How to format a PC in Windows 11

We are going to explain the best way to completely reset your computer by formatting the drive and deleting all files from internal storage

Formatting your computer can be the solution to many problems . For example, if you upgraded from Windows 10 to Windows 11, you may experience performance issues or frequent errors. Likewise, if you are used to installing and uninstalling a lot of programs. In this case, the best way to completely clean your computer is to reset it. For this, there are two procedures that you must know and which we will talk about in this guide.

How to format a computer from the setup application

We’ll start by talking about the easiest way to format your computer . It’s in the Settings app, which you can easily find in the Start menu. You can also use the combination Windows + I to access the options.

Open Windows 11 Settings

Open Windows 11 Settings

Once there, go to the System heading and click on Recovery .

Open recovery options

Open recovery options

Click the Reset PC button .

Restore PC
Restore PC

Click restore PC

In the pop-up window, you will see two options. Although there is a way to reset the computer while keeping the existing files, the most recommended method is to Delete everything . By choosing this option, you will be able to apply a deeper cleaning to the system. However, remember that it will be essential that you have a backup copy of your most precious files, whether in the cloud or on any other medium.

Delete all files
Delete all files

click Delete all files

In the next step, choose whether you want to reinstall Windows 11 from the cloud or locally. The first option gets you the latest available version released by Microsoft, although the process is slower due to the implicit download. On the other hand, you have the local reinstallation option , which is faster because it does not require downloading the entire operating system again. The choice doesn’t really matter, because in both cases the system is completely reset and all files are deleted.

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Type of installation

Type of installation

Take a look at the summary of options under Additional Settings . If everything is correct, click Next to start the process.

Start the restore process

Start the restore process

Depending on the mode chosen, reinstalling Windows 11 will take more or less time. In any case, resetting a PC usually takes between 30 minutes and an hour.

Formatting a Computer with a Bootable USB Drive

You can also format your computer using a bootable USB drive . Microsoft offers a tool that allows you to create a USB key to reinstall Windows 11. Download it for free using the link on this page. Windows 11 Media Creation Tool 10.0.22000.253

LANGUAGEFrenchS.EWindowsLICENSESFree

Then run the program and accept the terms and conditions.

Accept terms and conditions

Accept terms and conditions

Choose your language and Windows 11 edition to continue. In most cases, it’s best to leave the Use recommended options for this PC box unchecked . Click the Next button to continue.

Select Windows version

Select Windows version

Since your intention is to create a bootable USB drive to format the computer and not just download the Windows 11 ISO, check the USB drive option . Once again, click Next to proceed to the next step.

Select bootable USB drive

Select bootable USB drive

Choose the USB flash drive you want to use.

Choose the specific unit

Choose the specific unit

Finally, the wizard will start generating the startup key.

Wait for the boot drive to be created

Wait for the boot drive to be created

Of course, just having a USB drive with Windows 11 is not enough to format your computer. Now you need to plug it into your computer and restart your system. Set the USB drive as the primary boot device in BIOS and wait for the installer to appear on the screen.

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Choose your language and click Next to continue.

Select language during installation

Select language during installation

Click Install Now .

Install Windows 11

Install Windows 11

Follow the on-screen steps until you reach the What type of installation do you want? There, select the Custom : Install Windows only (advanced) option .

Custom Install

Custom Install

Now, since your computer has its own partitions, use the Delete button to remove them. Do the same for the partitions that house the operating system. If you have a secondary disk or partition, be careful not to delete it. You could lose your data.

Delete current partitions

Delete current partitions

When you have deleted all system partitions, select the unallocated space and click New .

Create a new score

Create a new score

Specify the space to allocate to the new partition. Then use the Apply button to save the changes.

Define a size

Define a size

Choose the new already formatted partition to install the operating system.

New partitions created

New partitions created

Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the Windows 11 installation. The computer will restart several times during the process. Don’t worry, this is completely normal.

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