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Factory Reset, Restore, or Reinstall Microsoft Windows on a Dell computer

Summary: See the options for performing a computer restore, resetting Windows installation, or restoring Windows to factory condition on a Dell computer.

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Article Content



Reinstalling the operating system can fix many software-related issues on the computer, whether it's running slow or infected with malware.


Restore the computer using SupportAssist OS Recovery

When your computer cannot boot into the operating system after repeated attempts, SupportAssist OS Recovery automatically starts on supported computers. This recovery environment helps diagnose hardware issues, backup files, repair the computer, or restore the computer to factory defaults.

Dell recommends using the SupportAssist OS Recovery on supported computers. Learn how to Restore your Computer Using SupportAssist OS Recovery.

Restore the operating system using a Dell operating system recovery image

To repair or restore your operating system to its original factory image, learn How to Download and Use the Dell Operating System Recovery Image in Microsoft Windows. Here, you can learn how to create a USB recovery media using any Windows computer.

Don't have a working Windows computer to create a USB recovery media? Learn How to Download and Use the Dell Operating System Recovery Image in Ubuntu or Linux.

Alternate recovery and reinstall options

Windows 11 or Windows 10

For a list of options for restoring or reinstalling Windows 11 or Windows 10, refer to the following articles:

How To Reset Your System within Windows 11 or Windows 10

Watch this video to learn how to reset your Windows 11 or Windows 10 computer.

Duration: 00:34
Closed captions: English only

How to Run System Restore in Windows 11 or Windows 10

Watch this YouTube video to learn how to run System Restore in Windows 11 or Windows 10.

Duration: 02:33
Closed captions: English only

Windows 8.1

To manually reinstall Windows 8.1, see the Dell Knowledge Base article Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 Upgrade and Installation Instructions.

To perform a system restore in Windows 8.1, see the Dell Knowledge Base article How to Use System Restore in Microsoft Windows.

Windows 7

To learn about using computer restore points, resetting to factory settings, or manually installing Windows 7 on your Dell Computer, see the Dell Knowledge Base article, Restore, Factory Reset or Reinstall Windows 7 on your Dell Computer.

Additional Information

Legacy operating system information

How to manually reinstall Windows Vista or Windows XP

NOTE: Windows Vista and Windows XP are no longer supported for manual installation or reinstallation.

Out of Warranty support Out of warranty? No problem. Browse to the website and enter your Dell Service Tag and view our offers.

NOTE: Offers are only available for US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, and China personal computer customers. Server and Storage are not applicable.

Article Properties

Affected Product

Chromebox, Alienware, Inspiron, Retired Models, OptiPlex, Vostro, XPS, G Series, Chromebook, G Series, Alienware, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Retired Models, Latitude Tablets, Surface, XPS Tablets, Fixed Workstations, Mobile Workstations

Last Published Date

20 Jun 2022



Article Type