How to format a Windows 10 laptop?

Windows Laptop

Formatting the computer is one of those tasks that, according to good practice, we should carry out at least a couple of times a year. This is due to the fact that Windows is an operating system that tends to accumulate a whole series of problems during its time of use and many of them cannot be solved with simple maintenance. In that sense, before symptoms like slowdown appear, it is better to know how to format Windows 10 laptop. This will allow you to maintain the performance of your equipment and also save you some money.

This process is not complicated at all, thanks to the fact that Microsoft has provided the necessary mechanisms natively, to format the computer, deleting everything or keeping the data. However, our recommendation is that you back up your data and apply a full wipe.

Before formatting your laptop

Formatting is the process of formatting a storage unit, that is, it is about organizing the file system of a disk, in one way or another. However, during this process all the information contained in the device must be erased, making it look like new.

In the realm of Windows, formatting is nothing more than doing all of the above and installing the operating system again. This makes our hard drive have a newly created file system and a fresh installation of the operating system, guaranteeing a factory-like operation.

However, as we mentioned before, the new versions of Windows offer the possibility of restoring the system while keeping our files. This, while it can be useful, does not offer the same results as formatting, that is, deleting everything. For this reason, it is necessary that you previously make a backup of all the applications and the information that you handle in them, in order to restore it later.

Steps to format a Windows 10 laptop

This time we are going to take advantage of the native options offered by Widows 10 to format the system in the simplest way. In that sense, the first thing we must do is open the Windows Settings section and to do this, press the Windows + I key combination. Another way to do it is to click on the start menu and then on the gear icon that is located just above the shutdown button.

When the configuration window appears, go to “Update and Security”.

Windows 10 configuration

Next, click on the «Recovery» and you will see a whole series of options to restore the system and to run the boot with advanced options. Click on the button «Contac us" from the section "reset this computer«.

Windows 10 recovery

Immediately, a window will be displayed with two options:

  •  keep my files: This alternative removes apps and settings, but keeps all your personal files.
  • Remove all: As its name implies, it applies a general format that deletes all the information on the disk.

Format Options

As we mentioned before, the option we recommend for this process is Remove All because it guarantees us a complete format and a better general operation..

Now you will have to define how you want to reinstall Windows and a couple of alternatives are also offered for them:

  • cloud download- This will allow you to get the latest version of Windows 10 with the latest updates.
  • Local reinstallation: This will reinstall the same version of Windows that you currently have.

Windows 10 reinstall options

In addition to the differences related to updates, it should be noted that the first option takes more time because it will download from Microsoft servers. Although this is the most recommended alternative, it is necessary to have a good internet connection if you do not want to have your laptop in an installation process for more than 6 hours.

Next, you will see a summary of all the options you have chosen, click next and you will go to the final screen.

Additional configuration

In this, the wizard shows all the tasks that it will carry out for the format and reinstallation of Windows 10. For the rest, it will only be necessary to follow the instructions indicated by the system to configure it again after being installed.

Alternative method to format Windows 10

Technology offers multiple ways to reach the same goal and our job is to choose the one that best suits what we want. In that sense, how to format a Windows 10 laptop is a question that can have several answers. Previously, we saw a method, but it is not the only one, for this reason, we also want to talk to you about an additional option.

It is about the use of a Bootable USB with which you can format the system without resorting to the native options. For this, you will need to previously have an ISO image of Windows 10 and an external disk or a USB drive.

Then, download and run Rufus, the application that will allow you to make the ISO image of Windows 10 be incorporated into the USB and make it bootable. Connect the USB memory and in the second option click on the “Select” button. This will open a browser window for you to select the ISO image.


Finally, click on the “Start” button and when the process is finished you can start formatting. However, you will need to know how to enter the BIOS of the laptop in order to modify the boot order so that it boots from the USB memory. This step may be the most complicated, but it is information that you can find on the manufacturer's page.

Next, boot the laptop from the USB and it will immediately begin the Windows 10 installation process. Select the language, agree to the terms and conditions, and enter the product key. The part that interests us and that answers how to format a Windows laptop is in the disk manager.

This will show us the laptop's hard drive, we must select it, then click on the “Delete” option. Next, we must select it again and then click on “New” to create a new volume.

Next, click “Next” and the new installation of Windows 10 will begin.

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