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How to factory reset your Dell laptop

Dell laptop sitting on a table with a colorful screensaver

Whether you're creating a PowerPoint® presentation or watching a movie, you rely on your Dell® laptop to work for you. So if your computer is having issues, and you've tried almost everything to fix it, you may be ready for the troubleshooting step of last resort: wiping your laptop and restoring it to its original settings.

Sounds scary, right? It doesn't have to be. At Asurion, we're here to help you fix your tech, whether your Dell touchpad stops working or your phone keeps crashing. Here's our guide on how to factory reset a Dell laptop.

Why factory reset your Dell laptop?

“Will a factory reset remove a virus?" Our experts get this question a lot—and the answer is often yes. But there are many other reasons to return your Dell laptop to its original settings—like if it's sluggish or not connecting to Wi-Fi.

You can fix these problems and others with a factory reset. We also recommend this step before you sell or give away your laptop, so the new owner won't have access to any of your personal information.

What to do before factory resetting your Dell laptop

A factory reset will wipe your laptop and return your Dell to its out-of-the-box settings. That's why we recommend trying all other troubleshooting steps first. It's also why we recommend backing up your important files, photos, videos, and apps before getting started.

The best way to back up your Windows® data is with an external storage drive or a cloud service, like Microsoft® OneDrive®.Check out our guide for how to back up your Dell laptop. If you have questions—especially if you think your computer has a virus—contact one of our experts for help.

How to reset your Dell laptop to factory settings

Ready to wipe your computer clean and reinstall Windows? If you've backed up your files, here's what to do next:

  1. Click Start in your taskbar.
  2. Click Settings > Update & Security > Recovery.
  3. Click Get Started under Reset this PC.
  4. Select Remove everything. This will delete all your files, apps, and settings and return your laptop to its original settings.
  5. A message will appear asking how you'd like to reinstall Windows. Choose Cloud download.
  6. An Additional Settings window will open. Select Change settings. Move the slider for Clean data ? and Download Windows? to the Yes position.
  7. Click Confirm > Next > Reset and the process will start. This can take several hours, and your computer may restart a few times.

How to factory reset your Dell laptop without a password

If you forgot your password, you can still complete a factory reset on your Dell laptop by restarting it. Here's how:

  1. Turn on your laptop.
  2. Press the F8 key until Advanced Boot Options appears on the screen.
  3. Click Repair your Computer.
  4. Select a keyboard input method and language, then click Next.
  5. In the username field, type “Administrator".
  6. Leave the password field empty, then click OK.
  7. Select Dell Datasafe Restore and Emergency Backup, then click Next.
  8. Choose Restore My Computer, then click Next.
  9. When the process is complete, click Finish to restart your laptop.

If you've tried these steps and still need a little help, we're right around the corner. Schedule a repair at the nearest uBreakiFix® by Asurion store and our certified experts can get your device back up and running as soon as the same day.


*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

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