How to Restore a Toshiba Laptop to the Factory Settings

Updated February 21, 2017

Sometimes the only way to cure a laptop problem is to restore the computer to its factory settings. A factory reset rolls back all changes made to the system since it left the assembly lines, making it feel like a new computer, and giving you a clean slate. Although a factory reset will usually solve the problem with your Toshiba laptop, you should remember that the measure is a final resort, and should only be considered when everything else has failed, such as a System Restore, which only restores the system's registry files. A System Restore essentially takes the computer back to a previous date when all systems were working normally. The system restore process does not install the operating system and does not affect user data, whereas a factory reset will install a new OS, and erase all information from that drive.

Back up all your data to external media before you begin the process. If you make a mistake during the process, your laptop may not be able to turn on or load the operating system, so copy valuable information to media where you can retrieve it, even if your laptop malfunctions.

Turn on your system and wait for it to finish loading Windows and start-up programs. You can tell when the operating system has loaded, and start-up programs have been initiated, by the HDD (hard disk drive) light.

Insert the system disk when the hard disk light stops blinking, signalling that the processor has finished accessing the hard disk, and that the system is idle. Shut down your laptop after you insert the disc. You do not have to wait for the computer to access data from the disc.

Turn on the laptop again. Keep pressing the "C" key continuously as the system boots. This will enable the laptop to boot from the disk. Once the disk is accessed, the laptop will show the message "Loading Files;" begin the factory reset process by always selecting the default option that pops up. You can also use the "F12" key to boot from the disk. Highlight the CD/DVD option and press "Enter" to begin the restore process.

Follow the on-screen instructions until the process finishes. Restoring a Toshiba laptop back to factory settings may take 30 to 45 minutes. Unless you terminate a process by pressing "Cancel," your laptop will be rolled back to factory defaults, when the operating system installs completely.


If you do not have your laptop's system disk, you might have to contact Toshiba customer care. Even if you have a disk made for some other Toshiba model, it will not work for your laptop. You should make a disk specific to your model, and keep it in a safe place.


Do not attempt to revert your laptop to factory settings unless you have tried everything else, and there is still a problem. A factory reset wipes clean your laptop, and all your information and operating system options and customisations from that drive will be lost.

Things You'll Need

  • Toshiba laptop
  • System disk
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About the Author

Shoaib Khan began writing in 2006, while working as an advertising professional. His work has appeared in marketing and business communication materials, including print advertisements, billboards and product brochures. Khan completed his Master of Accounting degree at the University of New Mexico.