How To Wipe a Dell Laptop

Dell Laptop

It is a good idea to wipe all the data from your laptop if you plan to sell it or upgrade to a new system. Wiping your laptop not only gets rid of the malware but saves your data from being misused. The question at hand is how to wipe your dell laptop.

Quick Answer

The easiest way to wipe your Dell laptop is to scour the Reset this PC” option in the Windows search bar or the “System Settings”. Click the “Get Started” button, and choose whether you want to keep your files or not in the resulting tab. In the next tab, choose how you want to reinstall the Windows: “Cloud Download” or “Local Reinstall”. You can also wipe your dell laptop through Windows Recovery Environment or a third-party app.

In this article, I will discuss the different methods of wiping your Dell laptop with neat and clear instructions.

Method #1: Using Windows Settings

There could be many reasons why you can consider wiping your laptop. The method you should use to do so heavily depends on these reasons. If you simply want to get rid of any malware or delete all the data, resetting the PC should suffice. Here are the steps you need to follow for Windows 11.

  1. Connect your laptop to a power source.
  2. Navigate to the Windows start menu.
  3. Locate the “Settings” option and open it.
  4. Scroll down and find the “Recovery” tab. Click it.
  5. Under the “Recovery” options, you will see an option reading “Reset this PC”. Here, click the “Reset PC” button.
  6. It will open up a tab giving you two choices: “Keep your files” or “Remove everything”. Choosing the first option will allow you to keep your files while deleting the apps only. While the second option outright deletes everything.
  7. In the next tab, choose between “Cloud Download” or “Local Reinstall”. If you have a stable internet connection, you can select cloud download. Otherwise, choose the second option.

These steps should get the wiping started. If you have Windows 10, the steps may vary a little. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Click the Windows icon.
  2. Go to the settings by clicking the settings icon just above the power icon.
  3. Click the “Updates & Security” option in the last row in the “Settings” tab.
  4. In the sidebar, click on the “Recovery” tab.
  5. Follow the same procedure for Windows 11 described above from step #6 onwards.

The factory reset should start after this. Ensure you have a power source connected to your laptop during the process. Otherwise, the installation could go wrong.

Method #2: Using Windows Recovery Environment

If, by sheer bad luck, you’ve forgotten your Windows password, wiping via the settings is no longer an option. Then, you’ve to enter the Windows Recovery Environment. Here’s how.

  1. Turn on your laptop. 
  2. On the sign-in page, move your mouse to the power button.
  3. Press and hold the Shift key. Restart the laptop while holding the Shift key.
  4. A menu with several options will appear when the laptop restarts. Click on the “Troubleshoot” option on the menu. 
  5. Select the “Reset this PC” option from the next tab.
  6. Choose between “Keep your files” or “Remove everything”. The first option will save your data, while the second option will delete everything. After that, the PC will restart, and you will have to select from some other options.
  7. If you have chosen “Remove everything”, you will get two options: “Just remove my files” or “Fully clean the drive”. Select the second option only if you’re recycling your PC. Otherwise, the first one will suffice.
  8. In the next tab, select “Reset this PC”.

It should kick off the resetting process. It can take anywhere from 45 minutes to several hours at times. Again, ensure your laptop is connected to a power source during the process.

Method #3: Using Third-Party Apps

Factory reset works well for all practical purposes. It deletes all of your data from the drive, but someone can retrieve it using advanced data retrieval techniques. If you want to take no risks, I recommend a third-party tool (such as Dban) for wiping your drive. 

Such tools use tried and tested techniques to remove data from the drive in a way no one can access it. Many such wiping tools are available online as freeware, shareware, and premium software


In short, you can wipe your dell laptop using the “Reset this PC” option in the Windows settings. If you have forgotten your Windows password, you can simply open the Windows Recovery Environment and proceed. Also, if you want to be sure your data isn’t accessible to anyone, you can use third-party tools for wiping your data.

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