Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

How to factory reset a Microsoft Surface

Revive your Microsoft Surface with a factory reset. Follow our easy steps to restore your device to its original state.
By
March 27, 2023

There are a couple of cases where you might want to perform a factory reset on your Microsoft Surface. For instance, a factory reset device is recommended if you want to sell it. It can also be helpful if you’re experiencing issues that aren’t resolved with the standard troubleshooting methods.

Be aware that a factory reset wipes all data from the device and restores it to its original state, so you should back up any important files beforehand. In this article, we’ll walk you through two methods to factory reset a Microsoft Surface.

QUICK ANSWER

To perform a factory reset on your Microsoft Surface, go to the Start menu and navigate Settings > System > Recovery. Then, select Reset this PC and choose a reset option.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to factory reset a Microsoft Surface in Windows

Windows 11 reset this pc dialog
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

If you can access your Surface and know the password to sign in, resetting it is relatively easy. First, go to the Start menu and navigate to Settings > System > Recovery.

Next to Reset this PC, select Reset PC and choose one of the following options:

  • Keep my files: Reinstalls Windows but keeps your personal files and any apps that came pre-installed on your PC. This option will remove any changes you made to settings and the apps and drivers you installed.
  • Remove everything: Reinstalls Windows and any apps that came pre-installed on your PC. This option removes personal files, changes you made to settings, and apps and drivers you installed.

Lastly, select Cloud download or Local reinstall. If you use Cloud download, ensure your Surface is connected to the internet.

How to factory reset a Microsoft Surface without a password

system recovery in Windows 10 on an asus laptop

If you’ve forgotten your password or cannot access your Surface for other reasons, resetting it requires a slightly different approach. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. From the sign-in screen, press the Windows and L key. If you need to, dismiss the lock screen.
  2. Hold the Shift key down while you select Power Restart in the lower-right corner of the screen.
  3. Your Surface will restart to the Choose an option screen. Select Troubleshoot > Reset this PC.

Performing a factory reset on a Microsoft Surface can be a simple and effective way to restore the device to its original state. Whether you have access to your Surface and know the password or not, following the steps outlined above will help you complete the process quickly and easily.

FAQs

A hard reset on a Microsoft Surface involves forcing the device to shut down and restart. This can be useful if the device is frozen or unresponsive. Here’s how to perform a hard reset:

  1. Press and hold the power button on your Surface for at least 30 seconds.
  2. Release the power button and wait for 10 seconds.
  3. Press the power button again to turn on your Surface.

Your Surface should now start up normally. Remember that a hard reset may cause you to lose unsaved data or settings that have not been backed up, so it’s always a good idea to save your work and back up important files before performing a hard reset.

If your Microsoft Surface is locked and you cannot access it, you can still perform a factory reset using the Windows Recovery Environment.

  1. From the sign-in screen, press the Windows and L key.
  2. Hold the Shift key down while you select Power Restart.
  3. Your Surface will restart to the Choose an option screen. Select Troubleshoot > Reset this PC.