How to Set a Laptop Back to Factory Settings Without a Recovery Disc

Updated July 20, 2017

Over the past decade or so, laptop computer manufactures have stopped giving recovery discs to you in the box, leaving you without many options to restore your computer in case the worst happens. Luckily, most laptops come built with a partitioned hard drive, meaning one small portion is dedicated to storing all the original settings and files in case you need to revert to a safer time. With a few keystrokes, you can restore your laptop without using a recovery disc.

Turn on your computer. If it is on, restart the laptop.

Press the "F11" key during the initial boot screen. This works for almost all manufacturers, but the bottom of the screen will tell you what button is needed for System Recovery, so follow the prompt if "F11" does not work.

Select "Restore my hard drive to factory settings" and click "Start."

Let the restore finish, and the laptop will boot into Windows when it is finished.


Back up all of your files and folders before restoring, as this process will wipe them all out.

Things You'll Need

  • Laptop with a partitioned hard drive
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About the Author

Jesse Seilhan is an award-winning writer and a part of "The Orion" newspaper for Chico State as a student. He currently works in print, online, and anything else available, writing for both an indie fashion magazine and as a music/concert reviewer. Seilhan holds a steady job in computer repair and has been writing professionally since 2007, while finishing up a degree in journalism.