It’s better for all of us if we reduce, reuse and recycle. In the spirit of that sentiment, we’re going to show you the easiest way to reset Windows 10 before the machine passes on to a new owner.
Even if you know the new user, it’s important to erase all the private data – photos, documents etc. – from the machine before it leaves your possession. Data is a precious commodity, and it’s challenging enough to keep it secure on the devices we own. A machine crammed with your data should not be in anyone else’s hands. Fortunately, it’s really easy to wipe a machine and install Windows 10 in one move.
Windows 10 has a built-in reset system that, with a few tweaks, will also clean the drive. This makes it far more unlikely that data retrieval would succeed.
- Open the Windows start menu and type Reset. Click on Reset this PC from the menu.
- Under Reset this PC, choose Get Started.
- Select Remove everything.
- Choose Local reinstall – if you’re curious about Cloud download, you can find our article about it here.
- Here’s the secret sauce. In the Additional settings box, choose Change settings.
- Flick the switch on the Clean data? option and press Confirm.
- Double check the settings and press Next.
- If you’re happy to proceed – and you’re certain there is a backup of all the data you’re about to erase – press Reset.
That’s it. Depending on how large the drive it, the reset can take a few hours. If you’re performing this on a laptop, make sure it’s plugged in, as your battery may not make it to the end of the process.
The machine will restart several times, but eventually you’ll have a shiny new copy of Windows 10, ready to pass on and extend the lifespan of the machine.