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How to Reset Surface to Factory Settings without Signing in

Forgot the password to sign in to your Surface tablet? Want to reset your computer to factory setting thus you can regain the access? If you want to perform a hard reset after forgot your Surface password, read on. This article describes 2 ways to reset your Surface to factory settings when locked.

How to factory reset Surface when locked out of it

If you forgot your password, and have no recovery drive to restore or reset your Surface tablet, you can perform a factory resetting on the login screen.

Step 1: Turn on your Surface tablet. In Windows login screen, select the Power icon in the lower right, hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click the Restart option.

Restart Surface to Bois menu

Tips: If your tablet doesn't have a physical keyboard, you can hold down the Shift key using the On-Screen Keyboard. To do: Tap Ease of Access and then select On-Screen Keyboard to open it.

Open on-screen keyboard

Step 2: Wait for Surface restarts to recovery mode, select Troubleshoot.


Step 3: On the next screen, select the Reset your PC option.

Reset this PC

Step 4: You can choose keep my files or remove my files.

factory resetting on Surface

Keep my files: If you're planning to remove virus or apps from the Internet or other channels, use this option.

Remove all: If you're planning to donate, recycle, or sell your Surface or send it in for replacement, use this option and choose to fully clean the drive.

Step 5: Select an account to continue resetting process.

Choose an account to continue

Step 6: Type password for this account if you have set. If you haven't set password for Administrator account, just leave it empty, tap on Continue.

Enter password for account

If you forgot the password, try retrieving it before performing a reset. See forgot Surface password.

Step 7: Tap Reset button, factory reset process will begin.

Reinstall Windows

How to reset to factory settings from USB recovery drive

If you failed to login to your Surface tablet, you can reset Surface to factory default using Surface recovery image. All you need is a USB flash drive with at least 8GB disk space. Here is how:

Step 1: Go to the Surface support website. Select the Surface device and type your Surface's serial number. Click Continue. By default, the serial number was printed on the back of your tablet. You can also find it in the UEFI firmware.

Download recovery image

Step 2: The recovery image is delivered as a ZIP file. Format your USB flash drive to FAT32, and then extract the contents of the ZIP file to the root path of your USB drive.

Format USB drive to FAT32

Step 3: Turn on your Surface tablet and insert the recovery USB drive. Press and hold the Volume down button and press the Power button to boot your tablet from USB drive. As soon as the Surface logo appears, release the Volume down button.

Boot your tablet from USB drive

Step 4: Surface will boot into the recovery mode. Choose your language and keyboard layout, and then at the Choose an option screen, choose Troubleshoot, then Reset your PC. You can choose to factory reset Surface with or without keeping all your files and apps.

Recover to factory settings

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the factory reset process. After you complete the reset, everything should be clean and just like the first time you took it out of the box.