How to restore your Windows device to factory settings

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Before you start!

Factory Reset is only compatible with Mac devices linked to our APNS certificate, and Windows devices running at least Windows 10 with a recovery partition. The information in this article is only valid for Windows devices.

For information on how to link your Mac device to our APNS certificate and the Factory Reset action for MacOS, please check out our help center article on that. If you need to create a recovery partition on your Windows device, please check out this external article.

In order to perform a factory reset, Prey requires any laptop to be connected to a power outlet in order to correctly and safely finish the process. If the device where you want to execute the action does not meet this condition, the action might fail.

Please keep in mind that executing the Factory Reset action is irreversible, and it will remove all traces of Prey from your device. Factory Reset will take some time to execute, as it needs to format your hard drive and install the operating system; if you need to act quickly on a device, please review the Kill Switch action.

Whether you're provisioning your fleet for employees, or you want to have your home laptop just as it was when you first bought it; Prey's Factory Reset action allows you to do just that, directly from your Prey panel, no matter where you are. To restore your device to its factory settings, follow this quick step-by-step guide:


Check your Device's Compatibility with Factory Reset

The action button itself will show you whether the device is compatible or not with Factory Reset. If your device is currently not compatible, you'll see the button as per the image below:

When you click on the action, a modal will show you the specific requirements that are not being met in order to execute the action, as per the following screenshot:

Please check out the note at the beginning of the article to review your device's compatibility.


Select the Action, Enter your Password, and Confirm

Once you select the action, all you have to do is enter your password, accept the conditions under which the action will be executed and hit the confirm button.

The Factory Reset process can take from minutes on newer devices, up to several hours in old machines, so your mileage may vary. Once completed, a notification will appear on top of the Actions bar, and the Factory Reset button will appear as follows:

If the Prey client is unavailable, the action will be queued and executed once the client comes back online.

And that's about it! With Factory Reset, you'll be able to delete sensitive data and make sure your device is just as it was when you first bought it, no matter where you are.

If you have any questions, or need assistance, our support team is available for you at

Happy hunting!

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