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Windows 10/11 Reset (Wipe) Function May Leave Files Behind, Microsoft Warns

Microsoft has warned that users should be aware of the risks involved with using its Reset function and not rely on it to completely reset their computer. The company says it provides a way for users to start over without getting rid of important files, but if these are accidentally deleted by mistake, Microsoft will not provide any support in recovering them.,

The “workspace one enterprise reset” is a function in Windows 10/11 that allows users to reset the operating system. The function may leave files behind, however, Microsoft warns.

Windows 10/11 Reset (Wipe) Function May Leave Files Behind, Microsoft Warns

Microsoft-Confirms-That-Windows-11-Will-Require-Newer-Processors-andImage credit: Microsoft

If you thought Microsoft’s “Reset your PC” option was a terrific method to completely remove an installation and all of its related files, think again, since the corporation has recently revealed on its own documentation site that it may still leave data behind.

The manual/remote wipe feature in some versions of Windows is really foolish enough to leave data on the system, as explained in a comprehensive piece by Rudy Ooms, inventor of Call4Cloud. User data is not erased from the Windows.old folder, which is a fantastic flaw that might enable shady purchasers to suck important information from used computers.

Windows 11, version 21H2; Windows 10, version 21H2; Windows 10, version 21H1; and Windows 10, version 20H2 are also impacted, according to Microsoft’s list of known problems for Windows 11. As the description of the problem suggests, files may remain after resetting a Windows device on several versions of the OS.

This is nearly as reckless as Microsoft’s release of a Windows 10 upgrade that caused people’s data to delete themselves. Fortunately, in current and future versions of the operating system, this will never happen again…

After resetting a Windows device, files may remain (Microsoft)

When using the “Remove everything” option to reset a Windows device with programs that have reparse data folders, such as OneDrive or OneDrive for Business, files that have been downloaded or synced locally from OneDrive may not be removed. When performing a manual reset from inside Windows or a remote reset, this problem may occur. Mobile Device Management (MDM) or other management software, such as Microsoft Intune or third-party technologies, may be used to do remote resets. Because the files are not downloaded or synchronized locally, OneDrive files that are “cloud only” or have not been downloaded or browsed on the device are unaffected and will not persist. Note: The functionality to reset your device may be referred to as “Push Button Reset,” “PBR,” “Reset This PC,” “Reset PC,” or “Fresh Start” by certain device makers and literature.

Workaround: To solve this problem, do the following:

  • Before rebooting your Windows device, sign out or unlink OneDrive to avoid this problem. See the “Unlink OneDrive” section of Turn off, deactivate, or uninstall OneDrive for instructions.
  • On devices that have previously been reset, this problem may be avoided by following the procedures in KB5012334. —In the Settings app, go to Storage sense and delete the Windows.old folder.

Next steps: We’re working on a solution for a future version, and we’ll let you know as soon as it’s ready.

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The “21h2 wiping tool user data on” is a warning from Microsoft that the reset function of Windows 10 and 11 can leave files behind. This means that if you want to clear your hard drive, make sure you back up all your important data first.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does resetting Windows wipe all drives?

A: To reset a Windows computer, you must first turn off the power as well as any connected to it. It is then recommended that you disconnect your hard drive from the computer and wait for at least 5 minutes before trying to use it again because of how sensitive data can be when being read or written on disks during this time frame.

Does resetting PC remove Microsoft account?

A: Yes.

What happens when you reset your PC and keep files?

A: The system takes a snapshot of the files before they are removed. The files can be retrieved later, but it will not contain any changes that were made to them while they were gone.

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