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How to Factory Reset a Lenovo Laptop 2021

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What to Know

From the Windows Start icon, choose Settings > Update & Security > Recovery, and under Reset this PC, select Get Started. Choose between resetting while saving your files or deleting everything and reinstalling Windows.

This article explains how to factory reset a Lenovo laptop running on Windows 10. Lenovo offers two options for factory resetting your device: You can keep your files or remove them.

How to Reset Your Lenovo Laptop While Saving Files

You may opt to delete just your files or wipe all files and clean the hard drive to start from scratch. Whichever route you choose, resetting also includes a fresh installation of Windows on your Lenovo laptop. To preserve your documents and files when you reset, follow these steps.

If you have a Lenovo IdeaPad or ThinkPad laptop, you may have the option of using the NOVO button to enter the Lenovo OneKey Recovery mode to factory reset your device. Instead of a button, your laptop may have a recovery button pinhole that you activate with a paper clip.

From the Start menu, go to Settings > Update & Security.

Choose Recovery and under Reset this PC, select Get Started.

Choose Keep my files to save your documents.

You'll see a message saying This won't take long as the system readies your machine for a reset.

Next, you'll be prompted to review the changes, including removing all apps you've added, resetting the machine to system defaults, and reinstalling Windows. 

Click Reset to confirm and start the process.

Factory resetting your Lenovo laptop may take a long time. To ensure it goes smoothly, keep your laptop is plugged into a power source.

Even if you choose the reset option that preserves your files, it's best to first back up your files manually just in case something goes wrong. If you don't have a file backup system, consider using a cloud-based storage service or an external hard drive.

How to Perform a Hard Reset and Remove Files

If you'll be donating your laptop or you want to fix nagging issues with a clean slate, try a hard reset to wipe the machine of everything and sets it to zero.

From the Windows Start menu, choose Settings > Update & Security > Recovery.

Under Reset this PC, select Get Started > Removing everything.

If you'll be keeping your PC, choose Just remove my files.

This option is the faster of the two, but it's potentially less secure if you'll be giving your laptop away. You may want to opt for the longer but more thorough option to remove all files and clean the drive.

If you are donating your laptop or prefer to perform a more detailed reset, choose Remove everything > Remove files and clean the drive to delete all apps and custom settings.

If you choose this route, there's no way to walk it back. This choice resets your device to its original factory settings, which means the process will remove all applications and files. 

Whichever option you select, once you're ready to begin, click Reset.

Unsure about whether you need to reset your laptop or if a reboot could help? Dive deeper with this guide on the differences between rebooting vs. resetting your laptop.

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