Applies to Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1

If you’re having problems with your Computer, you can try to restore, refresh, or reset it. Restoring your Computer is a way to undo recent system changes you’ve made. Refreshing your PC reinstalls Windows and keeps your personal files and settings. It also keeps the apps that came with your PC and the apps you installed from the Windows Store. Resetting your Computer reinstalls Windows but deletes your files, settings, and apps—except for the apps that came with your Computer.

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If you want to back up and restore your personal files using File History, see Set up a drive for File History If you want to restart your PC, see Shut down (turn off), sleep, or hibernate.

Restore your Computer to an earlier point in time

If you think an app or driver that you recently installed caused problems with your Computer, you can restore Windows back to an earlier point in time, called a restore point. System Restore doesn’t change your personal files, but it might remove recently installed apps and drivers.

Note

  • System Restore isn’t available for Windows RT 8.1.
  • Windows automatically creates a restore point when you install desktop apps and new Windows updates, if the last restore point is older than 7 days. You can also create a restore point manually at any time.

To restore your Computer to an earlier point in time

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you’re using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search.)
  2. Enter Control Panel in the search box, and tap or click Control Panel.
  3. Enter Recovery in the Control Panel search box, and then tap or click Recovery.
  4. Tap or click Open System Restore, and then follow the instructions.

Refresh your Computer without affecting your files

If your PC isn’t performing as well as it once did, and you don’t know why, you can refresh your PC without deleting any of your personal files or changing your settings.

Notes

  • You might be asked to insert discs or recovery media that came with your Computer. Check the info that came with your Computer to see if your Computer manufacturer provided these discs or media. In some cases, you might have created them when you first set up your Computer.
  • If you upgraded your Computer from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 and your Computer has a Windows 8 recovery partition, refreshing your Computer will restore Windows 8. You’ll need to upgrade to Windows 8.1 after the refresh has finished.

 

Warning

  • Apps you installed from websites and DVDs will be removed. Apps that came with your PC and apps you installed from the Windows Store will be reinstalled. Windows puts a list of removed apps on your desktop after refreshing your PC.

To refresh your Computer

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change Computer settings.
    (If you’re using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, click Settings, and then click Change Computer settings.)
  2. Tap or click Update and recovery, and then tap or click Recovery.
  3. Under Refresh your Computer without affecting your files, tap or click get started.
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen.

Remove everything and reinstall Windows

If you want to recycle your Computer, give it away, or start over with it, you can reset it completely.

Notes

  • You might be asked to insert discs or recovery media that came with your Computer. Check the info that came with your Computer to see if your Computer manufacturer provided these discs or media. In some cases, you might have created them when you first set up your Computer.
  • If you upgraded your Computer from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 and your Computer has a Windows 8 recovery partition, resetting your Computer will restore Windows 8. You’ll need to upgrade to Windows 8.1 after the reset has finished.

Warning

  • All of your personal files will be deleted and your settings will be reset. All apps that you installed will be removed. Only apps that came with your Computer will be reinstalled.

To reset your Computer

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you’re using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)
  2. Tap or click Update and recovery, and then tap or click Recovery.
  3. Under remove everything and reinstall Windows, tap or click get started.
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen.

Note

    • You’ll be asked to choose whether you want to erase data quickly or thoroughly. If you choose to erase data quickly, some data might be recoverable using special software. If you choose to erase data thoroughly, this will take longer but it makes recovering data less likely.

Post by:  windows.microsoft.com