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How to Reset PC on Windows 10 When Automatic Resetting Fails

Windows 10 allows users to modify a lot of the operating system’s default behavior. There are a number of apps that can change how the OS looks and users can tweak the registry to change the look and behavior of Windows 10. All that customization is great but you are basically making changes to the OS which might render it unstable. Likewise, apps make changes to the registry. A malicious app will definitely modify it and undoing the change might be impossible.

Reset this PC not working on Windows 10

If the OS becomes too unstable, you get one too many BSODs, or it’s been infected to a point where it cannot be saved, the nuclear option is to reset the system. Windows 10 has a built-in option to reset the PC but this option can fail. If you’re having trouble resetting your system, try the fixes below.

1. Run system file checker

When you utilize the reset option Windows 10, you’re basically relying on the files that are already present on the system. If you’re having trouble resetting your system, try an SFC scan.

  1. Open Command Prompt with admin rights.
  2. Enter the following command, and tap the Enter key.
  1. Allow the scan to finish and then try the reset again.

2. Reset after a Clean boot

A clean boot disables services that aren’t integral to running Windows 10. It is possible that these services are in some way causing problems with the reset so try a reset from a clean boot.

  1. Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the Run box.
  2. In the Run box, enter ‘msconfig’ and tap Enter. This will open the System Configuration window.
  3. On the General tab, enable Selective Startup.
  4. Disable/uncheck the Load startup items under Selective Startup.
  5. Move to the Services tab.
  6. Select Hide all Microsoft services at the bottom.
  7. Click the ‘Disable all’ button.
  8. Click Apply and close the window.
  9. Right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager from the context menu.
  10. Go to the Startup tab. Disable all items.
  11. Restart your system and try to reset it.

3. Repair and reset

Trouble resetting the system usually means that it has been damaged quite a bit. You will have to repair it to some extent before you can reset it. Try running a startup repair, and then reset your system.

  1. Open the Start menu and click Power.
  2. Hold down the Shift key and click Restart. You will boot to the Troubleshoot menu.
  3. Go to Advanced Options>Startup Repair.
  4. Allow the repair to finish and boot back to the desktop. Try the reset again.

4. Repair the Master Boot Record (MBR)

The Master Boot Record, or MBR, is where the OS loads when you run it. It’s also where information about the partitions of your HDD or SSD is stored. Specifically, it tells the OS where to look for certain files. If it’s corrupted or damaged, you can run into all sorts of problems.

  1. Open the Start Menu and select the Power button.
  2. Hold down Shift on the keyboard, and click Restart in the power menu.
  3. On the Troubleshoot screen, go to Advanced Options>Command Prompt.
  4. In Command Prompt, run the following commands, one-by-one.
bootrec /FixMbr
bootrec /FixBoot
bootrec /ScanOs
bootrec /RebuildBcd
  1. Reboot to the desktop and try the reset again.

5. Reset with installation media

If the reset continues to fail, you will need to create installation media and use it to reset the system.

  1. Download the Windows 10 media creation tool, and use it to create an installation disk for Windows 10.
  2. Once the disk has been created, remove and insert it again.
  3. Open File Explorer and go to This PC.
  4. Open the USB disk that you created, and run setup.exe.
  5. Go through the initial steps i.e., check for updates and accept the license. When prompted to, select the option to remove everything i.e. apps and files. Continue with the installation.
  6. When you boot back to your system, you will have an almost fresh installation of Windows 10. The only residue from the previous installation will be a Windows.old folder in the C drive.

6. Format and fresh installation

An in-place installation like the one in the previous method will almost always guarantee a perfect OS however, it doesn’t format the C drive and some problems can remain after the fact. If your new OS is still giving you trouble, format the drive and try a fresh install.

  1. Creat Windows 10 installation media using the Media Creation tool.
  2. Shut down the system.
  3. Connect the USB drive/installation media to your system, and set it as the first boot device from BIOS.
  4. Boot from the disk and proceed with the installation.
  5. When prompted to select the disk you want to install Windows 10 on, format it first, and then proceed with the installation.
  6. Windows 10 will install and it will not have any problems that the old installation had.


A system reset can fail for any number of reasons. It is not an incorruptible tool and problems on the disk can prevent it from working. In that case, the fail-safe method is to use installation media.

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