When you’re experiencing certain technical issues with your laptop, the only remaining option might be to perform a factory reset. Any laptop can be restored to factory settings, including HP laptops.
If you’re wondering how to factory reset an HP laptop, there are a few methods to return it to its original state. For example, you can keep your files and perform only the reset, depending on what you intend to do with your laptop.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through all the steps you need to take to reset your laptop. Let’s get started!
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Reasons to Factory Reset a Laptop
There are several reasons why your laptop may need a factory reset:
- Your laptop isn’t working like it did before.
- Your laptop is too slow or frequently “freezes” for no obvious reason.
- You want to sell your laptop or give it away.
Resetting your HP laptop can help you improve its performance, general browsing experience, and even battery life. A reset also allows important updates to be made.
Related: If you’re an Apple user, discover how to force restart your Macbook.
Factory Reset an HP Laptop Using Windows Settings
We recommend this method if your laptop is able to perform normally after the reset (meaning you can turn it on and perform all operations without any technical issues). Here’s how to factory reset your HP laptop using Windows Settings:
- Make sure your laptop is plugged in. You don’t want it to run out of power during the reset.
- Now click the “Start” button and then click on “Settings.”
- Type “reset this PC” in the search box in Settings and choose this option when it appears.
- Go to the “Reset this PC section” and click on “Get started.”
- Now tap on “Keep my files” or “Remove everything,” depending on what you need to do.
- Answer a few questions about how to reset your HP laptop. Note: You might be asked whether you want to download Windows from the cloud (a download that requires up to 4 GB of your laptop storage).
- Now click “Reset” and wait. This process might take some time to complete.
Restoring HP Laptop to Factory Settings With Windows Recovery
If you can’t go to Settings for any reason (or your laptop isn’t working properly), the best way to factory reset an HP laptop is via the Windows Recovery method:
- Turn off your computer.
- Disconnect any devices like USB drives or printers that are attached to your laptop.
- Make sure your laptop is plugged in.
- Turn on your laptop and then press the F11 key repeatedly until the System Recovery starts.
- Now tap on “Troubleshoot.”
- Then choose “Reset this PC.”
- Either choose “Keep my files” or “Remove everything,” depending on what you want to do with your laptop. For example, if you want to sell your computer, you should probably choose “Remove everything.”
- You might be asked to find your recovery key ID and then enter it on this page. If your laptop isn’t working, find it using another device (usually another computer).
- Choose “Reset.”
Just like in the previous section, the resetting process may take some time. If your F11 key isn’t working, you might need to use other F keys (e.g., F9, F10).
What Is an HP Hard Reset?
Power reset (or hard reset) refers to the process of clearing the files from the computer’s drive. Hard reset only erases the memory data, meaning that your personal information will still remain on your computer.
A hard reset is suggested in the following cases:
- Windows isn’t responding.
- The laptop’s software keeps freezing.
- Your HP laptop is showing a blank display.
- USB drives and other external devices keep locking up.
How to Hard Reset an HP Laptop
- Unplug your laptop.
- Find the battery compartment on the back of the laptop.
- Use the screwdriver to take off the cover.
- Remove the battery (be careful when doing this).
- Now press and hold the power button for at least 15 seconds.
- Replace the battery and use the screwdriver to tighten the battery compartment.
- Press the power button to reset the HP laptop.
- Choose “Start Windows Normally.”
- Press “Enter” when you see the startup menu.
If the reset was successful, reconnect the external devices to your HP laptop.
Related article: How to Split Screen on Windows
Avoid Factory Resets by Keeping Your Windows Drivers Up to Date
All computers have external devices that require code to allow the software to work properly on your computer. After some time, the drivers of these devices will need to be updated. If not, they will perform poorly — and your computer will require a reset.
Windows automatically updates most of the drivers by default. However, some drivers will need to be updated manually. You can do this yourself or find a professional to do it for you.
How to Manually Update Your Drivers
Once you know which drivers need an update, you’ll need the model and the serial number of the device. Use this data to search the manufacturer’s website when looking for the driver.
When you find the right one, go to Window’s Device Manager to find the device that needs updating. Right-click on the device and select “update driver.”
The Bottom Line
Now that you know how to factory reset an HP laptop, you can easily go through this process to improve the performance of your computer. However, resetting doesn’t always have to be about performance: If you’re selling it or giving it way, you should know how to reset your HP computer to factory settings.
Once you’ve got your laptop’s performance covered, you can also start improving your memory. Check out some of the best courses on improving your memory and learning skills!
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Tamara is the social media manager and a writer for Productivity Spot. Her main areas of expertise include writing in-depth how-to articles, developing email campaigns, and social media management in the tech industry. She is also the social media manager for Spreadsheet Point, Hackr.io, and VentureKite, among others.