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How to reset a laptop?

The way to reset your laptop depends heavily on the operating system it runs and whether it boots up normally. Here’s a general guide considering different scenarios:

Windows 10/11:

  • If your laptop boots up normally:
  1. Go to Start > Settings > System > Recovery.
  2. Click “Reset this PC”.
  3. Choose between “Keep my files” (removes apps and settings but keeps your personal data) or “Remove everything” (wipes the entire drive, including personal data).
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the reset process.
  • If your laptop won’t boot up normally:
  1. Hold down Shift while clicking the Power button, then select “Restart”.
  2. Your laptop should boot into the Advanced Startup options.
  3. Choose “Troubleshoot” > “Reset this PC”.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the reset process.


  • If your laptop boots up normally:
  1. Back up your important data using Time Machine or another method.
  2. Restart your Mac while holding down Command (⌘) + R.
  3. This will boot your Mac into macOS Recovery.
  4. Select “Reinstall macOS” and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • If your laptop won’t boot up normally:
  1. Connect your Mac to another Mac using an appropriate cable (Thunderbolt or USB-C).
  2. Start the other Mac in Target Disk Mode (hold down T during startup).
  3. On your non-booting Mac, hold down Option (⌥) while powering on.
  4. Select the other Mac’s disk as the startup disk.
  5. Once booted, you can back up your data (if possible) and then erase and reinstall macOS using Disk Utility and Reinstall macOS.

Important notes:

  • Always back up your important data before resetting your laptop. This is crucial as the process usually erases all your personal files and settings.
  • The specific steps might differ slightly depending on your laptop model and operating system version. It’s recommended to consult your manufacturer’s website or user manual for detailed instructions specific to your device.
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