How to Reset HP Laptop Back to Factory Settings

Are you searching for how to reset HP laptop, looking for a way to breathe life into your slow, sluggish, blue screen loving laptop? It would be nice to have your HP laptop perform as if it came out of the box, right? If this sounds familiar, you found the right article as we will cover everything needed in order to reset your HP laptop back to factory settings.

Why Would I Want to Reset My HP Laptop?

If you need to give your HP laptop a new start, resetting it back to factory condition is a fast and easy solution. You can spend hours tinkering with settings, cleaning up files, uninstalling programs, defragmenting your hard drive… the list goes on. Sometimes it is just easier to wipe it clean and start over from scratch – hence factory reset.

Restoring your HP laptop to its like-new state can be handy for a number of reasons. Maybe you have had performance problems with your laptop, a virus, malware, or you just want to sell it and remove all your programs, files, passwords, and other sensitive information. No matter your situation, we’ll cover everything in more detail to get you on the right path.

How to Reset a HP Laptop Without Recovery CD’s

Newer HP laptops do not come with recovery discs. In these situations, the recovery partition installed by the manufacturer is your friend, making the process of resetting an HP laptop without recovery discs super simple.

A recovery partition is a hidden section of your hard drive that securely stores a complete copy of the Windows operating system, drivers, and all required programs to make your HP laptop work. In short, HP took a recovery disc and created a digital copy of it directly on your hard drive knowing at some point you would need to refresh or recover your laptop to the exact state it was in the first day you took it out of the box.

As you follow the steps below, please note the amount of time it takes for the recovery process to finish will depend on your computer processor speed, memory, and a few other factors that vary by make/model. Likewise, the Recovery Manager may have a slightly different look, feel, or order of operations as well. Let’s focus on how to reset HP laptop without restore discs:

  1. Backup any data you do not want to lose. This will probably include your entire User folder that contains documents, photos, music, and video. Most Recovery Managers offer a backup option, but it is always a good idea to perform a backup ahead of time, possibly to a USB drive or cloud solution like DropBox.
  2. Take an inventory of the programs you have installed on your HP laptop, and any special settings like screen resolution and font size.
  3. Make sure your power adapter is plugged in and charging your laptop. Also check your internet connection to ensure it is active.
  4. Turn on or restart your HP laptop and repeatedly press “F11” to boot into the Recovery Manager. For some computers, you may need to press another F-key. As the laptop boots up, take notice of the bottom left/right corners for indication of the right key to press etc. If you do not see the recovery message, you may need to enable it in your BIOS, or, your laptop may not have a recovery partition. In this case you may need to contact the manufacturer.
  5. Now that you are in the Recovery Manager, select “System Recovery” from the “I Need Help Immediately” section in the left pane. Click “Back Up Your Files (Recommended)” and select “Next”. You already took a backup in Step 1, but it doesn’t hurt to have an extra backup just in case.
  6. From here, simply follow the onscreen prompts to finish the HP laptop factory reset and setup Windows. The entire process will take around and hour. During refresh, your laptop will restart several times. Do not turn off the power or interrupt the process in any way until you see a message indicating the restore is complete.

Resetting an HP Laptop With Recovery CD’s

Some older laptops come with recovery discs. If you have your original HP manufacturer recovery discs, resetting your HP laptop will be a cinch. Follow steps 1 – 3 above, then:

  1. Insert the recovery disc into your CD drive and restart your computer
  2. The HP Recover Manager will eventually display on the screen
  3. Click the “System Recovery” link, then “Factory Reset”
  4. You will then be prompted to backup your files which is highly recommended. Follow the onscreen instructions to archive your files
  5. The HP factory reset process will start and may take a while to complete. You may be asked to insert additional restore discs as the process enters each phase. Follow the onscreen instructions accordingly until you receive the “Restoration Complete” screen. Click “Finish”. Your computer will now restart and the Windows Setup Process will now be displayed.

Perform an HP System Recovery Directly in Windows 7, 8, and 10

Before you get started, make sure you disconnect all devices that did not come with your computer like thumb drives, printers, external disc drives, etc. To reset your HP laptop directly in Windows 7, 8, or even Windows 10:

  1. Click the Start Menu, then Recover Manager twice
  2. You may be prompted to allow access – click “Yes”
  3. The Recovery Manager console should now open.
  4. Click the System Recovery link
  5. You will now receive an option “Would you like to restore your computer to its original factory condition?”. Click “Yes”, then the “Next” button
  6. Your HP laptop will restart and open another recovery window
  7. Follow the onscreen steps to backup your files, similar to the steps above

Well, that is the end of this tutorial. I hope this helped you reset your HP laptop back to its factory settings. Watch the video above and please remember to share this article if you found it helpful.

Steve Author