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There are a few ways you can reset Windows 10 if you like. The new Settings application that Windows 10 offers has a couple of options from it for resetting. If you choose the one that resets without removing any data, it isn’t a true factory reset. On the other hand, if you choose the other option that does remove data, then it is.

If you don’t want to reset Windows 10 from the Settings menu, then you still have a couple of other alternatives. One of them is resetting from the troubleshoot menu. Most people don’t enjoy having to navigate to the troubleshoot menu though because it means not being able to use how to guides found on the web very easily, so they usually go a different route.

If you are looking for something else still, you might be interested in creating a recovery image to reset Windows 10 that way instead.

How to Create a Recovery Image to Reset Windows 10

You should grab yourself an external hard drive or a USB thumb drive to store the recovery image. There isn’t much use keeping it on your standard computer hard drive because the average user only has the C: drive, and if you store it there, it might get corrupted and then you won’t be able to use it. Remember: the main point is to create this backup for is something were to go wrong with the C: drive in the first place.

When you connect your external hard drive or thumb drive to the computer, it will automatically be assigned a letter. Depending on how many drives you’ve already connected to the computer that letter may change. You all have the C: drive on your computers by default, so the drive you connect to the computer might be the D, E or even F drive.

Now, with that in mind, open up File Explorer—still with your external or USB drive connected—and then click on the “This PC” link from the File Explorer left side pane. Now look in the right side pane under the Drives and devices heading and find your external or USB drive that has one of those letters assigned to it. There will be an icon next to it making it easy for you to identify.

Once you’ve found it, double-click on it to open its folder. You should now have something like the “F drive” folder open. Inside the folder, right-click on the background and choose to create a new folder by hovering over the “New” link and then selecting “Folder” from the secondary menu. Choose to name the new folder “ResetRecoveryImage” by right-clicking on the folder after creating it and then choosing to rename it.

Next, download the Windows 10 ISO file and make sure that you are downloading the right version for your operating system—they come in both 32-bit or 64-bit architecture.

Once the ISO is finished downloading, open up its file location and double-click the mouse on it to mount and open it. Now open the “Sources” folder and look for the Install.wim file. Right-click on the “Install.wim” file and then choose to “Copy” it.

Open the ResetRecoveryImage folder that you created inside the external hard drive or USB drive folder at the beginning of the guide and then paste the “Install.wim” file into that folder.

Get an elevated Command Prompt window open by typing “CMD” into the Cortana search box in the taskbar and then right-clicking on the “Command Prompt” desktop application and then choosing to run it as an administrator.

You should see that you have the administrators Command Prompt window open by observing it tell you the same in the top left corner of the CMD window when it opens. Once you see it there, type the reagentc /setosimage /path "Drive\ResetRecoveryImage" /index 1 command, substituting where it says “Drive” for the name of your real drive (i.e., F:) and then hit the “Enter” key on your keyboard to execute it.

The Command Prompt should now give you the “Operation successful” message in a new command line. Once you see that you’re done. You can now close the Command Prompt window.

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