HOW DO I ERASE EVERYTHING FROM MY LAPTOP?

windows 10 factory reset, boot shortcuts

Knowing how to securely erase everything on your laptop yourself will give you peace of mind when selling your laptop and other electronics online. Please note we factory reset and format all devices as soon as we receive them for your safety and privacy.

As long as you are not replacing the motherboard, your Windows 10 activation key will still be saved to the system after a reset.

HOW TO FACTORY RESET WINDOWS

The easiest way to erase your data and start from scratch is by doing a Windows 10 factory reset, which is built directly into the operating system. Additional options can be found on Microsoft’s support page HERE.

  • Open your start menu in the bottom left of your taskbar, or by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard.
  • Type “RESET”, and click the corresponding result, which should be “RESET THIS PC”.
  • In the recovery window, under reset this PC, click the “GET STARTED” button and follow the onscreen prompts. You will have the option to either erase and wipe your drives, or to save specific programs and files.
  • Your computer will then restart, and the factory reset process will begin.

HOW TO RESET WINDOWS AND BOOT FROM A USB DRIVE

A more secure way to factory reset Windows is by booting off of a USB using the Windows 10 installation media. You may download the creation media from Microsoft’s own website HERE. You will need about an 8GB USB drive. The reason I say this is a more secure way to reset your laptop, is that during the reset process you will have the option to completely wipe and format the drives you have installed in your system. This will permanently erase all files and software. Another perk of resetting using this method, is that all the default bloatware that is typically installed with store bought laptops won’t be reinstalled via this method. After the installation media is finished downloading, open the program up and follow its instructions. They are pretty straightforward and will walk you through each step in creating a boot device.

Once you have the USB, you will need to press the corresponding boot menu key upon booting your laptop up with the USB plugged in. Make sure your device is powered off, and as soon as you power it on immediately start pressing the corresponding key. Here is a list of boot commands for common laptop brands:

  • Acer: F12
  • Alienware: F12
  • Asus: ESC
  • Dell: F12
  • HP: F9 or ESC
  • Lenovo: F12
  • MSI: F11
  • Samsung: F12
  • Toshiba: F12

You can also tell your system to boot from a USB by changing the advanced startup options. To get to this menu, it is very similar to the instructions we have provided previously on how to factory reset windows.

  • Open your start menu in the bottom left of your taskbar, or by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard.
  • Type “RESET”, and click the corresponding result, which should be “RESET THIS PC”.
  • In the recovery window, scroll down and under advanced startup, click the “RESET NOW” button and your device will restart. You may also get to this menu by searching for “CHANGE ADVANCED STARTUP OPTIONS” within your start bar.
  • Once your device restarts, you will be in a blue menu that says choose an option. You want to click “USE A DEVICE” and then click your corresponding USB device to boot from your USB. Your device will then boot from the USB, and you can then reinstall Windows from the creation tool you created previously.

In the future, we will go in-depth with more specific software solutions that are certified to securely erase all device from a hardware so that no information can be recovered. We want all of our customers to be ensured that their data is safe when sell your laptop online.