HP laptops are popular and reliable. But if your laptop is infected with viruses or you want to sell it off, you would want to reset your HP laptop. Resetting laptops and computers to factory settings is not as common as smartphones. But it is a powerful feature and you can easily perform it on your Windows 8.1, 10, and 11 HP laptop.
1 What Does Reset Mean For Windows and HP Laptops?
2 Before You Reset Your Laptop, Backup Your Data
3 How To Factory Reset Your HP Laptop Running Windows
4 2. Factory Reset Your Windows 8 HP Laptop
What Does Reset Mean For Windows and HP Laptops?
There are two methods of resetting your HP laptop running Windows 8.1, 10, and 11 (For Windows 7, jump to the Windows 7 section). One is to use the Windows settings or recovery options to reset your PC and the other is the HP Recovery Manager.
Both perform the same thing: Reset your laptop. But their names are different.
On Windows, the reset option will delete everything on the system drive (usually C:) and only leave a Windows image with factory settings (if you choose the ‘Remove everything option).
Other drives aren’t deleted unless you choose to. You get an option where you can reformat just the Windows drive or the whole hard drive.
The same happens if you choose ‘System Recovery’ from HP Recovery Manager.
Windows 7, it doesn’t provide a reset option per se, but HP does. More on this is in the Windows 7 section.
Note: We are using the term ‘Reset’ which means deleting everything only on the system drive except the Windows image. On the other hand, ‘Factory Reset’ means that everything on the whole hard drive will be deleted except the Windows image. We’ll show you which settings lead to a factory reset because this option is hidden in the reset options. So, follow the instructions closely.
Before You Reset Your Laptop, Backup Your Data
It’s been established already that resetting your HP laptop deletes all the data on the system drive. So, if you have any data or files you don’t want to lose, now is the time to save them. Move your data manually to cloud storage or use a tool for backing up your data.
How To Factory Reset Your HP Laptop Running Windows
Before performing any of these methods, remove any unnecessary external devices such as printers, and scanners, from your computer or laptop. If it’s a laptop, plug in the power cord.
- Reset Your HP Laptop Running Windows 7 Factory Reset Your Windows 8 HP Laptop Reset Your HP Laptop Running Windows 10 or 11
1. Reset Your HP Laptop Running Windows 7
Reset options on Windows 7 are messy. There is no clear method to factory reset Windows 7. If you don’t want to go through the trouble, perform a fresh installation of Windows 7 on your HP laptop by reformatting your system drive (C:) and call it a day (See section 1.2). Because this will do exactly what a complete reset does.
Some methods are close to resetting a Windows 7 HP laptop. Follow below:
1.1 Reset Windows 7 with a System Image
If you create system images or system restore points regularly or set your computer to frequently create restore points, you can take your Windows back to a saved point.
If you created a system image when you installed Windows, you can take it back to that point with the saved system image (recovering). Not only that, the liberty of creating a system image is that you can save any point of your Windows state for later use.
So, you can install all of your necessary programs on Windows and then save a system image of that state. But the only problem here is that if you never created a system image, you have no state to go back to when your Windows is corrupted or infected.
Create a System Image on Windows 7. These steps are the same for Windows 8.1, 10, and 11 as well:
Go to Control Panel Type ‘backup’ in the search area that is at the top right corner. Select ‘Backup and Restore’. Choose ‘Create a System Image’ from the left side menu. It’ll open a wizard. Select the location where you want to save the system image. For a USB drive, select ‘on a hard disk’ and choose your USB drive. Depending on the size of the image saved, it will take some time. You should choose an external USB drive with a decent size for saving the system image. When the backup is done, you’ll get an option to create a System Repair Disc. You can use that disc to restore the system image even when your Windows is not booting. It’s recommended to perform this step. Click ‘Yes’. Select the drive you want to make the System Repair Disc. It could be a CD, DVD, or USB drive. (USB drives are recommended.) Then, select ‘Create’.
Recover Your Windows 7 with the System Image:
If you created a system image beforehand and your HP laptop is infected or corrupted, you can use it to take it back to the state where Windows was functioning properly.
Again, if you created a system image right after Windows installation or right after getting the HP laptop, you can use that image to practically reset your laptop.
Turn on your HP laptop and press F8 before Windows loads. Select ‘Repair Your Computer’ from the Advanced Boot Options. You may be asked to enter your Windows account password to access the ‘System Recovery Options’. You’ll see five options. Select ‘System Image Recovery’. A wizard will open. Click ‘Select a system image’. Insert the USB drive that has the system image and select it to initiate the recovery process.
Recover Your Windows 7 with the System Repair Disc:
If you created a System Repair Disc, you can recover your Windows even when it’s not booting.
Insert the System Repair Disc (USB or DVD). Turn on your computer and press any key on your keyboard when prompted. Select your language and click ‘Next’. Choose ‘Repair Your Computer’. Pick the Windows you want to repair and select ‘Restore your computer using a system image you created earlier’. Follow the on-screen instructions.
1.2 Factory Reset Windows 7 by Reformatting Your Computer
Reformatting means removing everything on your system drive, including the operating system, and then installing a new copy of Windows on it. You need a Windows installation USB or DVD to perform these steps:
Insert the Windows installation USB, DVD, or external hard drive. Turn on your laptop. Press any key when prompted to boot from the USB. Select your language and click ‘Next’. Press the ‘Install Now’ button. Read and accept the license terms. Choose ‘Custom (Advanced)’ to clean install Windows 7. Select the drive where you want to install Windows. Setup will show that all data on the drive will be lost. Confirm. Windows installation will begin.
1.3 Restore Your Windows 7 Computer to Factory Conditions Using HP Recovery Manager
HP laptops and computers come preloaded with HP Recovery Manager which may help factory reset your Windows 7. The success of this method depends on whether your system created a recovery partition with an image of your Windows 7.
To boot into HP Recovery Manager, turn on your laptop and press F11 once every second during the booting process. (In some HP laptops, you need to press ESC and F11.) Select ‘System Recovery’ from the options.
2. Factory Reset Your Windows 8 HP Laptop
Windows 8 was the first version of Windows that came with the reset option.
2.1 Factory Reset Your Windows 8.1 HP Laptop from Settings
To reset your HP laptop running Windows 8.1, follow these steps:
Move your mouse to the right corner of the screen to reveal the start options. Select ‘Settings’. Choose ‘Change PC Settings’. In the Settings window, select ‘Update and Recovery’. Then, select ‘Recovery’. In the Recovery settings, select the ‘Get Started’ button under ‘Remove everything and reinstall Windows’. This will reset your Windows 8 deleting your data.
2.2 Factory Reset Windows 8 and 8.1 When You Can’t Boot into Windows
Some issues can prevent your Windows from booting. In this case, resetting can help you fix the problem (when startup repair fails). Moreover, factory reset from the boot menu works fine as well. Follow these steps:
Turn on your computer and when you see the Windows logo, long-press the power button to turn it off. Repeat the above step. Power it on the third time. Now, Windows will load Automatic Repair. Once loaded, select ‘Advanced Options’. Choose ‘Troubleshoot’. Pick ‘Reset Your PC’.
2.3 Factory Reset Your Windows 8 With HP Recovery Manager
On Windows 8, HP Recovery Manager’s features are powerful as well and they can reset your PC. We’ll access HP Recovery Manager without booting Windows:
Turn on your HP laptop and press the F11 key once a second until the blue screen appears. If it asks for a keyboard layout, select one. You’ll see Windows Advanced Options. Choose ‘Troubleshoot’.
3. Reset Your HP Laptop Running Windows 10 or 11
The methods for factory resetting on Windows 10 are 11 are similar so we’ll cover both in the same section.
3.1 Windows 10 and 11 Factory Reset from Settings
The easiest way to reset your Windows 10 or 11 HP laptop is from Settings.
Go to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery (for Windows 10). Navigate to Settings > System > Recovery (for Windows 11). Select the option of ‘Reset this PC’.
3.2 Factory Reset Your HP Laptop Running Windows 10 or 11 When You Can’t Boot
Turn on the laptop and long-press the power button before the Windows logo appears. Repeat the above step. Power on the computer. Windows will load Automatic Repair. When you see the ‘Automatic Repair’ blue screen, choose ‘Advanced options’. Then, select ‘Troubleshoot’.
3.3 Factory Reset Windows 10 and 11 Using HP Recovery Manager After Logging In
HP laptops come with HP Recovery Manager, which is useful in performing many system tasks, including a factory reset. If you can log in to your Windows, follow these steps:
Open the Start menu, type ‘HP Recovery Manager’, and select the app. Choose ‘Windows Recovery Environment’.
3.4 Factory Reset Windows 10 and 11 with HP Recovery Manager When You Can’t Boot
If you can’t boot to Windows, reset your laptop with the below method:
Turn on your computer and press the F11 key until the blue screen appears. Select your keyboard layout (if asked). After this, select ‘Troubleshoot’. Pick ‘Recovery Manager’. When the HP Recovery Manager opens, choose ‘System Recovery’.
3.5 Factory Reset Windows 10 and 11 by Using the HP Cloud Recovery Tool
If the above methods don’t work, you can get the system resetting files online using the HP Cloud Recovery Tool for your HP laptop or computer. If you can’t boot to your HP computer, you may need another PC to get the HP Recovery Tool and save it to a USB drive. Currently, this tool supports HP products made in 2016 or later. Follow these steps:
Open Microsoft Store, search for ‘HP Cloud Recovery Tool’, and get the app. Or get the HP Cloud Recovery Tool from HP.
Factory resetting your HP laptop is useful when you want to get rid of viruses or corrupted files. It’s also done when you want to change the ownership of your laptop. Follow the above steps specific to the Windows version installed on your PC.