6 Ways to Recover Files After Factory Reset Windows 10

Updated to Home > HowTos > File Recovery Tips on Windows by Nancy on Apr 12, 2024 | Approved by Christian Cawley

The Windows 10 factory reset can help resolve serious system issues, but it also results in losing all the data on the device. This can be a nightmare if you don't have a backup before a factory reset. But don't panic yet! This comprehensive guide will help you recover files after factory reset Windows 10 and provides some tips to prevent such a catastrophe.

Table of contents
Part 1. Is it a Possibility of Data Recovery After Factory Reset Windows 10?
Part 2. Immediate Actions to Take After Factory Reset
Part 3. How to Recover Files After Factory Reset Windows 10
Part 4. Tips to Avoid Losing Data due to System Reset on Windows 10
Part 5. FAQs

Is it a Possibility of Data Recovery After Factory Reset Windows 10?

During a factory reset on Windows 10, all personal files, apps, and settings are removed from the computer. The process essentially wipes Windows to its initial state when it was first installed, removing all data that has been added or changed since then. This includes everything in your user profile folder (C:\Users\YourName), such as documents, pictures, and other personal files.

In summary, a system factory reset marks the space occupied by files stored on the hard drive as reusable and removes all visible traces of all data. Still, they remain on the disk until overwritten. So, you still have a chance to recover data after resetting on Windows 10.

Immediate Actions to Take After Factory Reset

Following a factory reset on your Windows 10 computer, if you realize that you've lost important data and want to restore them, here are the immediate actions you should take:

Remember, the sooner you act after a factory reset, the better your chances of successfully recovering lost data after factory reset Windows 10.

How to Recover Files After Factory Reset Windows 10

If there is no backup before "factory reset" on a Windows 10 computer, the photos, documents, videos, and other files will disappear without a trace. But don't despair just yet! Deep within the realms of your computer's hard drive, echoes of your files may still linger, waiting to be revived. With a dash of technical wizardry and specialized recovery tools, you can retrace those lost data after factory resetting Windows 10. Detailed solutions and steps about them are below:

Ways 1. Check If the Data Is Still Present

In some cases, the factory reset on Windows 10 may not necessarily erase all data. Run a simple check to see if you can find your files in their original location. Use Windows Explorer or the search function to look for specific files that you know were present before the reset.

Ways 2. Locate the Windows.old Folder

After a factory reset, Windows 10 PC often stores a copy of the old installation in a folder named 'Windows.old.' Go to your default drive (usually C:) and open it. Here, you may find some of your lost files.

Ways 3. Use a Cloud Service

If you had backed up your files to a cloud storage service like OneDrive, Dropbox, or Google Drive before the factory reset, you could restore them from there. To access your data online, please log in to the respective services from a browser or the cloud client on a secondary computer.

Ways 4. Utilize Windows 10 Backup and Restore Features

If you had previously configured Windows File History, you might find that the most recent versions of your files are still available. Here is a guide for using file history to recover data after factory reset Windows 10 free.

  1. Connect the hard drive used as a file history backup to your Windows 10 PC.
  2. Press Windows + R, type 'control panel,' and hit Enter.
  3. Click 'System and Security > File History.'

  4. Click the 'Restore personal files' option on the left panel.

  5. Find the data you need and click 'Restore' to save them.

Ways 5. Use a File Recovery Program

This is the most effective method to recover files after factory reset Windows 10, and it does not require any prerequisites. They use powerful algorithms to scan your hard drive to extract any remaining data. Here, you try iBeesoft Data Recovery. Here are the details about it and the steps to undelete Windows 10:

Your Best Data Recovery Software

(Trust Score 4.7 by 1695 Users)
  • This tool is safe and reliable and will not cause further damage to your data or device during the data recovery after factory reset Windows 10 process.
  • Its ability to conduct deep scans that can reach every corner of your storage, even if it's corrupt, greatly improves the chances of retrieving your lost data.
  • Previews allow you to check if an item is corrupted or incomplete before you recover files from factory reset on Windows 10.
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  1. Download and install iBeesoft Data Recovery to your PC.
  2. Launch the Program and Choose the hard drive or folder where the lost files were originally located.
  3. Click 'Scan' to initiate a scan of the selected location. It will search for any lost files after the system restores Windows 10.

  4. After the scan, the software will display a list of recoverable files. You can preview these items and select some ones you wish to recover.

  5. Click the 'Recover' button to retrieve the selected files.

Remember, saving the recovered files in a different location than the original is always best to avoid potential data overwriting issues.

Ways 6. Try Professional Data Recovery Services

If none of the above methods work, you may need to contact a professional data recovery service. These services often have advanced tools and expertise to handle complex data recovery tasks. Although these services are very effective, they are also costly. If you want to use them to restore files after factory reset Windows 10, you can search to find a service provider near you.

Tips to Avoid Losing Data due to System Reset on Windows 10

Losing data during a system reset can spell disaster. Here are some steps you can take to avoid this:

Remember, no single strategy is foolproof. Combining these methods is best to ensure your data is as secure as possible.


Here are some answers to the most pressing questions about recovering files after a factory reset on Windows 10:


To recover files after a factory reset in Windows 10 is not a straightforward process, but it’s not a lost cause either. By following the steps outlined in this guide, being proactive in your preparations, and taking extra care in the recovery process, you can increase your chances of retrieving valuable data.

Remember, patience and methodical working are your best allies in recovering files. And once you’ve brought back your files, take the time to back them up securely and regularly. It’s a critical step in data management that many learn the hard way, but now you have the knowledge to avoid the loss in the future. So, take the necessary precautions and keep your data safe!