Installation and Upgrade Reset Windows 11 PC

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Reset_banner.png

You can reset Windows 11 when your PC isn’t working well and it’s been a while since you installed an app, driver, or update.

Resetting reinstalls Windows 11, but lets you choose whether to keep your files or remove them, and then reinstalls Windows.

OptionWhat it does
Keep my files > Change settings > Preinstalled apps On
  • Reinstalls Windows 11.
  • Keeps all user accounts and personal files.
  • Removes apps and drivers you installed.
  • Removes changes you made to settings.
  • Restores any apps your PC manufacturer installed if your PC came with Windows 11.
Keep my files > Change settings > Preinstalled apps Off
  • Reinstalls Windows 11.
  • Keeps all user accounts and 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 11.
Remove everything
  • Reinstalls Windows 11.
  • Removes all user accounts and 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.)
Note: Remove everything > Change settings gives you two options.

Data erasure On removes files and cleans the drive. If you're planning to donate, recycle, or sell your PC, use this option. This might take an hour or two, but it makes it harder for other people to recover files you've removed.

Data erasure Off just removes files. It takes less time, but is less secure.

See also:
This tutorial will show you how to reset Windows 11 and Remove everything or Keep my files.

The $SysReset folder is created when a reset is performed. It contains a log folder that may be useful to troubleshoot a problem with resetting a PC. The $SysReset folder is safe to delete if you like.



Contents

  • Option One: Reset Windows 11 PC from Advanced Startup at Boot
  • Option Two: Reset Windows 11 PC from Settings in Windows 11





OPTION ONE

Reset Windows 11 PC from Advanced Startup at Boot


1 Boot to Advanced Startup.

2 Click/tap on Troubleshoot. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Windows11_Advanced_startup-1.png

3 Click/tap on Reset this PC. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Windows11_Advanced_startup-2.png

4 Go to step 5 (Keep my files) or step 6 (Remove everything) below for how you want to reset Windows 11.


 5. Reset Windows 11 and "Keep my files"

A) Click/tap on Keep my files. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Windows11_Advanced_startup_keep_my_files-1.png

B) Click/tap on Cloud download or Local reinstall (recommended) for how you would like to reinstall Windows 11. (see screenshots below)

You can use the Cloud download option to get Windows from the cloud to reinstall, instead of reusing the existing Windows files to construct a fresh copy. This can be a more reliable way to reinstall Windows and, depending on internet speed, can be faster too. To get a similar result before, you would have to download Windows and create a USB stick. But because this is built-in to Windows, it doesn’t require the extra steps of creating a USB stick to do the installation.


Reset_Windows11_Advanced_startup_keep_and_remove_everything-2.png

C) Click/tap on Reset when ready to reset Windows 11. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Windows11_Advanced_startup_keep_my_files-3.png

D) Resetting Windows 11 will now start. This will take a while to finish, and your PC will restart a few times during the process. (see screenshot below)

Resetting_PC.png

E) When resetting this PC has finished, you can dismiss the lock screen and sign in to Windows 11. (see screenshots below)

A Removed Apps.html file will be saved on your desktop. It will show a list of all apps removed by the reset.


Lock_screen.jpg
Sign-in_screen.jpg



 6. Reset Windows 11 and "Remove everything"

A) Click/tap on Remove everything. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Windows11_Advanced_startup_remove_everything-1.png

B) Click/tap on Cloud download or Local reinstall (recommended) for how you would like to reinstall Windows 11. (see screenshots below)

You can use the Cloud download option to get Windows from the cloud to reinstall, instead of reusing the existing Windows files to construct a fresh copy. This can be a more reliable way to reinstall Windows and, depending on internet speed, can be faster too. To get a similar result before, you would have to download Windows and create a USB stick. But because this is built-in to Windows, it doesn’t require the extra steps of creating a USB stick to do the installation.


Reset_Windows11_Advanced_startup_keep_and_remove_everything-2.png

C) If your PC has more than one drive (partition) on the Windows 11 disk, click/tap on Only the drive where Windows is installed or All drives for what you want.

If you select All drives, this will erase all partitions/volumes on the Windows system disk.

If you select Only the drive where Windows is installed, this will only erase the partition/volume Windows 11 is installed on.


Reset_Windows11_Advanced_startup_remove_everything-3.png

D) Click/tap on either Just remove my files or Fully clean the drive for how you want to clean your drive. (see screenshot below)

Just remove my files = This performs a quick format, and doesn't take long. Your files might be recoverable by someone else since they are only marked as deleted. You would use this option if you are keeping your PC.

Fully clean the drive = This performs a secure erase to fully clean your drive by overwriting your files so that they can't be easily recovered. This can take several hours to finish. You would want to do this option if you are recycling or selling your computer.


Reset_Windows11_Advanced_startup_remove_everything-4.png

E) Click/tap on Reset when ready to reset Windows 11. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Windows11_Advanced_startup_remove_everything-5.png

F) Resetting Windows 11 will now start. This will take a while to finish, and your PC will restart a few times during the process. (see screenshot below)

Resetting_PC.png

G) When resetting this PC has finished, select your country or region (ex: "United States"), and click/tap on Yes. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Windows11_Advanced_startup_remove_everything-6.jpg

H) Select the keyboard layout (ex: "US") you want, and click/tap on Yes. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Windows11_Advanced_startup_remove_everything-7.jpg

I) Select Add layout or Skip depending on if you want to add a second keyboard layout or not. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Windows11_Advanced_startup_remove_everything-8.jpg

J) Click/tap on Accept for the license agreement. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Windows11_Advanced_startup_remove_everything-9.jpg

K) You can now continue at step 16 in this tutorial (click on link) to finish setting up Windows 11.





OPTION TWO

Reset Windows 11 PC from Settings in Windows 11


1 Open Settings (WIn+I).

2 Click/tap on System on the left side, and click/tap on Recovery on the right side. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Windows11_Settings-1.png

3 Click/tap on the Reset PC button for Reset this PC on the right side under Recovery options. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Windows11_Settings-2.png

4 Go to step 5 (Keep my files) or step 6 (Remove everything) below for how you want to reset Windows 11.


 5. Reset Windows 11 and "Keep my files"

A) Click/tap on Keep my files. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Windows11_Settings_Keep_my_files-1.png

B) Click/tap on Cloud download or Local reinstall (recommended) for how you would like to reinstall Windows 11. (see screenshots below)

You can use the Cloud download option to get Windows from the cloud to reinstall, instead of reusing the existing Windows files to construct a fresh copy. This can be a more reliable way to reinstall Windows and, depending on internet speed, can be faster too. To get a similar result before, you would have to download Windows and create a USB stick. But because this is built-in to Windows, it doesn’t require the extra steps of creating a USB stick to do the installation.


Reset_Windows11_Settings_Keep_and_Remove_everything-2.png

C) Click/tap on Next. (see left screenshot below)

You can click/tap on Change settings if the "Current settings" are not correct. (see right screenshot below)


Reset_Windows11_Settings_Keep_my_files-3.png
Reset_Windows11_Settings_Keep_my_files-4.png

D) If prompted about a Recent update, click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Windows11_Settings_Keep_and_Remove_everythings-5.png

E) Click/tap on the View apps that will be removed link if wanted, and Reset when ready to reset Windows 11. (see screenshots below)

Reset_Windows11_Settings_Keep_my_files-6.png
Reset_Windows11_Settings_Keep_my_files-7.png

F) Resetting Windows 11 will now start. This will take a while to finish, and your PC will restart a few times during the process. (see screenshot below)

Resetting_PC.png

G) When resetting this PC has finished, you can dismiss the lock screen and sign in to Windows 11. (see screenshots below)

A Removed Apps.html file will be saved on your desktop. It will show a list of all apps removed by the reset.


Lock_screen.jpg
Sign-in_screen.jpg


 6. Reset Windows 11 and "Remove everything"

A) Click/tap on Remove everything. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Windows11_Settings_Remove_everything-1.png

B) Click/tap on Cloud download or Local reinstall (recommended) for how you would like to reinstall Windows 10. (see screenshots below)

You can use the Cloud download option to get Windows from the cloud to reinstall, instead of reusing the existing Windows files to construct a fresh copy. This can be a more reliable way to reinstall Windows and, depending on internet speed, can be faster too. To get a similar result before, you would have to download Windows and create a USB stick. But because this is built-in to Windows, it doesn’t require the extra steps of creating a USB stick to do the installation.


Reset_Windows11_Settings_Keep_and_Remove_everything-2.png

C) Click/tap on the Change settings link, turn on/off the settings you want, click/tap on Confirm, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshots below)

The Delete files from all drives setting will only be available if you have more than one drive (partition) on the Windows 11 disk.

Yes, all drives (on) will erase all partitions/volumes on the Windows system disk.

No, only, Windows drive (off) will only erase the partition/volume Windows is installed on.


"Clean data?" Just remove your files performs a quick format, and doesn't take long. Your files might be recoverable by someone else since they are only marked as deleted. You would use this option if you are keeping your PC.

"Clean data?" Clean the drive performs a secure erase to fully clean your drive by overwriting your files so that they can't be easily recovered. This can take several hours to finish. You would want to do this option if you are recycling or selling your computer.

Download Windows is the same setting as Cloud download (yes) or Local reinstall (no) from step 6B. It's just another opportunity to change this setting if wanted before starting the reset.


Reset_Windows11_Settings_Remove_everything-3.png
Reset_Windows11_Settings_Remove_everything-4.png
Reset_Windows11_Settings_Remove_everything-4b.png

D) If prompted about a Recent update, click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Windows11_Settings_Keep_and_Remove_everythings-5.png

E) Click/tap on Reset when ready to reset Windows 11. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Windows11_Settings_Remove_everything-6.png

F) Resetting Windows 11 will now start. This will take a while to finish, and your PC will restart a few times during the process. (see screenshot below)

Resetting_PC.png

G) When resetting this PC has finished, select your country or region (ex: "United States"), and click/tap on Yes. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Windows11_Advanced_startup_remove_everything-6.jpg

H) Select the keyboard layout (ex: "US") you want, and click/tap on Yes. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Windows11_Advanced_startup_remove_everything-7.jpg

I) Select Add layout or Skip depending on if you want to add a second keyboard layout or not. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Windows11_Advanced_startup_remove_everything-8.jpg

J) Click/tap on Accept for the license agreement. (see screenshot below)

Reset_Windows11_Advanced_startup_remove_everything-9.jpg

K) You can now continue at step 16 in this tutorial (click on link) to finish setting up Windows 11.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

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scrapheap

Banned
Local time
5:09 AM
Posts
60
Many screenshots, lots of work, very elegant. I do not know if I like reset, it does apparently reset drivers all the way.
It's (more easy) to to use a physical copy in a manner of resetting drivers and reinstall.
My computer has been badly screwed by "reset" in w10, besides it takes longer time than reinstall.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    w10, w11, linux

Brink

Administrator
Staff member
MVP
Thread Starter
Local time
4:09 PM
Posts
1,494
Many screenshots, lots of work, very elegant. I do not know if I like reset, it does apparently reset drivers all the way.
It's (more easy) to to use a physical copy in a manner of resetting drivers and reinstall.
My computer has been badly screwed by "reset" in w10, besides it takes longer time than reinstall.

I like to try a repair install below first to keep everything, and reset or clean install of Windows as a last resort.

 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
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