Reset or reinstall Windows 10 on your Dell computer

Reset or reinstall Windows 10 on your Dell computer


Table of Contents:

  1. Back up your files with File History
  2. Perform a System Restore in Windows 10
  3. Refresh your copy of Windows 10 without losing your data
  4. Reset Windows 10 using Push Button Reset
  5. Reinstall Windows 10 to the Dell factory image using the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE)
  6. Reinstall Windows 10 to the Dell factory image using recovery media
  7. Install or update Windows 10 drivers for your Dell computer
  8. Additional information and useful links

This article covers several different types of restoration, reset and reinstallation of Windows 10. Refer to the following table and select the scenario that most closely resembles your own:

Problem See section
Your device is not working correctly because of something installed recently Perform a System Restore in Windows 10
Your device is not working well and you are not sure what is causing it Refresh your copy of Windows 10 without losing your data
You want to reset your device back to a clean Microsoft version of Windows, and Windows starts normally Reset Windows 10 using Push Button Reset
You want to reset your device back to the way Dell shipped it to you, and Windows starts normally Reinstall Windows 10 to the Dell factory image using the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE)
You want to reset your device back to the way Dell shipped it to you, but Windows does not start Reinstall Windows 10 to the Dell factory image using recovery media

Back up your files with File History

Before attempting a refresh or reset of your operating system to factory condition, it is highly recommended that you back up your data using File History.

Learn more about File History at Microsoft's Back up your files page.


Perform a System Restore in Windows 10

Video - Perform a System Restore in Windows 10

To perform a System Restore, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start Windows 10 Start Icon, then type Control Panel.
  2. Search Control Panel for Recovery.
  3. Select Recovery > Open System Restore > Next.
  4. Choose the restore point related to the problematic app, driver, or update, and then select Next > Finish.
If you receive an error while using System Restore, refer to article, "System Restore failed while restoring the directory from the restore point".

Refresh your copy of Windows 10 without losing your data

Windows 10 is capable of resetting all of its system files without affecting your personal data. Refresh will do the following:

  • Reinstalls Windows 10 and keeps your personal files.
  • Removes apps and drivers you installed.
  • Removes changes you made to settings.
  • Removes any apps your PC manufacturer installed. (If your PC came with Windows 10, apps from your PC manufacturer will be reinstalled.)

To get started with a refresh of your system files, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start Windows 10 Start Icon, then type "reset".
  2. Select Reset this PC (System Setting).
  3. Under Reset this PC, select Get Started.
  4. Select the option to Keep my files.
  5. Note any apps or drivers that will need to be reinstalled after the refresh has completed.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the refresh process. This will take some time and your computer will restart.

Restore your Dell computer using Windows Push Button Reset

Video - Perform a Reset in Windows 10

If you would like to reset your computer to a clean Windows 10 version and remove all of your files, follow these steps:

This is not a Dell factory image reset, this process will reinstall Windows 10 operating system, removes all of your personal files, removes apps and drivers you installed, removes any changes made to settings, and removes any apps that Dell installed. Be sure you have backed up your files prior to beginning this task.

Some Dell tablets may be configured to add Dell factory-installed software during this process.

  1. Click Start Windows 10 Start Icon, then type "reset".
  2. Select Reset this PC (System Setting).
  3. Under Reset this PC, select Get Started.
  4. Select the option to Remove everything.
  5. If you are keeping this computer, select Just remove my files. If you are recycling the computer, select Remove files and clean the drive.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the reset process. This will take some time and your computer will restart.

Reinstall Windows 10 to the Dell factory image using the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE)

If you would like to reset your computer to the Dell factory image as it was originally shipped, including Dell factory-installed apps and software, follow these steps:

This step does not apply for devices shipped with less than 2GB of memory and/or less than 32GB of storage.
This process formats the hard drive and removes all data. Be sure you have backed up your files prior to beginning this task.
  1. Click Start Windows 10 Start Icon, then type "reset".
  2. Select Reset this PC (System Setting).
  3. Under Advanced Startup, select Restart now.
  4. At the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot.
  5. Select Factory Image Restore.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the reset process. This will take some time and your computer will restart.

From outside Windows

After the third attempt to boot, the computer will automatically enter the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE). Follow these steps to restore your operating system.

  1. At the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot.

  2. At the Troubleshoot screen, select Factory Image Restore.

  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the reset process. This will take some time and your computer will restart.

Reinstall Windows 10 to the Dell factory image using recovery media

Using the Dell OS Recovery Tool - (2:35) English only

Video - How to Install Windows 10 (using a USB key)

Customers who upgraded their device to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 will need to reinstall the operating system provided with their computer and then upgrade to Windows 10 again.
If you need to get media to repair or restore your operating system to its original factory image, visit the Media Backup page to get information on creating recovery discs from your Dell computer or downloading an image online.
This step does not apply for devices shipped with less than 2GB of memory and/or less than 32GB of storage.
This process formats the hard drive and removes all data. Be sure you have backed up your files prior to beginning this task.
  1. Insert the recovery media into a USB port or a DVD drive, depending on the format you used to create the recovery media.
  2. Power the computer off.
  3. Power the computer on and, at the Dell logo screen, tap the F12 key several times until you see Preparing one time boot menu in the top right corner of the screen.
  4. At the boot menu, select the device under UEFI BOOT that matches your media type (USB or DVD).
  5. Select your keyboard language.
  6. At the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot.
  7. Select Recover from a drive.
  8. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the reset process. This will take some time and your computer will restart.

Install or update Windows 10 drivers for your Dell computer

Dell updates drivers, applications and firmware to meet the demands of new software and hardware. Learn more about installing and updating drivers in the correct order by visiting the Drivers and Downloads FAQ page.


Additional information and useful links

Below are some additional links that may be useful for customers wanting to reinstall their operating system:






Article ID: SLN297920

Last Date Modified: 10/01/2019 10:15 AM


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