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Reset Windows 8

How to Reset Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

This will show you how to use a new feature in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 to reset your PC to completely start over back to default to remove all personal data, apps, and settings from the PC, and reinstall Windows. This is like doing a factory restore/recovery on a purchased computer or clean install, but a little faster.

Resetting your Windows 8 PC works like this:
  • The PC boots into the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE).
  • Windows RE erases and formats only the hard drive partition on which Windows 8 and your personal data (user folders) reside.
  • Windows RE installs a fresh copy of Windows 8.
  • The PC restarts into the newly installed copy of Windows 8.
You must have an administrator account on the computer to be able to reset Windows 8.

Note   Note

Which files will be affected?

When you reset your PC, the drive will be completely reset, and all your apps and files will be removed from it. Windows 8 will be reinstalled, and you'll need to change any settings and reinstall any apps that you want to get back after resetting. If you know if any files that you don't want to lose, then you should back those files up before starting the reset.

What if I have multiple drives?

You can choose whether to reset all hard drives or just the one with Windows 8 installed on it. Any drive that Windows 8 doesn't recognize, such as those with non-Windows operating systems, will not be affected.

warning   Warning
If you set UAC to Always notify me, then you will not be able to use the refresh and reset Windows 8 features. These features require UAC to be set to the default or lower level to work.






OPTION ONE
How to Reset Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 at Boot


1. Boot to the System Recovery Options using the same type of Windows 8 installation DVD or USB thumb drive, or ISO file if in a virtual machine that you currently have installed, and click/tap on the Reset your PC option. (see screenshot below)

Reset-A.jpg

2. Click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

Reset-B.jpg

3. If prompted, select and click/tap on a listed administrator account to sign in to it. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: Standard user accounts and domain accounts on the computer will not be listed.

Reset-C.jpg

A) Type in the password for the selected administrator account, and click/tap on Continue. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: If you need to change the keyboard layout (language), then do so before entering your password so it will be the same language that the password was set in and match.

Reset-D.jpg

4. If prompted, select the OS (ex: Windows 8) you want to reset. (see screenshot below)

OS.jpg.jpg

5. If prompted, select if you would like to remove all files from all drives or only the Windows 8 drive. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: You will only see this if you have more than one HDD or partition with a drive letter.

HDDs-1.jpg

6. If prompted, select if you would like to repartition the drives (remove all files) or keep the existing partitions. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: You will only see this if you have more than one partition on your Surface.

Repartition.png


7. Select how you want to have your personal files deleted in this current installation of Windows 8. (see screenshot below)

Note   Note
Just remove my files = Quick, but your files might be recoverable by someone else since they are only marked as deleted.

Fully clean the drive = Thorough, but this can take several hours since it does a secure erase to overwrite your files so that they can't be easily recovered.




Delete-A.jpg


8. Click/tap on Reset. (see screenshot below)

Reset-E.jpg


9. Windows 8 will now start resetting. (see screenshot below)

Reset-7.jpg


10. Enter your Windows 8 or 8.1 product key number below, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

Reset-8.jpg


11. Check the I accept the license terms for using Windows box, and click/tap on the Accept button. (see screenshot below)

Reset-9.jpg


12. From this point on, the steps are the same as doing a clean install. Go to and start at step 10 in the tutorial link below to finish resetting Windows 8.

Clean Install - Windows 8






OPTION TWO
Reset Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 from within Windows 8 and Windows 8.1


1. While logged in to an administrator account in Windows 8, insert or connect the same type of Windows 8 installation DVD or USB thumb drive, or ISO file if in a virtual machine that you currently have installed.

2. Do step 3 or 4 below depending on which option you would prefer to use.

3. Open the Control Panel (icons view), click/tap on the Recovery icon, click/tap on the If you're experiencing problems with your PC, you can refresh it in PC settings link, and go to step 5 or 6 below. (see screenshot below)

Recovery.jpg

4. Open PC settings, and do step 5 or 6 below for the Windows 8 you have installed.

5. If you have Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1

A) On the left side in PC settings, click/tap on Update & Recovery. (see screenshot below)

Windows_8.1_PC_settings-1.jpg

B) On the left side in Update & Recovery, click/tap on Recovery, click/tap on the Get started button under the Remove everything and reinstall Windowssection on the right side, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

Windows_8.1_PC_settings-2.jpg

6. If you have Windows 8 or Windows RT

A) Click/tap on General on the left side, click/tap on the Get started button under the Remove everything and reinstall Windows section on the right side, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

General-reset.jpg


7. If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes.


8. Click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

Reset-5.jpg

9. If prompted, select if you would like to remove all files from all drives or only the Windows 8 drive. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: You will only see this if you have more than one HDD or partition with a drive letter. If you like, click/tap on the Show me the list of drives that will be affected link to see them.

HDDs2.jpg

10. Select how you want to have your personal files deleted in this current installation of Windows 8. (see screenshot below)

Note   Note
Just remove my files = Quick, but your files might be recoverable by someone else since they are only marked as deleted.

Fully clean the drive = Thorough, but this can take several hours since it does a secure erase to overwrite your files so that they can't be easily recovered.




Delete-B.jpg

11. Click/tap on Reset. (see screenshot below)

Reset-6.jpg

12. Windows 8 or 8.1 will now start resetting. (see screenshot below)

Reset-7.jpg

13. Enter your Windows 8 or 8.1 product key number below, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

Reset-8.jpg

14. Check the I accept the license terms for using Windows box, and click/tap on the Accept button. (see screenshot below)

Reset-9.jpg


15. From this point on, the steps are the same as doing a clean install. Go to and start at step 10 in the tutorial link below to finish resetting Windows 8 or 8.1.

Clean Install - Windows 8


That's it,
Shawn


Related Tutorials


 

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Last edited by a moderator:

avada

Member
Member
then you're gonna be redoing alot of settings.

Well, I wanted a mostly clean slate, without having to mess with ntfs priviliges. Didn't quite work out. :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Ryzen 5 1600
    Motherboard
    Asus Prime B350-PLUS
    Memory
    G.SKILL Trident Z 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3000MHz F4-3000C15D-16GTZB
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 (Asus ENGTS450)
    PSU
    500w FSP

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
At least you got the clean slate part down. ;)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

techgirl

New Member
thank you so much brink ! actually,the problem with my pc is that i have three local accounts and none of it belongs to administrator.I don't exactly remember what changes i did.I couldn't install apps.It prompts me to enter admin. password.But the dialog box has the yes button disabled.I have tried every solution listed in the forum,but in vain ! :( can you help me out? I'm doomed !
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 8.1 pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    sony

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

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