How to Restore a ThinkPad to Factory Defaults

Updated July 20, 2017

The ThinkPad is a line of computers that was originally produced by IBM before the acquisition of IBM's personal computer division by Lenovo in 2005. ThinkPad computers have unique keyboard designs which feature a special grey or blue "ThinkVantage" button that allows the user to access help and support features. If pressed during system boot, this button accesses the emergency system restore feature built into all ThinkPads. Locating this button may be tricky because its label depends on the version of ThinkPad you have. It can labelled "ThinkPad," "Access IBM" or "ThinkVantage."

Restart your ThinkPad computer.

Press the "ThinkVantage" button as your system begins to boot, before you see the Windows loading screen.

Press "F8" to agree to the license agreement once you have reviewed it.

Select "Restore Factory Default" with the arrow keys, then press "Enter."

Wait as the system is reinstalled to its original factory settings. If your ThinkPad does not come with the files preinstalled on a partition, you will be prompted to insert CDs or DVDs as required.

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