Reset or reinstall Windows 10 on your Dell computer

Summary: Learn how to reset or reinstall windows 10 on your dell computer, without affecting your personal files.

Article Content


Symptoms

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 you attempt a refresh or reset of your operating system, Dell recommends 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

To perform a System Restore, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start SLN297920_en_US__1WinKey, then type Control Panel.
     
  2. Search Control Panel for Recovery.
     
  3. Select Recovery > Open System Restore > Next.
     
  4. Choose the restore point that is related to the problematic app, driver, or update, and then select Next > Finish.
     
SLN297920_en_US__2icon 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 can reset all its system files without affecting your personal data. Refresh does the following:

  • Reinstalls Windows 10 and keeps your personal files.
  • Removes apps and drivers you installed.
  • Removes changes that 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 SLN297920_en_US__1WinKey, 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 takes some time and your computer will restart.

 

Restore your Dell computer using Windows Push-Button Reset

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

SLN297920_en_US__2icon This is not a Dell factory image reset, this process reinstalls Windows 10 operating system, removes all your personal files, removes apps and drivers you installed, removes any changes that are made to settings, and removes any apps that Dell installed. Be sure you have backed up your files before beginning this task.

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

  1. Click Start SLN297920_en_US__1WinKey, 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 takes some time and your computer will restart.

 

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

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

SLN297920_en_US__2icon This step does not apply for devices that are shipped with less than 2 GB of memory and/or less than 32 GB of storage.
 
SLN297920_en_US__2icon This process formats the hard drive and removes all data. Be sure you have backed up your files before beginning this task.
  1. Click Start SLN297920_en_US__1WinKey, 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 takes 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.

  • At the Troubleshoot screen, select Factory Image Restore.

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

  •  

    Reinstall Windows 10 to the Dell factory image using recovery media

    SLN297920_en_US__2icon Customers who upgraded their device to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 must reinstall the original operating system that is provided with the computer and upgrade to Windows 10 again.
 
SLN297920_en_US__2icon Visit the Media Backup page to get information about creating recovery discs for your Dell computer or downloading an image online.
 
SLN297920_en_US__2icon This step does not apply for devices that are shipped with less than 2 GB of memory and/or less than 32 GB of storage.
 
SLN297920_en_US__2icon 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. 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 takes 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.


Videos

How to Restore or Reset Windows 10


Additional information and useful links

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


Resolution

 
SLN297920_en_US__13image(13480)  Out of warranty? No problem click here, enter your Service Tag and view our offers. 
 
SLN297920_en_US__14icon Currently, offers are only available for US, Canada, UK, and France PC Customers. Server and Storage not applicable.

 


Article Properties


Affected Product

Inspiron 3452, Inspiron 3455, Latitude 7390 2-in-1, Inspiron 3668, Vostro 3670, OptiPlex 7050, Inspiron 7580, Vostro 5370, XPS 8920, Inspiron 20 3064, OptiPlex 7060, Latitude 7290, Vostro 15 5568, Vostro 3470, Inspiron 24 5488, Inspiron 3264 AIO, Inspiron 24 3464, Vostro 5471, OptiPlex 3050 All In One, Latitude 5591, OptiPlex 7450 All In One, Latitude 5290 2-in-1, Latitude 5590, Latitude 7390, Vostro 3578, Vostro 15 3568, Latitude 7490, Inspiron 3252, Latitude 5491, Inspiron 3656, XPS 27 7760, Inspiron 3655, Inspiron 3452 AIO, OptiPlex 5250 All In One, Vostro 14 3468, Inspiron 3265, Inspiron 27 7775, OptiPlex 5050, Inspiron 3052, OptiPlex 3050, Latitude 3390 2-in-1, Inspiron 15 7572, OptiPlex 5060, Latitude 3590, OptiPlex 3060, Latitude 3490, Inspiron 3268, OptiPlex 7760 All In One

Last Published Date

20 Nov 2020

Version

2

Article Type

Solution

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