your laptop

    Look for commands such as "Restore Options," "Factory Reset" or "Repair," and hunt through the subsequent menus to find the path toward a factory reset. Confirm that you want to reset the computer. Upload your saved programs, data and other files after the process is complete.