Easily Wipe Your Windows System Drive - WindowsTips.net - Windows Tips and Tricks with Geek

Friday, September 3, 2021

Easily Wipe Your Windows System Drive

Wipe Your Windows System Drive

If you want to wipe your entire Windows operating system drive, there’s an easy way to do it. This option is built into the Reset This PC feature on Windows 10 and Windows 11, although it isn’t enabled by default.

While Windows is restoring itself to factory default settings—in other words, reinstalling Windows—you can have it wipe your system drive. You should use this option to protect your private data when you’re selling your PC or giving it to someone else.

To do this on Windows 10, head to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. Click “Get Started” under Reset This PC. (You can press Windows+i to quickly open the Settings app.)

Click "Get Started."

On Windows 11, head to Settings > System > Recovery. Click the “Reset PC” button under Recovery Options.

Click "Reset PC."

Select “Remove Everything” to have Windows remove all your files during the Reset process.

Click "Remove Everything."

Select “Local Reinstall” or “Cloud Download,” either will work for this process. If you’re not sure which to pick, we recommend selecting “Local Reinstall” to avoid the big download.

“Cloud Download” is useful if your local Windows operating system files are corrupted and the Reset This PC process won’t work otherwise. Also, believe it or not, Cloud Download can be faster than Local Reinstall as Windows just has to download installation files rather than reassembling them from the files on your computer’s hard drive—it depends on the speed of your internet connection.

Select "Cloud Download" or "Local Reinstall."

Under Additional Settings, select “Change Settings.”

Click or tap "Change Settings."

Clean the switch under “Clean data?” to set it to “Yes.” With this option enabled, Windows will “clean the drive” and make it much harder (theoretically, practically impossible) to recover your files

Windows warns you that this process may take hours—as always, it depends on the speed and size of the drive in your computer.

You can now click “Confirm” and continue through the process to reset your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC and wipe your drive during this process.

Warning: This process will erase all the files, applications, and settings on your drive, leaving you with a fresh Windows installation without any of your files. Be sure to back up everything important first.

Enable "Clean Data?". 

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