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If your Windows 10 PC is running slow or acting abnormally, or if you just want to sell it, you’ll want to perform a factory reset. Here’s how to use Command Prompt to factory reset your computer.

Note: Looking to factory reset your computer after updating? Here’s how to factory reset your Windows 11 PC.

RELATED: How to Factory Reset a Windows 11 PC

First, open Command Prompt. To do so, type “Command Prompt” in the Windows Search bar, and then click the Command Prompt app from the search results.

Command Prompt search result in Windows 10

In Command Prompt, type this command, and then press the Enter key.

systemreset --factoryreset

Factory reset command in command prompt

The Choose an Option menu will appear. Here, you can choose to either remove apps and settings while keeping your files, or you can remove everything. If you want to sell your laptop, you should remove everything.

Remove everything option when choosing a factory reset option

Next, decide whether you want to just remove your files, or remove your files and wipe the drive. The former is quicker but less secure, while the latter takes significantly longer (It took my laptop about six hours.) but is much more secure.

Do note that if you remove the files and clean the drive, it does make it more difficult for someone to recover those files—but it’s not impossible.

Remove files and clean the drive option

The next screen will let you know that the PC is ready to be reset. Click “Reset” to begin.

Reset button to factory reset your Windows 10 PC

When the factory reset process is complete, the initial setup screen will appear as if you’ve just taken it out of the box.

If you’re planning to sell your laptop, performing a factory reset isn’t the only step you need to be aware of. You’ll also want to back up your data, reinstall the operating system, and more—and this applies to more than just your computer. Here’s how to prepare a computer, tablet, or phone before selling it.

RELATED: How to Prepare a Computer, Tablet, or Phone Before Selling It

Profile Photo for Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer based in Tokyo, Japan, runs VGKAMI and ITEnterpriser, and spends what little free time he has learning Japanese.
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