How To Dell Laptop Factory Reset A Step-by-step guide

Dell Laptop Factory Reset
Dell Laptop Factory Reset

If your laptop’s functionality has slowed down considerably over the past few weeks or days and this poor performance of your daily driver has been affecting your professional and personal life, this might be the right time for your Dell Laptop Factory Reset.

After a factory reset your Dell laptop will work substantially faster, almost similar to how it performed when it was originally bought.

Most of you may already know about the term factory reset and what it entails, but for those who are unaware of this term, Let’s start with the very basics.

What is a factory reset?

The term Factory reset refers to the process of removing all the user data from a device by restoring it to its original/factory settings. It is a software restore and is aimed towards resolving software-related issues a device may start experiencing, over time.

A factory reset is also referred to as a master reset or a hard reset.

Is a factory reset harmful?

A straightforward answer to this question would be, no it is in no way harmful for your dell laptop or any other electronic device.

A factory reset whether it’s a dell laptop factory reset or any other laptop/computer’s factory reset, can improve its performance in no time. It restores your device to its original software state.

A factory reset can be effective in removing extra junk or viruses that are present in your Dell laptop. Factory reset is not as daunting as it sounds and thankfully, due to new technologies like the cloud. The process can be quite straightforward and effortless.

It is a good practice to reset your dell laptop every few months or so, preferably 6-7 months. A timely Dell laptop factory reset will keep your device bloat-free, resulting in overall smooth performance.

Laptops should also be reset before they are sold or disposed of, a factory reset will prevent any new user from accessing the old data belonging to the previous owner. If a laptop is disposed of without factory reset, sensitive information can get stolen and misused. A factory reset wipes out the hard disk, completely.

How to save your data from being wiped out completely during a factory reset?

A dell laptop factory reset will remove all the user data, third-party applications, and software that you have installed on your laptop. Here is a guide for backing up your precious data

File Back-up

Resetting a laptop removes all the added data present on that laptop. The hard drive of that device is erased. It is essential to back up your data before you start the process of resetting a laptop.

You can use the windows backup utility that is present in your laptop by default, or you can use third-party software like Microsoft OneDrive.

Microsoft OneDrive can store all your data including personal and professional documents, photos, videos, and audio files.

Also Read: 5 Best Dell laptops for students | Buying Guide 2021

Once you are done resetting your device, all your data can be redownloaded from your one drive.

the newer versions of windows save all the data in one drive automatically, so you won’t have to worry about copying or transferring your data manually.

If you need help in backing up your data here is a step by step guide

How to Back-up Important data: complete procedure

After turning on your laptop, press the Windows key.

Type “Control panel” in the search bar and then press the enter key.

Click on the control panel in the search results and the control panel will be displayed on your screen.

In the control panel, click on the System and maintenance option.

Click on backup and restore center.

Select backup files under “backup files on your entire computer”.

Choose an option for “Where do you want to save your backup.”

Click next and choose the files you want to create a backup for.

Select save, and start the backup process.

When the backup is complete, your laptop will show a “backup complete” message.

After you have transferred all your important data securely, you are one step closer to your Dell laptop factory reset.

Remove all the devices connected to your laptop’s ports

Remove any external device such as a scanner, printer, speaker, USB, CD, or any other device that is connected to your laptop. Any devices that are connected to your laptop can interfere with its hard reset.

Dell Laptop factory reset: step by step process

Shut down your Dell laptop

Turn it on and while it’s starting press and hold the” F8” key.

Keep pressing the F8 key until an Advanced boot options menu pops up.

Choose the Repair your computer option from the menu by pressing the Enter key.

Select the language you want to choose and select Next.

Log in with your administrative credentials and select OK.

Select the Image Restore Dell Factory option.

Click Next and then select the check box for confirmation of your Dell laptop factory reset.

Click on the Next button.

After the completion of the restore operation, select Finish.

Your laptop will begin to restart.

Once your Dell laptop factory reset is complete and all the data on your hard drive is wiped out. Your laptop will start again.

The software will be restored to its original condition.

Now that the factory reset is completed. You can start redownloading your data.

Restoring Data

Press the Windows key and type “control panel” in the search bar.

Select system and maintenance and then press back up and restore center.

Select advanced restore.

Then select” files from the backup made on a different computer”, for what do you want to restore?

Click Next.

Select the backup you created earlier and press Next.

You’ll be asked to select the files and folders to restore.

Select the “Restore everything” option and click on Next.

After your data has been restored, download drivers and update them through Dell’s official website.

If you have gone through all the above-mentioned processes and your laptop is still not working well. There are a couple of other things you can try to improve its performance.

Replacing Mechanical Hard drive

Replace your traditional mechanical hard drive with a better-performing SSD. An SSD, also known as a Solid-state drive provides considerably better performance when compared to a regular hard drive. SSDs used to be very expensive a couple of years ago, but now they are available at very affordable prices. They are not only becoming cheaper and cheaper every single day; their performance is also skyrocketing.

Replacing a hard drive with an SSD is quite an easy process. and you can do it on your own if you prefer.

Otherwise, you can get it replaced professionally. After getting your spinning hard drive replaced with a solid-state drive, you’ll feel a boost in your laptop’s performance.

Many users also claim that after replacing the hard drive with an SSD, their laptops started working as they used to, when they were brand new.

De-cluttering your hard drive

Whenever you request to view a certain document or file from your computer, your computer starts looking through all the data that is present on it, to find that particular document.

The more data you have on your Dell laptop, the longer it’ll take your computer to find a document you requested.

You don’t necessarily have to proceed towards a Dell laptop factory reset to fix the speed of your Dell laptop. There are a couple of other ways to remove excess junk from your computer.

You can uninstall any application that is not useful to you anymore.

Just open the control panel and select “program uninstall”. Then uninstall all the extra applications, one by one.

You can also clear junk from your hard drive using third-party cleaning apps. These third-party applications can also detect any duplicate files for you, so you can select and delete them.

Out-dated Windows and system application

Many of us don’t update our devices right away whenever a new update is launched. It doesn’t matter if you hold off updating your Laptop Windows, for a couple of days but if it goes on for weeks and months, the performance of your laptop will get affected.

Most laptops automatically install these newer updates but if you have restricted your laptop from doing so, you should search for updates now and then, and install them manually.

It is also important to install the latest updates of your drivers and software.

Heavy usage

If your laptop doesn’t perform well when you are gaming or multi-tasking, it is simply not built for this kind of usage. Many people notice that their laptop starts stuttering or lagging whenever they are playing heavy games, or using big software.

If you plan on using your laptop for a couple more years, you should stop using very heavy software on it. Not every laptop is built with heavy users or gamers in mind.

You should also avoid opening and switching between too many tabs, at a time. Close all the extra tabs for a faster and smoother experience.


The performance of a laptop heavily depends upon the amount of RAM it has. The more RAM a laptop has, the faster its performance will be.

Just like you can update your SSD, the RAM of your laptop can also be increased.

RAM for Laptops is available easily on the market and they are quite affordable as well.

There are different kinds of RAM, so you may want to look for the one that will work better with the laptop you have.

Adding RAM to the laptop is quite a simple process and if you have some basic knowledge about the components of your laptop, you’ll be able to do it yourself.

If you are having trouble installing the RAM by yourself, you can always get it installed professionally.

Bottom Line

Not everyone has the resources to replace their older laptop with a newer one, just because it is not performing as well as it used to.

There are a couple of things you can try to improve the performance of your Dell laptop.

A Dell laptop factory reset might be a good solution for boosting your laptop’s performance. A timely factory reset of your laptop can save you a lot of time and money. Laptops don’t work well with loads of data stored inside, so cleaning your laptop’s hard drive once in a while will help your laptop in performing well, consistently.

Though a factory reset is very effective, it doesn’t necessarily work all the time.

If it doesn’t work well for your device, there are a couple of other things you can look into for improving your laptop’s performance such as adding an SSD, adding more RAM, Installing the latest updates for Windows and other software, decluttering your hard drive, and avoiding heavy usage.

Have you tried any of the methods mentioned in this article? Did you notice any improvement in your laptop’s performance after trying them?

Written by Jacob Glenn

Jacob has probably spent thousands of hours learning about displays in his free time and prior work experience. He now writes and manages PerfectMonitors to ensure it stays as the people's favorite resource.

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