How to reset your Windows 10 PC if you can’t access the Settings app

November 22, 2018

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You’d be surprised at how many ways to reset your Windows PC assume you at least have access to the Windows Settings app. I’ve suffered from an unknown bug more than once which caused my Windows PC to be restored without access to the Settings app and a host of associated services. This means that users can’t rely on the normal means of resetting your Windows PC (normally by drilling through the Window Settings app) or using Microsoft’s Windows reset tool which relies on an associated service.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to reset Windows — and you don’t even have to be logged in to Windows to do this.

Here’s how to reset your Windows 10 PCs from the lockscreen.

  1. Start your Windows PC and head to the lock screen.
  2. Once on the lockscreen, hold down the shift key then press restart from the soft power key located at the bottom right hand of the screen.
  3. Instead of shutting down and restarting, Windows will open to a new Boot Options screen.
  4. There, you can now navigate to Troubleshoot > Reset this PC.  
  5. Here you can choose to either remove all your apps and files, or leave your local files intact. Pick whichever you want.
  6. Windows will now reset, and hopefully flush away whatever bugs afflicted your PC in the meantime.
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