Why You Shouldn’t Reset Your PC to Factory Settings, And What To Do

By | February 27, 2022

Do not always reset your computer when it is running slowly or showing errors. You can try other alternatives to remove bloatware and errors first.

When you buy a computer from a manufacturer like Dell, HP, or Acer, it is burdened with unnecessary junk like trial software and unsightly customizations. This is known as “bloatware”.

After a while, the computer may run slowly or throw up errors and you may be tempted to restore to factory settings or reset it. However, we will tell you why you shouldn’t do that and give you a better method to use.

Do You Need to Reset Your Computer

The first question you need to ask is what do you want to achieve by resetting your computer.

For example, if you want to sell your computer, then a reset is the right choice.

However, if you are experiencing technical issues with your computer, be it slow boot times, internet connectivity issues, poor battery life and so on, then a reset is not necessarily the best first step.

There are so many potential problems that it’s impossible to cover here, but the first thing you should do is press the . button Windows + I to open Settings and click Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooters. Here you can target a specific problem, such as your audio or printer, and Windows will try to fix it automatically.

If that doesn’t help, you should browse the article our Windows help extensive. Chances are we’ve thoroughly addressed your issue.

Also, be careful that a reset won’t help with hardware issues like a noisy fan or a hot graphics card. You will need to repair or replace this component in your computer.

What’s The Problem With Factory Reset

“Factory settings” is exactly what it implies. This is the state your computer was in when it left the factory. You’d be forgiven for thinking that restoring your computer to factory settings is a very clean thing.

The first time you boot a new computer that was created earlier, you enter the system with factory settings. Even if you run Windows, the installation is not exactly the same as if you were to build a computer and install the operating system yourself.

This is because most manufacturers will install or customize the system in some way. Sometimes this is done to make it more convenient for the user, such as installing all the relevant drivers, but you can still get them through Windows Update.

Often this is done more for the benefit of the manufacturer than the consumer. Little things like branded wallpapers can happen, but often you’ll also find that some less useful programs come pre-installed.

These programs can be software trials (usually for things like antivirus) or manufacturer suites that seem to help get the most out of your system. The problem is, you don’t ask for these things to be on your computer and it’s invasive to force them. These programs are at best bloatware that takes up valuable drive space, but can also be a security risk.

Thus, while a factory reset will remove all the programs and data you added since getting the computer, it’s not ideal.

How to Refresh Your Computer Without Factory Reset

It’s very rare that restoring your computer to factory settings is the right choice. Here’s how you can better refresh your computer.

How to Remove Bloatware

One tactic you can use, if you don’t want to start over from a fresh system installation, is to remove the bloatware that came with your system. Keep in mind this won’t fix any security vulnerabilities, but it’s a simple way to get rid of the obvious junk.

For this, press the button Windows + I to open Settings and click Apps. This will open a list of everything installed on your computer. Here you can select something from the list and click Uninstall to delete it.

You can continue it by using a program like Should I Remove It? to better define what needs to be removed from your system. Remember, don’t delete any other important system drivers or utilities as you may find your system unstable afterwards.
For more on removing that excess junk, be sure to check out our guide on how to get rid of bloatware.

The Best Way to Reset Your Computer

Windows 10 makes it very easy to reset your computer. You can choose whether to keep your files, keep pre-installed apps, or just delete everything.
Even if the process goes smoothly, it’s a good idea to back up your data yourself. Take the extra time now to save a potential nightmare. For information on this, see how to save and restore windows system.

To start resetting your computer, press the button Windows + I to open Settings and go to Update & Security > Recovery. Under Reset this PC, click Get started.

You have two options:

  • Keep my files
  • Remove everything/Delete everything

Keep My Files

This may be the option you want to choose. This will reinstall Windows 10, remove any apps and drivers you installed, and restore the settings you changed.

First, decide how you want to reinstall Windows. If you are not sure, select Cloud download.

Next, click Change settings. Here you can decide if you want Pre-installed apps. This is what came with your computer and is most likely bloatware, so it’s best not to include it.

When ready, click Confirm > Next and proceed through the wizard.

Remove Everything

Select this only if you want to clear your data, apps, drivers and settings. That’s the nuclear option.

First, decide how you want to reinstall Windows. If you are not sure, select Cloud download.

The next screen will summarize what will happen. Before you continue, click Change settings. Now you can activate Clean data and Delete files from all drives. If you are selling a computer and all of its drives, both must be activated for security. When finished, click Confirm > Next and follow the steps.

You Don’t Need Factory Settings

Now you know: always update your system by installing from the operating system, not reverting to factory settings. You don’t need trial software, useless manufacturer suites, and unsightly customizations that burden your new system.

If you ever find that you need a tool or driver offered by the manufacturer, you can always download it from their website.