Does Factory Data Reset Erase Everything?

The factory reset can either keep your files intact or delete them, depending on the reset option you choose. For instance, when you click on “Reset your PC” option on Windows 10, your computer will be restored to default factory configuration. However, when you choose this option you will be asked whether you want keep your personal files or not. Thus while resetting PC, still you have an option keep your old files untouched and safe. But, note that installed programs and setting present on your computer will be wiped off completely. This is done to ensure that you have a fresh system.

Similarly, Windows 8 also offers two separate options namely “Refresh your PC” and “Reset your PC”. Here, Refresh your PC option will keep all your files intact while erasing settings and uninstalling apps. On the other side, the Reset your PC option will remove everything from your computer including files and apps.


What happens at the background/rear-end when you factory reset your Windows PC?

When you reset your computer to factory settings, the following things takes place,

  • The computer boots into Windows RE(Recovery Environment)
  • Then, the Windows RE wipes and formats the available partitions just before installing new copy of Windows OS
  • Finally, the computer restarts with the new copy of Windows

So, when you opt to keep your files as it is, the same process mentioned-above is carried out. But, before moving ahead with erasing the partition, the Windows RE examines the drive for the personal files. Then the Windows RE keeps these files separately and begins to install fresh copy of Windows OS. Thus whether you prefer to preserve your files or not, completely fresh installation takes place


While performing a factory reset, you are given complete control over whether you wish you keep your files or not. Further, its recommended that you perform a factory reset only if you are finding problems due to third-party apps or malware. However, after the system restore or factory reset, if you notice that any of your files are missing, then you can use File Recovery software. The application is exclusively developed to restore lost/deleted files from your computer.