My PC cannot be reset to the factory settings

Repair Windows 10 with native tools

Windows reset: Resetting with and without data loss

Like Windows 8, Windows 10 also offers two functions that can be used to restore either the original files of the Windows installations or the factory settings. Call up the "Settings" via the start menu or the Win-I key combination and go to "Update and Security -> Recovery". Under “Reset this PC” click on “Let's go”.

If you then click on “Keep my files”, programs and settings will be deleted. Windows shows you which programs are affected in a list. However, your personal files, for example under "Documents", are retained. “Remove everything” is the radical cure and corresponds to a new installation. After that, you not only have to set up all programs again, but also restore your own files from a backup copy.



Technical background: Even if the reset functions of Windows 10 look similar to Windows 8, they work completely differently. Windows 8 has a recovery partition with a system image (WIM file). The content of the image is copied to the hard disk when the system is reset, the system files are replaced by the versions from the image. The result: You have to download and install all Windows updates again. This can only be avoided under Windows 8 if you create a backup for the refresh function yourself.

Windows 10, on the other hand, restores the files from the running system and you don't have to install the Windows updates again. However, this also has disadvantages: Since the Recimg.exe tool is missing, an individual recovery image including the programs you want cannot be easily created, as is the case with Windows 8. However, if that's what you want, you can use a free tool like AOMEI OneKey Recovery. You can use the tool to create a recovery image with the current system state in a separate partition. Shortly after starting the PC, you can use the F11 key to call up the recovery function and restore the saved status.

DISM: Perform repairs from the command line

The DISM tool provides functions for managing image files in WIM (Windows Imaging Format) format. You can also use it to check and repair the installed system. Press the key combination Win-X and click on "Command Prompt (Administrator)" in the menu. Execute two command lines one after the other:

Dism / Online / Cleanup-Image / ScanHealth

Dism / Online / Cleanup-Image / CheckHealth

If one of the commands reports errors, start the following command line:

Dism / Online / Cleanup-Image / RestoreHealth