How to Restart a Dell Computer

by Brenda Priddy

Restarting a Dell computer is a simple process. There are two forms of restart. One form simply requires the user to turn the computer off, then turn it back on again. This simple restart helps the processor function better. The other form of restart is necessary if a virus attacks the computer or if some other problem occurs. This restart reboots the computer as if it were a completely new computer, restoring all factory settings and deleting any information placed onto the computer after the first use. Since turning off the computer is so simple, the following instructions help restart the Dell computer to factory settings.

Windows Vista and Windows 7

Save any files that you want to keep to an external hard drive or thumb drive. Some computers will also allow you to save data to an SD card. Remember to save documents, financial records, pictures and Internet favorites.

Turn off the computer. Turn the computer back on. Before the Windows logo appears on the screen, hold down the "F8" key until the Advanced Boot Options menu appears.

Select the "Repair Your Computer" option, then hit "Enter." You then must select a language, then log in as the computer administrator.

Select the "Dell Factory Computer Image Restore" option and hit "Enter." Click "Next," then click the "Yes" check box to restore the computer to factory settings. Click "Next," then click "Finish" after the computer is finished restoring. This will restart the computer and restore the computer to factory settings.

Windows XP

Save all files that you wish to keep to an external hard drive. Turn off the computer then turn it back on. Before the windows logo screen pops up, hit the "Ctrl" and "F11" keys at the same time to open the System Restore program.

Select the "Restore" option and press "Enter." Click on the "Confirm" button that pops up.

Wait for the computer to restore to original factory settings. When the process is complete, select the "Finish" option and press "Enter." This will restart the computer.


  • close Do not use a system restore if you do not have to. This will destroy any data placed on the computer after the initial use of the computer. Some computers may have the option to restart the computer to a certain date, such as one or two weeks in the past, which will not eliminate all data. Use this form of restoration whenever possible.

About the Author

Brenda Priddy has more than 10 years of crafting and design experience, as well as more than six years of professional writing experience. Her work appears in online publications such as Donna Rae at Home, Five Minutes for Going Green and Daily Mayo. Priddy also writes for Archstone Business Solutions and holds an Associate of Arts in English from McLennan Community College.