How To Factory Reset a Dell Laptop

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There is more than one way to perform a Dell laptop factory reset.

Dell XPS 13

The process of resetting a Dell laptop to its factory settings has its benefits, but it also may come with a few and drawbacks. On the one hand, factory restore can solve certain software issues and even address viruses or malware. But on the other hand, if not done correctly, you risk losing your files or even “bricking” your laptop.

This post will teach you how to factory reset a Dell laptop in Windows 10, Windows 8, and by using the Dell recovery partition. 

So How Do You Factory Reset a Dell Laptop? 

What does factory reset actually mean? Restoring your Dell laptop to its out-of-box state will delete stored data and reset any previously saved settings. So, before moving forward with the reset, make sure to backup all of the files you would like to keep. Backup can be created with the help of an external hard drive or by using cloud storage, such as Google Drive or Dropbox. But one of the easiest ways to backup your data is to create backup during the actual resetting process. 

Reset Your Dell Laptop in Windows 10

To use a Windows 10 restore method, please follow these steps:

  1. Access your desktop and type “Reset this PC” in the search bar (the lower-left corner of your desktop screen). 
  2. Click on “Reset this PC”. Alternatively, you can access the menu by going into Settings > Update & Security > Recovery.
  3. Once the Recovery window comes up, click on “Get Started.”
  4. Windows 10 reset process will begin. As mentioned above, you also save your data by opting for “Keep my Files” during the reset process. But if you created a backup beforehand, it is advised to select “Remove Everything” to clean the drive completely.
  5. Depending on your Windows 10 version, you might have two options to run the restore. If connected to the internet, you can opt for a “Cloud Download.” The cloud option is great if your local recovery partition on the drive is corrupted. Otherwise, you can select “Local Reinstall.” Please note that this option will work only if the local recovery partition is intact. 
  6. Moving forward, select “Clean Data” to wipe your storage. And if you intend to sell a used laptop to someone else, do not skip this step, as you do not want anyone to have access to your files.
  7. Lastly, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the reset process.

Dell Factory Reset in Windows 8

Even if you are still using Windows 8 on your Dell, it still can be reset, and the steps are pretty similar to those described above: 

  1. Click on the Start icon, opt for Settings, and select the Update & Security option.
  2. Then click on the “Get Started” button under the “Reset this PC” option to initiate the process.

But if your laptop happens to have a password, which you no longer remember, there is another way to perform a system restore. First, from the Welcome screen, restart your laptop while holding down the Shift key. This easy combo allows you to access advanced boot menu options. Once the menu comes on, select “Troubleshoot” and click on “Reset this PC.” Here you will erase all data, including the forgotten password, and reinstall Windows 8. 

How to Perform Factory Reset on Older Dell Models

Start by rebooting your laptop. Once the screen comes on, try the following:

  • Tap the F8 key as soon as the system restarts. This must be done even before the Dell logo comes on.
  • F8 should take you to the Advanced Boot Options menu. From here, select the “Repair Your Computer” option and click Enter. Select your language and then click “Next.” If prompted, enter your admin password and click “OK.” 
  • Head over to the “Dell Factory Image Restore” option. When asked, opt for “Yes, reformat the hard drive and restore system software to factory condition” and click “Next” again.
  •  The device factory reset process will begin. Make sure your Dell is connected to the power outlet during this time. Losing power may result in erasing your Windows or getting stuck in a restore loop. Once the reset is done, click on “Finish” to restart your laptop and configure Windows, as you would for the very first time.

In Conclusion

Resetting a used Dell laptop to its factory settings is the easiest way to clear viruses and unwanted programs. But it is important to create a backup before moving forward with the reset; otherwise, you risk losing your files, documents, and programs. Also, there is more than one way to perform a Dell reset, so you can always try an alternative if one of the methods does not work. And please, follow the guide step-by-step to avoid bricking your laptop or erasing an operative system altogether. 

Give your gadgets a new life

At Gadget Salvation, our mission is to contribute to the electronics reselling market as much as possible so that we extend the life of our gadgets and diminish waste. Our process is simple and seamless.

1

Answer a few questions and get an estimate.

2

Ship your gadget for free.

3

Get paid within two business days of our receiving your gadget.

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Marie B.

Hello, I'm the SEO Copywriter and Content Creator of Gadget Salvation. I love tech & sustainable fashion.