How to Reset Windows 10 without Losing your Files

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to reset Windows 10 without losing your files.

When you find your computer running slow or infected with malware and other viruses and you want to start fresh without losing your files, then you can reset Windows 10 to recover your computer without losing you data.

Using this option to reset will take your computer back to a state similar to when you turned it on for the first time. This will remove programs that didn’t come with your computer and some personal profile data, but not your documents and folders stored on the \User folder.

Also, data store in other folders and drives will be preserved.

Resetting your computer is less impactful than the clean install option, though it will require sufficient disk space. 

When you’re ready to reset your Windows 10 computer, follow the steps below:

Reset or Reinstall Windows 10

There are three options that allow you to reset your PC. Remember you’ll want to choose the option that allows you to reset your computer without losing your data.

Option 1

  • Go to the Control Panel and open the Recovery settings or select Start  > Settings  > Update & Security  > Recovery.
  • Under Reset this PC, select Get started.

Option 2

  • Restart your PC to get to the sign-in screen, then press and hold down the Shift key while you select the Power  icon > Restart in the lower-right corner of the screen.
  • After your computer restarts, select Troubleshoot > Reset this PC.

Option 3

  • Select Start , then press and hold down the Shift key while you select the Power  icon > Restart to restart your computer into Recovery Mode.
  • After your computer restarts, select Troubleshoot > Reset this PC.

Either of the three options above will work for you.

Next, choose the option to reset, but keep my file. This will remove apps and settings, but keeps your personal files and folders from the first time you started your computer.

Next, choose Cloud download to download and reinstall Windows.

This will require that you’re connected to the Internet and that your computer has enough free space.

If your PC doesn’t have sufficient space available to reset Windows 10, you’ll receive a notification. In this scenario, either free up additional space or use the steps in the next section to reinstall Windows 10.

After resetting Windows 10, your computer should restart multiple times. When done, you’ll be able to login similar to the first time when you first bought you PC.

That’s it!


This post showed you how to reset Windows 10 computer without losing your files. If you find any error above, please use the comment form below to report.