How to Restore a Laptop to Original Settings

By Ty Arthur

After you've used your laptop for an extended period of time its hard drive may become filled with files you don't want or even infected with malicious virus programs downloaded from the Internet. If you don't want to go through the folders on your laptop and manually delete each unnecessary file you can restore the computer to its original factory settings instead. Restoring a laptop wipes out any existing data and entirely reinstalls the operating system.

Things You'll Need

  • Recovery disk

Step 1

Place the operating system recovery CD that came with your computer into the CD or DVD drive. Restart the computer.

Step 2

Wait for the computer manufacturer's logo to pop up on the screen. Press the keyboard key that brings up the recovery menu, which is usually "F2," "F8," or "Ctrl" and "F11" pressed simultaneously.

Step 3

Select the specific language you want the operating system to use from the menu at the top of the screen. Select "Next."

Step 4

Choose the option labeled "PC Restore," "Repair Your Computer" or something similar. Click "Next."

Step 5

Select "Restore" and then click "Enter" to start the process. Click "Restart" once the process has ended to boot the restored computer to its operating system.

Tips & Warnings

  • Depending on the specific brand and model of your laptop you may need to select different options to restore the computer to its original settings. Check the manual that came with your laptop to find the specific menu options you need to select.Some computer manufacturers include an icon in the Start menu for restoring the laptop to its original settings without having to use a separate recovery disk. Double-click the icon and follow the instructions on the screen to start the restore process.
  • All of the data on your laptop's hard drive will be permanently erased when you restore it to its original settings. Before starting the restore process you may want to save any data you still need to an external drive such as a USB flash storage device.

References & Resources