How To Reset or Refresh Windows 10 When You Have Trouble Logging Into Desktop

Windows has made the process of resetting your system a lot easier since Windows 8 in the event when things went really wrong. When resetting/refreshing seems to be the only choice to go to make your Windows run properly, you can simply go to Settings app → Update and recovery, and do either of the process from there.

But that works only when you still have access to your desktop. What if things really went south and you have no access to your desktop or simply can’t get Settings app to work properly?

Here is a quick trick that lets you boot to the Advanced boot option right from login screen.

When you are on Login screen, click the Power button, hold down Shift key and click Restart option.

Restart from Login screen

And keep holding down the Shift key until the following screen appears.

Windows 10 - Advanced Options - from login screen

Now click on Troubleshoot, and Reset this PC to start Reset process.

Windows 10 - Advanced Options - Troubleshoot - Reset this pc

The Reset process has 2 options in Windows 10, either Keep my files which is similar to Refresh as in Windows 8.1 or Remove everything like start from the scratch. Pick one that suits you to start.

Windows 10 - Advanced Options - Troubleshoot - Reset this pc - options

Ant that’s about it.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 08/10/2015

Posted in: Windows 10
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Kent, Thank you for this information. At first I thought it was a virus. My Windows 10 was missing, but also my left and right task bars were either missing or frozen. I could click on the settings app, but it only went as far as the blue screen with the big bolt; nothing else happened. I had attempted to restart Windows Explorer by using Alt-Cntrl-Del to access the task manager – processes. The system responded, but after a half hour it still seemed to be churning, but nothing happened. Using your recommendations, I again used Alt-Cntrl-Del to get to… Read more »