FIX: Reset this PC not working in Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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Affiliate Disclosure

  • Reset this PC option is perfect if you encounter serious problems without performing a clean install or if you want to sell a used computer.
  • If you see the message There was a problem resetting your PC then we suggest a simple SFC scan or rebooting into Safe Mode and trying again. See more ideas in the article.
  • These kinds of system errors happen to many people so there's no reason so panic. Check our Windows System Error Troubleshooting section for similar articles.
  • Learn how to fix your laptop or computer by visiting the section dedicated to these types of problems.
pc reset fails

The Reset this PC in Windows 10 allows you to choose whether you’ll keep your files, or remove them altogether, and then reinstalls Windows operating system.

In order to perform a PC Reset, sometimes referred to as a Factory Reset, go to Settings >Update & Security > Reset this PC > Get started. Choose an option after you’re done.

You can also perform a PC reset by restarting your computer from the sign in screen.

This can be done by pressing the Windows logo key+L, then holding Shift key down as you select Power >Restart on the lower right end of your screen.

Once your PC restarts, then you can select Troubleshoot > Reset this PC.

Reset this PC Windows 10

Reset option is perfect if you encounter serious problems since it will reinstall your operating system, but without performing the clean install.

While Windows 10 reset has various advantages over a clean install, many users reported There was a problem resetting your PC message.

This can be a big problem and prevent you from resetting your Windows 10 installation, but in this article, we’ll try to fix this problem.

We’ve written extensively about PC reset issues before. Bookmark this page in case you need it later.

What to do if you can’t reset your PC [6 SOLUTIONS]

  1. Run SFC Scan
  2. Check recovery partitions to fix PC reset errors
  3. Use Recovery Media
  4. Recover from a drive
  5. Set your computer in Clean Boot
  6. Perform a Refresh/Reset from WinRE

Solution 1 – Run SFC Scan

This is done when the problem is caused by a corrupted .dll file.

Here’s how to fix it:

  1. Press Windows + X keys at the same time
  2. Click Command Prompt (Admin) to open a Command Prompt
  3. If prompted for permissions, click Yes
  4. In Command prompt, type sfc/scannow and press Enter.

sfc scannow pc reset fails

You can also use a dedicated tool to clean your Registry, such as CCleaner. Don’t forget to first backup your registry in case anything goes wrong.

Learn everything there is to know about System File Checker from our detailed guide!

Solution 2 – Check recovery partitions to fix PC reset errors

A PC reset is more like a fresh installation of Windows because any apps and drivers installed previously will be wiped out, and only those pre-installed or that came with your PC are left on the system.

Your recovery partitions may be corrupted, thus making the PC reset not work.

In this case, ensure your computer meets all Windows 10 system requirements then reinstall Windows using the installation media tool by taking these steps:

  1. Select Download tool
  2. Click Run (you have to be an administrator to do this)
  3. Under License terms page, select Accept
  4. On What do you want to do page, choose Upgrade this PC now
  5. Click The tool will start downloading and installing Windows 10.
  6. Follow instructions on setting up Windows 10 on your computer
  7. When ready to install, Windows 10 gives a recap of your choices and what will remain through the upgrade. Select Change what to keep
  8. Set your preferences on Keep personal files and apps, or Keep personal files only, or keep Nothing during upgrade
  9. Save and close open applications and files that are running
  10. Select Install

Note: Installation will take some time and your computer will restart a few times, so make sure not to turn it off.

If there’s no recovery partition available, download and install the apps and drivers that were wiped out, not the ones that came with your computer.

Microsoft identified an issue that causes the PC reset bluescreen error soon after installing Windows 10.

They released the Cumulative update for Windows 10 for August 18, 2015, which includes a fix that prevents customers who haven’t yet attempted the PC reset from experiencing this error.

This is why you need to ensure you have installed the latest updates before performing a PC reset. The best way to make sure that your PC is up to date is to enable Automatic Update.

The update, however, doesn’t resolve the PC reset bluescreen error for those who have already encountered it.

Looking for the best HDD health check tools? Here are our top picks.

Solution 3 – Use Recovery Media

Blue screen errors such as the PC reset one can occur if a serious problem causes Windows to shut down, or reboot unexpectedly. Such errors occur due to hardware and software problems.

If you added new hardware before you got the PC reset bluescreen error, shut down the computer, remove the hardware, then reboot (you can also boot in Safe Mode).

Here’s how to use Recovery Media to get to your startup settings and fix the PC reset error:

  1. Go to choose an option screen
  2. Select Troubleshoot
  3. Click Advanced Options
  4. Click Startup settings
    Startup settings PC pc reset fails
  5. Restart, then select a startup setting by pressing the corresponding number

Solution 4 – Recover from a drive

Microsoft is currently investigating a known issue resulting in PC reset failure based on these three conditions:

  1. The PC came with pre-installed Windows 10, not upgraded from previous versions
  2. The manufacturer of the PC enabled compression to reduce disk space needed for preinstalled apps
  3. You created a USB recovery drive using Create a recovery drive feature
  4. You booted the computer to the USB recovery drive and then selected Troubleshoot>Reset this PC>Remove everything

Under these conditions, the reset may fail to give you the PC reset bluescreen error, thus you may not be able to start your computer.

In this case, boot your PC to the USB recovery drive, then select Troubleshoot>Recover from a drive.

Follow the instructions on your screen to recover your PC.

Note: this will remove all personal files, apps or drivers installed and any changes to your settings. It restores the computer to factory-like state.

Make sure nothing gets lost with these file recovery tools!

Solution 5 – Set your computer in Clean Boot

Performing a clean boot for your computer reduces conflicts related to software that can bring up the root causes of the PC reset bluescreen error issue.

These conflicts can be caused by applications and services that start up and run in the background whenever you start Windows normally.

In order to successfully perform a clean boot on Windows 10, you have to be logged on as the administrator, then follow these steps:

  1. Go to the search box
  2. Type msconfig
  3. Select System Configuration
  4. Find Services tab
  5. Select Hide all Microsoft services box
    disable microsoft services
  6. Click Disable all
  7. Go to Startup tab
  8. Click Open Task Manager
  9. Close Task manager then click Ok
  10. Reboot your computer

You will have a clean boot environment after all these steps are carefully followed, after which you can try the PC reset again.

Windows won’t boot? Fix the problem in no time with our detailed guide!

Solution 6 – Perform a Refresh/Reset from WinRE

If you still experience the PC reset error, try booting from Windows 10 media then perform Automatic repair from Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE).

In order to perform Automatic repair, do the following;

  1. Insert a USB or DVD Windows 10 media
  2. Restart your computer
  3. Press F12 on your computer to open Windows Setup
  4. Select the drive you inserted your USB or DVD into
  5. Click Next
  6. Choose Repair your computer
  7. A blue screen will come up with options
  8. Choose Troubleshoot
  9. Select Advanced options
  10. Choose Automatic Repair from Advanced boot option

Once the repair is complete, try performing the PC reset again to see whether the issue persists.

However, if Automatic Repair won’t work, check out this troubleshooting guide to fix the problem.

There was a problem resetting your PC message can cause many problems and prevent you from resetting your PC, but if you encounter it, be sure to try all of our solutions.

Let us know whether any of the above solutions worked for you by dropping your comment below.

FAQ: Learn more about resetting PC in Windows 10

  • How do you fix there was a problem resetting your PC Windows 10?

There are multiple ways to fix this. Read our complete guide for resetting the PC if you have errors.

  • Does resetting PC remove viruses?

Yes, it does. Resetting removes everything that was installed in the PC and restores it to factory settings. Make sure to first install a good antivirus and then proceed with installing anything else you need.

  • How long does it take to reset a PC Windows 10?

If you chose to reset your PC and remove everything, this operation might take a while. Depending on the HDD and processor, the operation might take anywhere between 1 and 3 hours, until you will be able to set up and personalize your Windows.

  • What happens if I reset my PC?

After resetting your PC, Windows returns to the original state with all the original utilities and perhaps trial software you had installed by the manufacturer. You will need to update Windows again and reinstall the software you use daily.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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