Computer Support Blog

Restore To Factory Settings – Guide for Windows 7

Restoring a computer to its factory settings will delete all personal files and any installed software applications or drivers that were not included in the original configuration of that computer. Your computer can be restored to its factory settings if any of the methods are applicable to you in the post.

Your Windows 7 computer is rarely quicker and easier to use than the day you purchased it from the shop. Over time, the accumulation of files, misconfigured settings, and other factors slow down performance and impacts programs. If you find that your applications don’t run the way you expect, and opening and saving files take longer than usual, you wouldn’t be the first to wish you could turn back the clock.

You may want to make sure that all of your personal information and applications are removed to protect your privacy in the case that you are planning to purchase a new computer and sell the old one.

Or there are some other reasons that you need to restore your Windows 7 computer to factory setting.

  • Firstly, you want to give or sell your computer to another, you can choose to factory reset Windows 7 so as to avoid privacy leaks.
  • Secondly, restore your computer to undo system changes you have made.
  • Thirdly, the computer has been used for a long time and you can choose to factory reset Windows 7 to delete files stored on it to get better performance.

What to Do Before Factory Reset Windows 7?

Before factory reset Windows 7, you need to back up all important files to an external hard drive to keep data safe, as factory reset will delete information on Windows 7 or delete everything on the system partition.

To back up files, the professional backup software – MiniTool ShadowMaker is strongly recommended.

MiniTool ShadowMaker is a backup tool which can help back up files, folders, partitions, disks and the operating system. It is also a USB clone tool to help to clone the USB drive to keep data safe.

How to Factory Reset Windows 7 Factory Reset Windows 7 Through Windows Installation Disc

Windows 7 does not have the built-in refresh and reset options which are provided in a newer Windows version. But you can still perform factory reset Windows 7 through reinstalling Windows 7 from the disc which is the original and factory-provided installation media.

And now, we will show you how to factory reset Windows 7 with step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Open Recovery

  1. Click Start button of Windows 7.
  2. Choose Control Panel in the pop-up window.
  3. Next, choose Recovery to continue.


Step 2: Choose advanced recovery method

  1. In the pop-up window, choose Advanced recovery methods under System Restore section to continue.
  2. Next, you are required to choose the Reinstall Windows (requires Windows installation disc) to continue. Please note the windows installation disc is original and factory-provided. However, if there is a recovery partition on your computer, you will see the option Return your computer to the Factory Condition. Thus, just choose it to continue.


Step 3: Back up files

In this step, Windows requires you to back up files because factory reset Windows 7 will delete everything on the system partitions of Windows 7. So you need to back up them to an external hard drive. However, if you have backed up files before, you need to skip them.

Step 4: Start to factory reset Windows 7

  1. After you have backed up all files, you can start to restore Windows 7 to factory settings.
  2. Click Restart to continue.


After all steps are finished, the factory reset Windows 7 process will begin and it will help you to restore Windows 7 to factory setting.

Factory Reset Windows 7 Through Recovery Option

In this part, I will show you the second way to factory restore Windows 7. As a matter of fact, a brand computer comes with a piece of built-in feature to help you to factory reset Windows 7. For example, the Dell Factory Image Restore in Dell laptop, Completely Restore System to Factory Default in Acer laptop, etc.

So if you are running a brand computer, you can try to find the built-in feature to restore Windows 7 to factory setting. And now, I will take Windows 7 factory reset Dell as an example. Please note instruction for factory reset Windows 7 may vary depending on different manufacturers.

Step 1: Enter Advanced Boot Options

Restart your computer and Press F8 continuously until you see the Advanced Boot Options. (The key may vary depending on different manufactures.)

Step 2: Choose Repair Your Computer

  1. In the Advanced Boot Options menu, please press the Down arrow on your keyboard to select the Repair Your Computer.
  2. Hit Enter to continue.
  3. Select the language settings and click Next to continue.
  4. Log in as an administrative user and click OK.

Step 3: Start to factory reset Windows 7

  1. In the pop-up window, chooseDell Factory Image Restoreto continue.
  2. Then you can follow the instruction to continue.
  3. Check the optionYes, reformat the hard drive and restore system software to factory conditions. ThenNext.

When the procedure is finished, you have successfully performed factory restore Windows 7. If you are not a Dell user, but other users like HP, Toshiba, Acer, etc, you can search online or visit its official site look for the detailed procedure to factory reset Windows 7.

Factory Reset Windows 7 Through System Image

At here, we will show you an available way to factory reset Windows 7. You can use the system image to restore your computer to the factory setting as long as you have created a system image when the computer is in its pure state.

Thus, in the following part, we will demonstrate how to factory reset Windows 7 without CD. There are two different way to do that.

  1. 1. Factory Reset Windows 7 with System Image Recovery

If you have created the system image with Backup and Restore, a Windows built-in tool, you can factory reset Windows 7 in WinRE. And we will show you the detailed procedure in the following part.

Step 1: Enter WinRE

  1. Restart your computer and press F8 key together to enter Advanced Boot Options
  2. Click Repair your computer to continue.

Step 2: Choose System Image Recovery

  1. In the popup window, you need to choose theSystem Image Recovery.
  2. Next, you can follow the wizard to restore your computer to factory setting.

When all steps are finished, you can successfully restore Windows 7 to factory setting.

2. Factory Reset Window 7 with MiniTool ShadowMaker

If you have created a system image with MiniTool ShadowMaker when the computer is in the pure state, you can also restore Windows 7 to factory setting with it.

In addition, to factory restore Windows 7 with MiniTool ShadowMaker, the MiniTool bootable media is required. So you need to create one first. And we will demonstrate the detailed procedure.

Step 1: Create bootable media and boot computer from it

  1. Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker and go to Tools
  2. Choose Media Builder features to create bootable media.
  3. Boot the computer from it.

Perhaps you are looking for:

  1. How to Build Boot CD/DVD Dis…a Builder?
  2. How to Boot from Burned MiniTool Bootable CD/DVD Dis…ash Drive?

Step 2: Restore Windows to factory setting

  1. After entering its main interface, you will see the backup image is listed here. Click Restore to continue.
  2. Choose backup version and click Next.
  3. Check the partitions to be restored from the backup images. Please note the MBR and Track 0 must be checked for a successful boot.
  4. Choose a target disk to restore. Since you need to factory restore Windows 7, you need to choose the original system disk and read the warning message carefully.
  5. Then you can restore the computer. As the system image is created when the operating system is in a pure status, you can restore Windows 7 to factory setting.

Just to Clarify

In conclusion, this article has demonstrated three reliable solutions to factory reset Windows 7. If you want to learn more about how to back up your Windows 7 computer before really starting the factory reset, check out the tips.

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