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There is no point in going around problems. Better to be brave and face them hard-nosed: if your PC continues to “give trouble”, to freeze and crash any application, you do not have to wait for the situation to get even worse to intervene. Take a few hours of free time and restore it to a previous condition, or directly to the factory settings.

I know, maybe I’m talking in terms that are a little too technical, but don’t worry: I assure you that, translated into practical deeds, restoring your computer as new is really very simple. How do you say? Are you confident about what to do but don’t have the faintest idea where to put your hands and how to do it? Well, but you don’t have to worry, I can explain to you, step by step, how to restore your computer and bring it back to a situation similar to the one in which it was just purchased.

With today’s guide I’ll go in fact to show you the procedure best suited to the condition of your computer to be put into practice to succeed in this small-big “enterprise”. Come on, I know you can do it on your own. Roll up your sleeves and get to work right away!


Getting started

Restore computer as new

Restore computer as new means, in practice, completely erase the contents of the disk (or disks) and proceed with a new installation of the operating system in use. For this reason, in order to avoid unexpected data loss, I recommend that you make a preliminary data backup , to keep in a safe place and restore later on your current PC or on a new computer (if you have intention to get rid of what you already have).

In this regard, you can take several ways: the fastest, without a shadow of a doubt, is to use the tools available “standard” in the operating system and backup your data to an external disk .

If you are using Windows 10 , you can use the File History , which you can call from the Start & gt; Settings & gt; Update and security & gt; Backup . On Windows 8.1 a very similar solution is available in the Start & gt; Control panel & gt; System and security & gt; Backup and restore .

The default backup tool of macOS , on the other hand, is called Time Machine and can be configured and started from the section System Preferences & gt; Time Machine of the Mac. To learn more about how to use the data saving tools integrated in Windows 10 and macOS , consult the in-depth guides available on my site.

If you want to proceed in a more “precise” way, you can consider strategies such as manual copying of files, or use special programs designed specifically for backup: in this regard, you can read my generic guide on how to backup your computer , in which I have illustrated the various ways to go.

Furthermore, if you are preparing to format a computer equipped with Windows , I suggest you download the specific drivers of the hardware devices installed in the PC, especially if you do not intend to use the recovery tools provided of the manufacturer (which, on the other hand, automatically install the drivers present in the first place computer).

Although most drivers are installed automatically from the Internet, some components of the computer (for example the dedicated video cards , the external sound cards , some Wi-Fi network cards, printers, etc.) may require the use of specific software, which Windows may not be able to recover on its own.

For this reason, I invite you to connect to the Internet site of the PC manufacturer or to the hardware components of the same and to obtain the drivers you may need. If you need help, just follow the instructions I gave you in mine tutorial dedicated to driver installation .

If even this is not enough, I would like to point out the links to some of my specific guides, in which I showed you how to obtain the drivers of video cards, network cards, printers and other hardware components marketed by the most famous manufacturers in the world.

To proceed with the download of the drivers, all you have to do is find the exact model of your product and download the software version that best suits your operating system (pay particular attention to the distinction between x86 and x64, i.e. between drivers for 32-bit systems and drivers for 64-bit systems ).

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On Mac , with particular exceptions, this step is not necessary, as the drivers needed to operate the computer’s internal peripherals (and most of the external ones) are already available in macOS .

How to reset compute r as new without CD

How to restore computer as new without CD

If your PC is equipped with Windows 10 , returning it to the factory state will be really a breeze! Everything you need is already included with the operating system, so you won’t need any CD or additional installation media.

To get started, click on the Windows Start button (the flag icon located in the lower left corner of the screen), click on the gear symbol or on the Settings item and open the Update and security section, located in the screen that opens on the desktop.

Now, click on the Recovery resident on the left, press the Start button located under the heading Reset your PC and, to completely format the computer by erase the entire contents of the disk ( including personal files), click on the Remove All button. Then, indicate whether to delete only your personal files or whether to perform a complete cleaning of the drive, thus also deleting the contents of the other partitions of the disk, by clicking on the appropriate option.

After this step , wait for some preliminary checks to be performed and indicate the Windows 10 installation method you prefer: from the cloud or local . In the first case, the most up-to-date version of Windows will be downloaded from the Internet and, later, installed on the computer; in the second case, the same version of Windows already present will be restored.

After expressing your preference, click on the Next button, wait for the completion of the additional checks and, when you are ready, click on the Reset button to format the disk and reinstall Windows. Note that, if you have chosen to proceed with the installation from the cloud, the procedure could take up to a few hours, depending on the speed of your Internet connection.

Once the installation is complete, you will have to reconfigure Windows and, if necessary, install specific drivers for the computer or for the components connected to it; for further information, take a look at my guide on how to format Windows 10 .

How to restore computer as new without CD

Windows 8.1 also provides a simplified recovery procedure, which can be completed without the aid of an external installation media: to proceed, press the Win key combination + I to recall the settings charm, click on the Change PC settings item located at the bottom of the panel that appears and select the Update and restore item, visible on the left.

Similarly, open the Recovery section and click on the To start button under the heading Remove everything and reinstall Windows < / strong>, in m I want to start the computer recovery procedure with deletion of personal files .

Now, wait for Windows 8.1 to carry out the necessary checks and choose whether to proceed by deleting only the files on the partition Windows, or whether to completely clean the disk (I recommend you go this route if you want to resell the computer). Finally, click on the Reset button to proceed with formatting the disk (or disks) and reinstalling Windows 8.1.

Once the recovery is complete, you will need to reconfigure your computer and, if necessary, with the installation of the drivers downloaded previously . For further information, I refer you to my tutorial on how to format Windows 8 without CD .

Note : if you are no longer able to access Windows, you can restore by creating a USB key containing the operating system files, from which to start the PC to be formatted. You can find more information in my guides on how to install Windows 10 from USB and how to install Windows 8 from USB .

Restore notebook as new

Restore computer as new

If yours is a notebook , there is a good chance that you can restore it to the factory state using the recovery tools that manufacturers usually load to a hidden partition on the disk. These tools allow you to carry out emergency and diagnostic operations on the computer, including restoring it to its initial state.

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Generally, once the formatting operations have been completed, the notebook is restored to its factory state and installed , in a completely automatic way, the same drivers and programs present at the first start of the same.

To access the recovery tools integrated in the notebook (if present), you must press a precise key combination when starting your computer. Each manufacturer uses a different combination, so let me point you to the most common ones.

  • HP : Immediately after switching on, press and hold the key. F11 , select the Recovery Manager item (or Troubleshooting> Recovery Manager ) and click on the System Recovery button. For more information, visit the HP website or see my specific guide on recovering HP computers .
  • < li> Lenovo : press the Enter key immediately after switching on to interrupt the computer boot sequence, then press the Alt + key combination F11 or F11 to access the emergency utility. Finally, choose the Lenovo Product Recovery or Factory Recovery option and follow the instructions given to you. More info here .

  • ASUS : After turning on the computer, press the F9 key (or the key combination Alt + F9 ) and, when you reach the boot options, choose the Windows Setup [EMS Enabled] item. Then, the recovery mode you prefer (eg. Restore Windows to the entire disk ) and follow the instructions given to you. More info here .
  • DELL : turn on the computer, press the F8 key several times , click on Repair your computer and choose you want to start the Dell Backup & amp; Restore . Then, choose the Restore initial image option and follow the procedure that is proposed to you. More info here .

To find out more, I refer you to my guide on how to format a computer from the BIOS , in which I have given you additional details about the above type of recovery.

How to restore your Mac as new

How to restore your Mac as new

The steps to be taken to be able to restore the Mac at its initial settings they are far from difficult. Just like Windows 10, macOS also provides the possibility to format the computer leaving your personal data unchanged but, if you are here, I assume that you want to start all over again and delete them too: before proceeding, therefore, remember to create a copy. backup, following the instructions I gave you in the initial chapter of this guide.

However, to be able to completely format your Mac and restore it to its initial state, you must access the macOS Utility , through which you can re-initialize the disk and proceed with a new installation of the operating system: to access it, turn off the computer, turn it back on and, if the same is equipped with a Intel processor, immediately press the cmd + r key combination and keep them both pressed, until you see the bitten apple .

If, on the other hand, your Mac is equipped with a Apple Silicon processor (e.g. Apple M1 ), you must continue to press and hold the power key even after restarting the computer: when you see the boot options , first click on the gear icon and then on the Continue button.

If you have completed all the steps correctly, you should see the language selection window appear on the screen: after av n provided the requested information, enter your Mac’s password and wait for the macOS Utilities to show you.

How to restore your Mac as new

Now, to format the disk (thus also eliminating personal data, in addition to the operating system), click on the Disk Utility item, then on the name < / strong> of the disk hosting the operating system and, subsequently, on the Initialize button. Repeat the same operation with all the other partitions / disks on your computer, if you deem it necessary.

After deleting all the data, go back to the macOS Utilities screen, this time click on the item Install macOS , then on the Continue and Accept buttons (twice consecutively), then choose the disk on which install the operating system (presumably the one you formatted previously) and start the macOS setup by clicking on the Install button. The procedure thus started is divided into two parts: one that takes place immediately, and the other that is completed after the automatic restart of the computer.

In any case, at the end of the installation of the system operating, the initial macOS configuration will start: if you have formatted your computer to get rid of it, do not go further and let the new owner complete the required steps.

Otherwise, select your Country of residence, adjust the settings for the keyboard layout and for the dictation language , connected to the Wi-Fi network and last the configuration of the operating system following the instructions given to you. If any step is not clear to you, or if you prefer to have a step-by-step guide entirely dedicated to Mac formatting , you can refer to the specific tutorial on my site.

Salvatore Aranzulla


Salvatore Aranzulla

Salvatore Aranzulla is the most widely read blogger and IT popularizer in Italy. He is known for discovering vulnerabilities in Google’s sites and
Microsoft. He collaborates with computer magazines and edited the technological column of the newspaper Il Messaggero. He is the founder of, one of the
thirty most visited sites in Italy, in which he responds with simplicity to thousands of computer-related doubts. He has published for Mondadori and
Mondadori Informatica.

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