Windows 10 refuses to let some users reset their machines - but there’s a quick fix

Windows 10 'Reset this PC' error
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Microsoft has published a quick workaround for a frustrating bug preventing some Windows 10 users from resetting their devices.

The ‘Reset this PC’ feature, located under the Recovery section in Settings, provides a simple way for  Windows 10 users to return their machine to factory settings.

However, a bug has disabled the feature for select users running Windows 10 version 2004, who are instead being served the following error message: “There was a problem when resetting your PC. No changes were made”.

Windows 10 'Reset this PC' fix

There are a number of reasons someone might want to reset their PC to factory settings; it can help fix Windows 10 bugs, alleviate general slowdown and prepare a device that’s about to be inherited by another user.

When fully functional, the ‘Reset this PC’ feature allows Windows 10 users to remove all files from their device and reinstall the operating system, or execute a partial restore while leaving files intact.

However, according to a Microsoft Support post, the Windows 10 2004 issue affecting “certain hardware configurations” is preventing users from performing either type of restore.

Microsoft is yet to deploy a full fix for the issue, but has set out a simple workaround that utilizes the Deployment Image Servicing Management (DISM) command to provide a short-term resolution.

Users that encounter the ‘Reset this PC’ error should follow these steps:

  • Search for Command Prompt via the Start menu
  • Right click the application and select Run as administrator
  • Type in the following comment, then press enter: "dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth"
  • Reboot the device and return to Reset this PC via Settings

When preparing to perform a restore, it’s important to ensure you hold an up-to-date backup - either in the cloud or on an external hard drive - so as not to lose any precious files.

It’s also worth noting that resetting your machine to factory settings will also reintroduce any bloatware that came pre-installed with the device when first purchased.

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.