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How Long Does It Take To Factory Reset a PC

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Resetting a PC usually means returning it to its factory default. A factory reset allows you to clear memory space and restore the PC’s operating system to its optimal working condition.

The reset is also a straightforward process. Things could, however, go awry if you do it wrong, potentially causing a break in your computer’s operating system (OS). 

You no longer have to worry about things going wrong when you want to perform a reset. In this guide, we will adequately discuss how long it takes to reset a PC, how you can reset your PC, and so much more.

Resetting Your PC

Resetting your PC typically means restoring it to its factory defaults. You can achieve this either by formatting or deleting all data, files, and settings on your computer to restore the default settings as it was.

All your personal information and configurations, settings, partitions, configurations, and programs will be wiped when you reset your PC. 

Now, you might think that this is a terrible idea at this juncture. Why would anyone want to do this and go back to zero point? It sounds awful at first, but thinking about it, you’ll see that it has its redeeming feature as it allows you to resolve otherwise crippling issues on your computer.

How Long Does It Take To Reset Your PC?

There is no direct answer for how long it takes to reset your PC. Under normal circumstances, it takes about 30 minutes to 3 hours for a PC to reset. However, in certain exceptional cases, it could potentially take up to a day for a PC to reset.

Depending on your PC’s OS (Windows, Mac OS, or Linux) and installed RAM, the time taken for your PC to reset will vary accordingly. 

The bottom line is that if you have a newer computer model with higher specs, resetting your PC won’t take long. However, the reverse is the case if you work on an older computer. The reset process could take up to hours to complete. 

Check out some of the significant factors that determine how fast or slow your PC is.

Amount of Data Contained on Your PC

One of the major factors that determine how long your PC will take to reset is the quantity of data you have stored on the computer. The greater the number of files, settings, folders, configurations, and programs on your computer, the longer the reset time.

Your PC’s Operating System

The intrinsic quality of your computer’s OS and its version is another determining factor for reset time. The older your OS, the slower the reset process.


Your computer’s central processing unit (CPU) and RAM determine its speed under normal operating conditions. The same conditions apply when you are resetting your PC. A higher spec PC, say a core i5 CPU with 3.3GHz processing speed and 8GB  RAM, will reset faster than a PC with a lower spec – core i3 CPU and 4GB RAM.

Your PC’s Hard Drive

Computers have two types of hard drive, either a Hard-disk drive (HDD) or a Solid-state drive (SSD). SSDs feature exponentially higher processing speed than the now outdated HDDs. So, if your computer uses an HDD, it’ll take longer for you to reset it than an SSD-equipped PC.

Additional Plugins and Accessories

The higher the number of external devices plugged into your PC, the longer the restoration process will take. So, ensure that you remove plugged keyboard(s), mouse, cards, external hard drives, etc. before you start the reset process.

How To Reset Your PC

Resetting your PC is relatively straightforward. However, the steps might vary depending on the manufacturer and the OS. 

For Windows OS

Instructions for resetting your PC are typically generic for all versions of the Windows OS.

Here’s how to reset your Windows PC:

  1. Access the “Windows Recovery” panel by searching “Reset this PC” in your search bar, then press the “Enter” button. 
  2. Alternatively, you can use the Windows + I shortcut keys to open your system settings. In your system settings, click on “Update & Security” > “Recovery.” 
  3. In the “Windows Recovery” panel, navigate to “Reset this PC header,” then select “Get Started.”
  4. Choose your preferred option in the new pop-up screen, either “Keep my files” or “Remove everything.”
  5. After selecting your preferred option, click on “Next.”
  6. You’ll be presented with a “Ready to reset this PC?” prompt in the new window. Check back to ensure that you’ve picked the right option in the previous menu, then click “Reset.” The reset will start shortly.

The “Keep my files” option will allow you to preserve your files and folders when your computer resets and restores to default. The “Remove everything” option clears all your files and folders and completely wipes the system. This option, however, will take a bit longer. It is recommended when you are dealing with viruses and file corruption.

For Mac OS

Resetting your Mac can be completed in simple, straightforward steps.

Here’s how to reset your Mac:

  1. Restart your PC. During the restart process, press the Command + R buttons simultaneously until the device comes on to access the Mac utility window.
  2. In the displayed macOS “Utilities” window, select “Disk utility.”
  3. In the new window, choose the Disc you want to format, then click “Erase.” This will reset your Mac PC.

We recommend that you backup all your important data before starting the reset process. An easy way to do this is by backing up your data on Apple’s cloud services.


In this guide, we’ve discussed how long it takes to reset a PC and how to go about it. The time to reset your PC can vary depending on its OS and hardware quality.

We hope we’ve been able to answer all your questions about resetting your PC, especially the duration and the relevant know-how, so that you can go back to using your computer without any glitches.

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