How To Reformat Your Windows Computer

Formatting Your PC Should Be A Last Resort!

Reformatting your Windows computer is usually the absolute last resort when trying to resolve problems and might even be unnecessary. Before you go through the process of completely reformatting your hard drive please take a few moments to read through the rest of our website. If you are thinking of formatting to fix problems with your Windows computer it's possible that by using some of the tips on our site, or by downloading or purchasing some of the tools or products that we link to, you might be able to avoid the need to reformat your computer. Because doing a complete reformat of your computer will erase the contents of the hard drive and require you to reinstall all software, reformatting is usually a last resort.

Some Computer Manufacturers Make Reformatting Easier Than Others

Many name-brand PC manufacturers include a restore-disk which makes it easy to reformat your PC and return it to the state it was in on the day you purchased it. Some manufactures supply only a standard Microsoft Windows CD, and some (usually lower-end PC manufacturers) supply nothing! If your computer did not come with a restore disk or reformatting CD, then you will need to take extra steps to format your hard drive and get Windows re-installed.

Back Up Your Files Before You Reformat!

Because the format or "restore process" erases everything on your computer, it is critical to have a backup of any important files on your computer. You will also need your original software install disks, install keys, etc to reinstall any software you have purchased.

Things to do before you reformat your computer:

  • Write down or print out all notes and internet pages because once the format process begins, you will no longer have access to them (or anything else in the PC)
  • As already stated, BACKUP all important files and data! When you reformat your computer everything will be erased!  You do not need to backup your software, because you should have those CD's or you can usually re-download it.  The important things are photos, music, documents, checkbook files, etc
  • Make sure you have all the CDs and other software. All programs will have to be reinstalled after you format the hard drive. Don't forget about software that came with hardware such as printers, scanners, etc.
  • Write down the brand and information for all the hardware on your computer. Look in the Device Manager and make note of the brand and model of network adaptors, video cards, sound cards, printers, modems, and displays. After reformatting you might need this information to reinstall drivers.

How To Reformat Your Windows XP PC

How to Reformat Windows Vista

How to Reformat Windows 7

How to Reformat and clean-install Windows 8

  • Step by step instructions to clean-install (format your hard drive and reinstall) Windows 8: How to format Windows 8


If you aren't sure if you need to resort to reformatting and need help deciding what to do, please leave a comment below.


i want to know and be an expand in formatting computers so how may i be helps fast

I have so many missing DLL files, will reformatting my laptop will fix the issue? Thank you so much!

Reformatting will erase everything, then put the computer back the way it was when you first broght it home and took it out of the box. So yes, it would fix that issue with DLLs. But remember you will have to re-install all of your software, all of your security updates and restore anything you care about (photos, documents, music, etc) from backups that you make before you do the format.
Set aside at least a half-day.. longer if you've never done this before/not sure what you are doing.

Hi. I really need help! I think my mother has installed a trojan or keylogger on my computer because she says she has seen my chats, email, and even my browser history and times I was on my computer. It's a Lenovo laptop, and I heard there is something installed on it that allows others on the same wifi network to see your stuff. I'm not sure which it could be (and everything has a password and I always shut my laptop so she would have to sign in), and it was suggested to me to re-format. In a re-format, would I have to re-install windows and intel for instance too? (which it came with, so I wouldn't know how to get them back on) Thanks!

Reformatting will erase everything, and put the computer back the way it was when you first broght it home and took it out of the box. Windows would be re-installed as part of the process but you would then need need to re-install all of your security updates and all software that was on the laptop before the format. You would also have to restore anything you care about (pictures, bookmarks, email, music, documents, etc) from a backup that you make BEFORE you reformat it.

It's not a simple or quick process, especially if you have never done it before or aren't sure how to do it.

Hello! I just need to format my computer, i have xp home edition. i have disk and drivers, so just need to know how to format please. Thank you.

windows7 format kese kare.

My laptop is less than a year old but, when I turn it on, all I get is a blue screen. It doesn't respond to any commands I give to it. I've got Windows 8.1.

My local disk was full, so I took all of my photos, and all my docs and stuff I care about off it, all the major things and things that I thought would take alot of space. When I removed them from my computer, my local disk which is 500Gb, still only has 70Gb of free space. Where is the other 430GB, what is using this space??? I have removed alot of stuff, temp files, cleaned the local disk and I still only have 70GB left. Recently my computer hasn't been installing updates very well, it has been constantly failing and reconfiguring and failing. Is this likely to take up space on my local disk? I have since had to manually find the security updates and install them one at a time myself. Please help? Do I need to fully reformat? I dont have my windows cd's or any other cd's anymore.???? Please help.


Add new comment