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If you’re selling your Windows 8 computer, giving it away to a loved one, if it’s full of malware and viruses, or if you’re simply embarrassed by your previous use of the device, you’ll probably want to restore it to its factory settings.

Even though you might still find the interface confusing, it’s relatively easy to restore a Windows 8 laptop to factory settings. Just follow these tips and the process should go without a hitch.

Back up your data

When restoring to factory settings, it’s always a good idea to back up any important files or folders. There are a myriad of places to do so – Google Drive is one option, but you may feel more comfortable backing up your files on a physical location, like an external storage unit or some rewritable CDs.

Press the Start button and type remove

After pressing Start and typing ‘remove’, Windows 8 users should then click on the Settings option and then select ‘Reinstall’. On Windows 8.1, the top result after searching for ‘remove’ should be ‘Remove everything and reinstall Windows’.

If you’d prefer, you can browse to the reinstall status by pressing Win+C to open the Charms Menu, then selecting Settings – Change PC Settings. Click on the General section and the ‘Remove everything and reinstall Windows’ option will appear on the screen.

Insert your Windows installation disk

You’ll then be prompted with a dialogue box telling you to put in your Windows installation disk. The dialogue boxes will then spell out what will happen when you reset your computer, and ask you which hard drives you wish to wipe and how much you want to wipe.

If you’re giving your laptop away, or you’re making a last-ditch attempt to eradicate any viruses, you will want to clean your drive fully. This will ensure that nobody can access any of your old folders. Otherwise, you will want to just remove your files – this process takes considerably less time.

Reset your PC

A final dialogue box will tell you to reset your computer. When you click ‘Reset’, the restoration process will begin. Click ‘Cancel’ if you’ve decided you want to back out – there’s no going back once you’ve hit ‘Reset’!

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