Software & AppsOperating SystemWindows

How To Reset a Dell Computer

Dell Laptop

Factory resetting a PC restores it to its original state. It clears the data on the drive and improves the PC’s overall performance. So, if there is an issue with your Dell PC, particularly software-related, you can fix it by resetting it. But the question now is, how do you reset a Dell computer? 

Quick Answer

Generally, there are different ways to reset a Dell computer. You can reset it by holding the power button for 15 to 20 seconds which resets it but doesn’t delete anything. Another way is to go through the Windows Settings or the Advanced Startup option, which wipes the drive of your Dell computer clean. 

Remember to back up your files before resetting your Dell computer. There is even a built-in option that lets you backup your files so you can restore your files after a reset if you want. 

Keep reading to learn more about the different methods to reset a Dell computer. 

Different Methods To Reset a Dell Computer 

When you reset your Dell computer, it deletes everything on your Dell computer, including documents, videos, photos, apps, and so on. So, in case there is a software error or virus on your Dell computer, resetting it should fix it.

But when you want to reset your computer, you have a few options at your disposal, depending on what you are trying to achieve. Below, we elaborate on three methods you can use to reset your Dell computer. 

Method #1: Using the Power Button  

One way you can reset your Dell computer is with the power button. This method is ideal when you don’t want to delete all the data on your computer. We recommend using this method when experiencing several software errors on your computer. 

What is actually happening in this method is that it drains the power in every component on your computer, which refreshes it. So, when you start up your computer, it starts afresh.  

Here’s how to reset a Dell computer using the power button.

  1. When your Dell computer is turned on, close all running apps
  2. Disconnect any peripherals like the keyboard, mouse, and so on. 
  3. Press and hold the power button for 10 to 15 seconds or until the computer turns off. 
  4. Allow the computer to set off for about 1 minute
  5. Turn the Dell computer back on by pressing the power button again. 

Method #2: Using Settings 

Another method to reset your Dell computer is by using the Settings app. Using this method gives you the option to clear all or parts of the data on your Dell computer.

However, it is advisable to backup all the important files from the computer before using this option. When you reset your Dell computer and delete your files, there is no way of recovering them. 

Here’s how to reset a Dell computer using the Settings app.

  1. Turn on your Dell computer and tap on the Windows icon at the bottom left corner of your screen. 
  2. Tap on the Settings app and click on “Update and Security”
  3. From the sidebar on the left side of your screen, tap on the “Recovery” option. 
  4. Under the “Reset” option, tap on the “Get Started” button. 
  5. You can then choose the option to keep your files or remove everything
  6. Tap on the option that best suits your need, and follow the prompts until you get to the reset button, which erases your hard drive. 

Method #3: Using the Advanced Startup Option

Another option you have is the advanced startup option. This method is particularly useful if you cannot get past your Dell computer’s boot window. However, this method will also wipe your Dell hard drive, so it is crucial that you backup your files before using this option. 

Here’s how to reset a Dell computer using the advanced boot option.

  1. Reboot your Dell computer and press the F12 key repeatedly to enter the advanced boot option when it is booting up. 
  2. Tap on “Troubleshoot”, and on the next page, choose “Reset your PC” and click on “Next”
  3. Wait for your Dell PC to reboot and start resetting your PC. When reset is complete, it will remove all the files on your computer.  

There are several third-party apps, like the MiniTool Power Data Recovery and Revoerit, that you can use to reset and recover data on your Dell computers.


Resetting a Dell computer is safe and sometimes an effective solution to solving specific issues on your device. Remember to back up your files to a drive before you reset your Dell computer essential files. You will lose all data if you don’t backup your files before resetting your computer. 

Resetting your Dell computer when experiencing issues such as hanging, slow booting, frequent software crashing, etc., is an excellent step before taking it to a technician. 

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