If you’ve just replaced your laptop PC and want to factory reset it before giving it away, or if you’ve gone through a major issue and need a fresh start, this article will help with your decision process.
How Long Does It Take To Factory Reset A Laptop?
It takes approximately 1-2 hours to factory reset a laptop but there are many factors that affect the final time.
Here a few factors that will help you plan for the amount of time it will take to factory reset your laptop:
- How old your PC is – The older the PC, the longer it will take.
- How many programs you have installed – The more programs installed on your laptop will make a difference in how long it takes.
- The number of hard drives installed – This also make a difference, If you have a PC with 4 hard drives installed, it will take longer to factory reset the PC. Similarly, if you have an SSD installed it may take even less time than a traditional HDD.
- How much RAM your laptop has – If you have 8GB or more of RAM installed on your computer, it will take less time to factory reset the computer than if you only have 2GB or less of RAM installed.
- What operating system (OS) your computer uses – If your laptop uses Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7, it will take longer to factory reset your laptop than if it uses a Macintosh OS.
Whether you need to back up all of your data before you factory reset the laptop. If you don’t backup your data before the factory reset, you wont be able to use programs you previously had installed.
How To Factory Reset Your Laptop
Depending on your computer type and the OS that it’s running, the factory reset process will differ slightly. If you have a laptop made by Apple, you will need to follow one set of instructions. If you have a PC laptop, there are several types of PC laptops and they all vary slightly as far as the reset process is concerned.
How To Factory Reset a PC
If you have a PC laptop, whether it’s an HP, Toshiba, Sony Vaio or any other brand of PC laptop, you can easily factory reset your computer. The factory reset will help you easily put the computer back to its original state.
The easiest way to factory reset a PC is to follow the steps below. Follow these steps to factory reset:
- Go to Settings>Update and Security> Recovery
- Click on the Get started button under Reset this PC.
- You will see two options here as follows:
- Keep my files (Recommended) – This option will reset your computer and then keep the files that you have saved.
- Remove everything – This option will delete everything from your computer and reset it back to the original state.
It’s usually best to keep your files when you factory reset a PC laptop. However, if you are giving the laptop away or selling it, the Remove everything option may be best for you.
- Click on Next then click on Reset to complete the process. This process doesn’t take very long depending on how many programs are installed on your laptop.
- After the reset is complete, you will have a laptop that is ready for another user to use or for you to begin using again.
While the factory reset process for PC laptops is easy, it’s also easy to accidentally delete files that you didn’t mean to delete. The whole reason that you want to factory reset your PC in the first place is that there were problems or issues with it and you need a clean slate.
Resetting with different brands and operating system will slightly vary. If you are having issues with your laptop, the above steps should help guide you through the process of factory resetting your PC laptop.
How To Factory Reset a Mac
If you have a Macintosh computer, whether it’s a MacBook Pro or an iMac, factory resetting it is very easy. The steps below will help guide you through the process of factory resetting a Mac laptop.
- Start by signing out of all your Apple accounts including itunes & Messages
- Restart your computer
- Press and hold Command+R on your keyboard during the restart
- Select “Disk Utility” and select your hard drive
- Select Erase to erase your hard drive and close the window
- Select on Re-install macOS and click continue
- When it’s finished, click on Restart and then restart your computer. This will put you back to how it was before doing a factory reset.
The above steps should make it clear that factory resetting a Mac is an easy process. However, if you have additional questions, the Apple website has several articles regarding how to factory reset your laptop.
After you have factory reset your laptop, you will need to install the programs back onto your laptop. If you backed up your data before factory resetting your laptop, hook up the backup drive and transfer the data back over to your computer.
The above steps should make it clear that factory resetting your laptop is very easy. However, if you have additional questions, the following tips can help you avoid problems while factory resetting your laptop.
- If you are selling or giving away your laptop and want to erase all of your data before giving it away, use the Remove everything option instead of the Keep my files option.
- If you have files that are important to you and want to save them, it’s best to back them up before factory resetting the laptop. Data can easily be backed up using an external hard drive or through other cloud storage methods.
- Be careful when agreeing to give your data over to a third-party company. For example, if you are signing up for social media accounts, the company may ask for permission to collect information about you and your personal data. Before agreeing to give them access to your information, read the fine print and ask about the company’s privacy policies.
- Make sure you have enough battery or keep the laptop plugged in when factory resetting. This should ensure that the computer doesn’t turn off while it is being reset.
- When factory resetting your laptop, it is best to have a solid internet connection. This will ensure that you can easily download the necessary programs back onto your computer. If you factory reset your laptop and don’t have a connection, you may experience difficulty getting the programs on to the computer.
- If you are having trouble finding files after factory resetting your laptop, try installing everything manually instead of using system restore or doing a complete factory reset. This should allow you to easily find and restore the missing files.
Wrapping It Up
How long it takes for a windows laptop to factory reset depends on several factors. For example, if the computer is under heavy use and has been open for a few years, it may take longer to factory reset than a laptop that has just been opened.
When you buy brand new laptops, the hard drive will have already been factory reset during manufacturing and should only take a few minutes to complete.
How long it takes for a Mac to factory reset varies greatly on how old and how much information is stored on the computer. It can take anywhere from 15 minutes for a Macbook Air to more than an hour for a mid-level MacBook Pro.