How to Reset Windows 10 HP Laptop to Factory Settings: A Comprehensive Guide

how to reset windows 10 hp laptop to factory settings
how to reset windows 10 hp laptop to factory settings


Understanding how to reset windows 10 hp laptop to factory settings can be crucial when you’re dealing with system issues or preparing your device for a fresh start. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions, focusing on various methods tailored for HP laptops. Let’s start with the basics.

First: Don’t Forget to Back Up!

Always back up your files before performing a factory reset. A factory reset will erase all the data from your device.

Section 1: Factory Reset Using HP Recovery Manager (Till 2018)

Recovery Manager Introduction

For those owning an HP laptop released before 2018, HP Recovery Manager was the go-to tool to restore the laptop to its default settings. Here’s how you can utilize it.

Eligibility Criteria

Before proceeding, ensure the following:

  • HP Recovery Manager is installed
  • HP Recovery partition must not be deleted
  • The tool works only for the Windows version that came with your laptop

How to Restore Using HP Recovery Manager

  1. Search for Recovery Manager: Open Start menu, search for Recovery Manager.
  2. Follow the Process: The app guides you through the process, including file backup.
  3. Set Up Windows Again: After completion, set up Windows anew.

Note on HP Recovery Manager

HP Recovery Manager has been discontinued but remains a viable option for older laptops. For more recent models, follow the methods below.

Section 2: Factory Reset an HP Laptop Using Pre-Boot Options

When to Use Pre-Boot Options

If you:

  • Can’t boot Windows normally
  • Don’t have Recovery Manager available

You may need to utilize the Pre-Boot options.

How to Use Pre-Boot Options

  1. Press the Escape Key: Rapidly press the button until options appear.
  2. Choose Recovery Option: Follow the instructions to perform Secure Erase.

Note: Be careful with the choices; some options might require reinstalling Windows.

Section 3: Windows 10’s Factory Reset Options

Windows 10 offers universal reset options suitable for all PCs, including HP laptops.

How to Perform Factory Reset in Windows 10

  • Use Reset this PC in Settings
  • Reboot into Recovery Environment
  • Reinstall Windows with Installation Media

Reset This PC Option

This is a standard method in Windows 10:

  1. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery
  2. Click ‘Reset this PC’
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions

Reboot into Recovery Environment

In case your PC is not booting properly:

  1. Hold the Shift key and click Restart
  2. Select Troubleshoot > Reset this PC

Reinstall Windows with Installation Media

This requires a bootable USB or DVD.

  1. Boot from the media
  2. Follow the installation process
  3. Choose ‘Custom’ to format and install fresh Windows

Section 4: Specifics for HP Laptop

Here are unique aspects of resetting an HP laptop.

System Recovery

  • Reformats the system drive
  • Re-installs original OS and drivers
  • Re-installs original trial software

Factory Reset

  • Removes all partitions
  • Reformats all drives
  • Re-installs original OS and drivers

Section 5: Reset HP Laptop in Different Ways

Via Windows Settings

  1. Press Windows + I: Open Settings app
  2. Select Update & Security: Go to Recovery
  3. Follow Instructions: Choose to keep files or remove everything

Through Windows Recovery Environment

  1. Remove External Devices: Include USB drives and printers
  2. Press F11: Follow the instructions to reset HP laptop

Hard Reset HP Laptop

  1. Disconnect Devices
  2. Power Down and Remove Battery
  3. Press & Hold Power Button: For 15 seconds
  4. Reinsert Battery and Reboot
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How to Reset Windows 10 HP Laptop to Factory Settings

In the world of DIY computer repair, resetting an HP laptop to its factory settings is a crucial skill to have. Whether your HP Windows 10 laptop is functioning smoothly, or stuck in a boot loop, knowing how to perform a factory reset is essential. This guide offers two methods to reset your HP laptop to its original settings, one when you have access to the desktop and another if you’re unable to boot into your system. Both methods are detailed below.

Method 1: Factory Reset from the Desktop

If you’re on your desktop, the process of resetting your HP laptop is rather straightforward. First, navigate to the search bar and type in “reset.” Under system settings, click on “Reset this PC.” A window will open up with two options.

  1. Soft Reset (Keep My Files): This option removes apps and settings but keeps your personal files. It is suitable for minor issues but might not work well if your system is infected with malware or severely corrupted.
  2. Hard Reset (Remove Everything): This is a complete factory reset and erases all personal files, apps, and settings. It takes your system back to the original operating system, effectively eliminating malware, viruses, and severe corruptions.

Select the option you prefer and follow the prompts. The process is user-friendly and self-explanatory.

Method 2: Factory Reset from Startup

If your computer won’t start, you still have the option to perform a factory reset. First, shut down your computer and then power it up, tapping on F11 right away. This key often leads to system recovery. Navigate to “Troubleshoot” and click on “Reset this PC.” You will be presented with the same options as Method 1.

  • Soft Reset: Removes apps and settings, keeps files.
  • Hard Reset: Removes all files, apps, and settings.

Choose the appropriate option and follow the prompts. If you’re resetting due to malware or OS issues, the “fully clean the drive” option is typically preferred, though it might take several hours.

Considerations and Troubleshooting

If the factory reset stalls or gets stuck, your operating system may be too corrupt to allow for a reset. In that case, reinstalling the operating system from scratch might be necessary. Free install media for Windows 10 is available, but ensure that you purchase install media and not recovery media if you choose to buy it.

Leave comments or questions below, and check the frequently asked questions in the description for more guidance.

Conclusion: Choosing the Right Method

Knowing how to reset your HP laptop to factory settings offers peace of mind. This guide covers HP’s old-school recovery methods, Windows 10’s built-in options, and specific instructions for HP laptops.

Remember, factory resetting is not a remedy for forgotten passwords.


What are the eligibility criteria for using HP Recovery Manager?

The HP Recovery Manager can be used if it’s installed, the HP Recovery partition is not deleted, and the tool is compatible with the Windows version that came with the laptop.

How can you factory reset an HP Laptop using Pre-Boot Options?

Press the Escape key rapidly until options appear, and then follow the instructions to perform a Secure Erase.

What are the ways to perform a factory reset in Windows 10?

You can use ‘Reset this PC’ in Settings, Reboot into Recovery Environment, or Reinstall Windows with Installation Media.

What are the specific steps for an HP Laptop factory reset?

HP’s factory reset involves removing all partitions, reformatting all drives, and re-installing the original OS and drivers.

How can you hard reset an HP Laptop?

Disconnect devices, power down and remove the battery, press & hold the power button for 15 seconds, reinsert the battery, and reboot.

Is factory resetting a remedy for forgotten passwords?

No, factory resetting is not a remedy for forgotten passwords.