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HP laptops are known for super-fast performance and robust build quality. However, they can get slow over time. This is where you should know how to reset an HP laptop.

If you are worried that you might ruin your computer while resetting it, then you do not need to worry. In this blog post, you will learn how to reset your HP laptop safely without any data loss.

Why should I reset my HP laptop?

For starters, that’s a very valid question since you may lose a lot of your data and personalized settings in the process. However, resetting is a great step to take if you don’t know how to fix your sluggish laptop. Instead of wasting your time on changing numerous settings, uninstalling applications, and deleting useless files, you can just wipe your laptop clean and start again.

In some cases, you are left with no choice other than performing a factory reset. In cases where your HP laptop is affected by a virus or malware, you might have no other choice than to reset your laptop. Similarly, you should always reset your HP laptop before selling it to someone.

What steps should I take before resetting my HP laptop?

You might have accumulated a lot of useful and useless data while using your HP laptop. In most cases, you may not have taken the time to declutter what’s essential and what’s not. It’s always a great idea to create a backup of your important files and folders.

Furthermore, you should sync your browser with its respective digital account. For example, Chrome users can sync their browser data with a Google account. This way, they can easily restore browsing history, bookmarks, and passwords once the factory reset is complete.

Lastly, make sure your laptop is plugged in and charging. It is vital for your laptop to have continuous power during the reset and recovery process.

How to reset an HP laptop without a recovery CD or DVD?

Most modern laptops do not come with a recovery CD or DVD. Laptop manufacturers now store a recovery partition which makes the process of resetting your laptop very easy. The question now arises: What’s a recovery partition, and how can you find it?

A recovery partition is like a recovery disk, but it is stored in a hidden “area” of a laptop’s hard drive. This partition contains all the important installation and setup files, including Windows operating system packages and the hardware drivers you need for your HP laptop to function correctly. This makes things easier for the user as compact discs (like CDs and DVDs) are easy to lose or damage.

If you are wondering how you can find the recovery files for your HP laptop, just follow this easy tutorial:

  1. Create a backup of your important files and store them preferably on a USB drive or cloud storage service like Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. Alternatively, you can save your data in a separate partition of your laptop’s hard drive. However, it is not recommended to do so. The Recovery Manager can also help you in the backup process. Again, it’s suggested you store your important files on an external or cloud drive.
  2. Note down any license or activation codes you may have for the applications you have installed. Many modern apps allow you to reactivate your licenses, but it’s always a good idea to keep an inventory of licenses you have bought.
  3. Plug your power adapter into the laptop and make sure it’s charging. Factory Reset sometimes takes up to an hour (or more) to complete. During this process, you need to have an uninterrupted power supply.
  4. Check that your internet connection is actively working. The recovery manager may require OS and hardware updates.
  5. Turn on (or restart) your HP laptop. Start pressing the F11 key as soon as your computer starts the booting process to power up the Recovery Manager. For some models, you may have to press a different F-key. To know the exact key (or key combo), notice the command prompt on the bottom left/right at the start of the booting process. If you do not see the recovery message, then you should contact HP for troubleshooting. If you are a Windows 8 or 10 user, then skip the remaining part of this section and follow the dedicated tutorial for Windows 8 or 10 recovery as explained in the next section.
  6. Once you are inside the Recovery Manager, select System Recovery from the left pane titled “I Need Help Immediately.”
  7. The Recovery Manager will now ask you to “Back Your Files (Recommended).” It is always smart to have extra copies of your important files. Click “Next” to start the backup process. You may skip this step if you already have a backup on an external or cloud drive.
  8. Then, follow the recovery process prompts to complete your Windows setup. During the entire process, your HP laptop will blink or restart several times. Do not cut the power until you do not see the completion message.

How to reset an HP laptop while using Windows 8 or 10?

If you are reading this section for the first time, then kindly read the first four steps of the previous section to get started. Then, follow the steps below, according to your Windows version.

Windows 8.1 Users

Before you start, please make sure you have the Windows installation package on USB or DVD. If you want to reinstall Windows 8 without losing your data on an HP laptop, then this is what you need to do:

1. Store a backup of your essential files on an external or cloud drive.

2. Now, go to the Settings menu. From there, navigate to Update and Recovery > Recovery.

3. A new screen will appear with two options:

  • Refresh your PC without affecting your files
  • Remove everything and reinstall Windows

4. Click the Get Started button under the Refresh your PC option to reinstall Windows without any significant file loss. Alternatively, you can start fresh by choosing the Remove everything option.

5. The screen will now guide you towards the next steps. Follow them as instructed to get the desired results. In some cases, the recovery manager will ask for Windows installation or recovery media to complete the process.

windows 10 user

Windows 10 Users

Some users might be asking, “Can you reinstall Windows 10 without losing data?” The answer is yes, and the process is straightforward. Here is what you need to do if you want to reinstall Window 10 on your HP laptop without data loss:

1. Create a backup of your important files and store them on an external or cloud drive. 2. From the Start menu, open Settings by clicking the Gear icon.

3. Click Update & setting button. Then, select Recovery from the left pane.

4. Click the Get Started button under Reset this PC heading.

5. Choose to Keep My Files and follow the walkthrough guide to complete the process.

How to reset HP laptops using Recovery CDs?

This is fast becoming an obsolete method to reset an HP laptop. However, some of you might still be using an older HP model. Here is the process to factory reset your PC by using the Recovery Manager CD or DVD:

1. Insert the Recovery Manager disc into your CD/DVD player and restart your laptop. At this moment, you may have to change your booting settings from the BIOS. Press the F10 key as soon as the display appears. In some cases, you may have to use the F2 or F6 key to enter BIOS settings. Once you have entered the BIOS settings menu, select the Storage tab, and then choose the Boot Options. Follow the screen instructions for booting from the CD/DVD drive.

2. Once the computer boots using the CD/DVD drive, the Recovery Manager will appear.

3. Click System Recovery and then Factory Reset to start the process.

4. You will be then guided to create a backup. This is a highly recommended step, especially if you previously did not create a backup of your data.

5. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.


Once you have reset your HP laptop, try to take good care of it by regularly checking for viruses and malware. Timely hardware cleanup and maintenance will help your laptop to last longer.


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