How to Fix the 'There Was a Problem Resetting Your PC' Error

Troubleshooting guide for 'Reset This PC' errors

If you have a problem with Windows that’s too complicated to fix manually, you might try using Reset This PC. It’s supposed to completely reinstall Windows with just a few clicks, and can be extremely helpful... if it works.

If Reset This PC fails to run, you’ll get the "There was a problem resetting your PC" error, which looks like this:

There was a problem resetting your pc error

You're clearly trying to solve another problem with a reset but the reset tool itself doesn’t even work! Without much more to go on than a simple failure to launch, it’s hard to know exactly why Reset This PC didn’t start properly.

Luckily there are a few things you can try.

Reset This PC errors can happen on Windows 10 and Windows 8. The directions below apply to both operating systems.

How to Fix the 'There Was a Problem Resetting Your PC' Error

  1. Restart your computer and try again (reset is different than restart).

    A simple restart is easy to try and often fixes unexplained problems. This might be all you need to do.

  2. Run Startup Repair from the Advanced Startup Options (ASO) menu. This will attempt to fix problems that are preventing Windows from loading, which might be why Reset This PC won’t start.

    Startup Repair in Advanced Options menu

    To fix the “There was a problem resetting your PC” error with Startup Repair, you’ll need to access the ASO menu. Once you’re there, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Repair.

  3. Repair system files with the sfc /scannow command. Reset This PC might be trying to use some important Windows files that are corrupt, which is why you’re seeing this error.

    sfc scannow command in Command Prompt

    You’ll need to run a command to do this, which you can do in an elevated Command Prompt from within Windows. If you can’t get as far as your desktop, use the Command Prompt in the ASO menu. Instructions for both methods are available in that link above.

  4. Run System Restore. This will undo any changes made to Windows files that might be the cause for the “There was a problem resetting your PC” error. Just be sure to restore your computer to a point before the error starting occurring.

    Windows 10 System Restore screen

    If you can’t log in to Windows to run System Restore, you can also do it from the ASO menu via Troubleshoot > System Restore or from bootable installation media (see the last step below).

  5. Repair Windows Recovery Environment. If the WinRE image is, for whatever reason, missing or corrupt, it might be throwing the “There was a problem resetting your PC” error.

    To repair it, open an elevated Command Prompt and enter this command:

    reagentc /disable
    reagentc disable command in Command Prompt

    Reboot your computer, open Command Prompt again, and enter this command:

    reagentc /enable

    This fix is only relevant for a very specific situation, which might be unrelated to what's causing the problem. Be sure to complete the other steps above before moving on to this one.

  6. If after trying all of these suggestions, you’ve still been unable to fix the “There was a problem resetting your PC” error, you can bypass it entirely by installing Windows from a disc or a flash drive. Since your goal from the beginning was to wipe the whole drive and reinstall Windows 10 or Windows 8, you can do so from installation media.

    For this task, you’ll need to have Windows 10 or Windows 8 on a disc or a flash drive. You’ll be booting to that instead of the hard drive so that you can use the software installed there to reinstall Windows.

    Learn how to download Windows 10 or how to download Windows 8 if you don’t already have the OS stored on a bootable device. If you're unfamiliar with the boot process, learn how to boot from a disc or how to boot from a USB device.