From education to employment
Emsi becomes Lightcast

Resetting Windows laptops and tablets

SkillsWorld Live - Why is qualification reform so controversial?

Step 1 – Before you start

Who needs to reset devices

If you received ‘DfE-restricted’ Windows devices in the 2019 to 20 or 2020 to 21 academic years, you’ll need to reset them as soon as possible. You do not need to reset ‘Standard’ Windows devices, Chromebooks or iPads.

Why DfE-restricted Windows devices need to be reset

‘Restricted’ Windows devices provided though the Get help with technology programme came with security software. It was due to expire on 30 September 2021, but to ensure devices remain safe for children and young people to use, we extended licences until 30 September 2022. You’re still required to reset devices and apply your own safeguarding settings as soon as possible.

When licences expire, users will be able to freely access any online content. Devices will not be maintained with future updates including virus scans and software upgrades. It’s your responsibility to safeguard the young people in your care.

What you need to do

You’ll need to read all of this guide, through to ‘Apply your own settings’, to ensure that you complete the reset process.

‘Restricted’ Windows laptops and tablets need to be restored to factory settings. This removes existing device management and content filtering software so you can apply your own.

You should reset devices as soon as possible.
Back up anything you need from devices before resetting.
Each reset will take approximately 40 to 60 minutes.
You will need to do this for each device individually.
This process can be done at the same time on multiple devices.

Step 2 – Get local admin and BIOS passwords

Why do I need this information?

Local admin password – this allows you to sign into the admin user accounts for laptops and tablets where you can access options to reset the device. This cannot be done from the ‘local user’ account on the device.
BIOS password – every laptop and tablet has a system that controls the device, called the BIOS. To protect devices, this system has been password protected. You need the BIOS password so you can complete the reset process.

You should only share your passwords with trusted users who are resetting laptops and tablets or applying device management and content filtering settings.

Get passwords

Passwords for DfE-restricted devices ordered by your organisation were emailed to everyone with a login for the DfE Get help with technology service at your organisation on 23 and 24 May 2022. Please refer back to this email for your passwords.

If you cannot find the email or need passwords for devices not included in the email, and no one else in your organisation has this information, email [email protected] with this information:

organisation name
organisation URN
serial numbers of devices you require passwords for

Step 3 – Reset the BIOS password

To reset devices, you need to access the device BIOS and reset the password.

When you’ve completed this stage, remember to work through the rest of the guidance to the end.

How to access the BIOS for your device

If your specific device is not listed below, follow the instructions for other makes and models.

Acer (all models)

Access BIOS

From the Windows Start menu, select the power icon.
Hold down ‘Shift’ and select ‘Restart’.
When the ‘Choose an option’ screen appears, select ‘Troubleshoot’.
On the ‘Advanced Options’ screen, select ‘UEFI Firmware settings’.
Select ‘Restart’.
The device will boot into BIOS.

Reset BIOS Password

Check if your organisation has security policies that you need to follow before resetting and storing your passwords.

Enter the BIOS password (case sensitive).
Select the ‘Security’ tab and ‘Set Supervisor Password’.
Enter the current BIOS password when asked.
Enter and confirm your new password, or leave this blank.
Press ‘Enter’ and when you see ‘Changes have been saved’, select ‘Continue’.
Press F10 to save and exit – confirm by selecting ‘Yes’.

ASUS (all models)

Access BIOS

From the Windows Start menu, select the power icon.
Hold down ‘Shift’ and select ‘Restart’.
When the ‘Choose an option’ screen appears, select ‘Troubleshoot’.
On the ‘Advanced Options’ screen, select ‘UEFI Firmware settings’.
Select ‘Restart’.
The device will boot into BIOS.

Reset BIOS Password

Check if your organisation has security policies that you need to follow before resetting and storing your passwords.

Enter the BIOS password (case sensitive).
Press F7 for Advanced Mode.
Select the ‘Security’ tab and ‘Setup Administrator Password’.
Enter and confirm your new password, or leave this blank.
Select the ‘Save & Exit’ tab.
Select ‘Save Changes and Exit’, then confirm when prompted.

Dell (all models)

Access BIOS

If the device is on, shut it down fully from the Windows Start menu.
Press the power button and immediately press F2 key repeatedly (multiple presses, not holding the key down).
Keep pressing the F2 key until you’re prompted for the ‘Supervisor Password’.
If you’re not asked for this password, you may not have timed pressing F2 correctly – shut the device down fully and try again.

Reset BIOS Password

Check if your organisation has security policies that you need to follow before resetting and storing your passwords.

Enter the BIOS password (case sensitive).
Select the ‘Security’ tab and ‘Administrator Password’.
If asked, enter the current BIOS password.
Enter and confirm your new password, or leave this blank.
Select the ‘Exit’ menu.
Select ‘Save Changes and Exit’, then confirm if prompted.

Dynabook (A30)

Access BIOS

If the device is on, shut it down fully from the Windows Start menu.
Press the power button and immediately press F2 key repeatedly (multiple presses, not holding the key down).
Keep pressing the F2 key until you’re prompted for the ‘Supervisor Password’.
If you’re not asked for this password, you may not have timed pressing F2 correctly – shut the device down fully and try again.

Reset BIOS Password

Check if your organisation has security policies that you need to follow before resetting and storing your passwords.

Enter the BIOS password (case sensitive) and press ‘Enter’.
Choose the ‘Security Menu’ and select ‘Supervisor – Registered’.
Enter the current BIOS password when asked.
Enter and confirm your new password, or leave this blank, then press ‘Enter’.
Press F10 to save and exit – confirm by selecting ‘Yes’.

Dynabook (R50)

A ‘BIOS Unlock’ app is required for Dynabook R50 laptops. To download this executable file email [email protected] with ‘Dynabook R50 BIOS’ as the subject line and we’ll send the file to you.

Once the file has been downloaded, right-click it and select ‘Run as administrator’. Follow the on-screen instructions to reset the BIOS password.

Dynabook (other models)

Access BIOS

From the Windows Start menu, select the power icon.
Hold down ‘Shift’ and select ‘Restart’.
When the ‘Choose an option’ screen appears, select ‘Troubleshoot’.
On the ‘Advanced Options’ screen, select ‘UEFI Firmware settings’.
Select ‘Restart’.
The device will boot into BIOS.

Reset BIOS Password

Check if your organisation has security policies that you need to follow before resetting and storing your passwords.

Enter the BIOS password (case sensitive).
Select the ‘Security’ tab and ‘Setup Administrator Password’.
Enter the current BIOS password when asked.
Enter and confirm your new password, or leave this blank. If you leave this blank, press ‘Enter’ when asked ‘Clear Old Password. Continue?’.
Press F10 to save and exit – confirm by selecting ‘Yes’.

Geobook (all models)

Access BIOS

From the Windows Start menu, select the power icon.
Hold down ‘Shift’ and select ‘Restart’.
When the ‘Choose an option’ screen appears, select ‘Troubleshoot’.
On the ‘Advanced Options’ screen, select ‘UEFI Firmware settings’.
Select ‘Restart’.
The device will boot into BIOS.

Reset BIOS Password

Check if your organisation has security policies that you need to follow before resetting and storing your passwords.

Enter the BIOS password (case sensitive).
Select the ‘Security’ tab and ‘Setup Administrator Password’.
Enter the current BIOS password when asked.
Enter and confirm your new password, or leave this blank. If you leave this blank, press ‘Enter’ when asked ‘Clear Old Password. Continue?’.
Press F10 to save and exit – confirm by selecting ‘Yes’.

HP (255)

Access BIOS

When the device is powered off, press the power button then repeatedly press F10, or:

From the Windows Start menu, select the power icon.
Hold down ‘Shift’ and select ‘Restart’.
When the ‘Choose an option’ screen appears, select ‘Troubleshoot’.
On the ‘Advanced Options’ screen, select ‘UEFI Firmware settings’.
Select ‘Restart’.
The device will boot into BIOS.

Reset BIOS Password

Check if your organisation has security policies that you need to follow before resetting and storing your passwords.

Enter the BIOS password (case sensitive).
Select the ‘Security’ menu and ‘Administrator Password’.
Enter the current BIOS password when asked.
Enter and confirm your new password, or leave this blank.
Select the ‘Exit’ menu.
Select ‘Save Changes and Exit’, then confirm when prompted.

Lenovo (all models)

Access BIOS

From the Windows Start menu, select the power icon.
Hold down ‘Shift’ and select ‘Restart’.
When the ‘Choose an option’ screen appears, select ‘Troubleshoot’.
On the ‘Advanced Options’ screen, select ‘UEFI Firmware settings’.
Select ‘Restart’.
The device will boot into BIOS.

Reset BIOS Password

Check if your organisation has security policies that you need to follow before resetting and storing your passwords.

Enter the BIOS password (case sensitive).
Select the ‘Security’ tab and ‘Setup Administrator Password’.
If asked, enter the current BIOS password.
Enter and confirm your new password, or leave this blank.
Press ‘Enter’ when you see ‘Changes have been saved’.
Press F10 to save and exit – confirm by selecting ‘Yes’.

Microsoft (Surface Go)

Access BIOS

When the device is powered off, hold down the volume up (+) button while pressing the power button, or:

From the Windows Start menu, select the power icon.
Hold down ‘Shift’ and select ‘Restart’.
When the ‘Choose an option’ screen appears, select ‘Troubleshoot’.
Select ‘UEFI’ then ‘Firmware Settings’.
Select ‘Restart’.
The device will boot into BIOS.

Reset BIOS Password

Check if your organisation has security policies that you need to follow before resetting and storing your passwords.

Enter the BIOS password (case sensitive).
Select the ‘Security’ menu and ‘UEFI Password’.
Enter the current BIOS password when asked.
Enter and confirm your new password, or leave this blank.
Select ‘Yes’.
Select ‘OK’ when you see ‘Changes have been saved’.
Select the ‘Exit’ menu and choose ‘Restart Now’.

Other makes and models
Access BIOS

From the Windows Start menu, select the power icon.
Hold down ‘Shift’ and select ‘Restart’.
When the ‘Choose an option’ screen appears, select ‘Troubleshoot’.
On the ‘Advanced Options’ screen, select ‘UEFI Firmware settings’.
Select ‘Restart’.
The device will boot into BIOS – you may be required to select ‘Unlock’.

Reset BIOS Password

Check if your organisation has security policies that you need to follow before resetting and storing your passwords.

Enter the BIOS password (case sensitive).
Select the ‘Security’ menu and the option that resembles ‘Administrator Password’.
If asked, enter the current BIOS password.
Enter and confirm your new password, or leave this blank.
Select the ‘Exit’ menu.
Select ‘Save Changes and Exit’, then confirm if prompted.

Step 4 – Unlock recovery mode

To enable the recovery partition, log out as a local user and log in as the administrator.

Administrator login details

Username: .localadmin
Password: The admin user password retrieved through step 2 of this guide

Once logged in as administrator, follow the steps below:

Open the Windows start menu and type ‘cmd’ into the search box.
Right-select on ‘Command prompt’ and click ‘Run as administrator’.
If asked ‘Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?’, select ‘Yes’.
Within the command prompt window, type ‘reagentc /enable’ and press ‘Enter’ – after several seconds the output should say ‘Operation Successful’.
Type ‘reagentc /boottore’ and press ‘Enter’ – after several seconds the output should say ‘Operation Successful’.
To check the status of the recovery partition, type ‘reagentc /info’ and press ‘Enter’ – after several seconds the output should say ‘Enabled’.

Step 5 – Reset the device

Your device is now ready to be reset to factory settings. This will usually take between 40 and 60 minutes.

Enter recovery mode

Open the Windows Start menu and select the power button. While holding down ‘Shift’ select ‘Restart’.

The device should restart to a blue recovery mode screen.

If the above method is not successful, try pressing and holding the following keys while your device is booting:

Acer – F2.
ASUS – F9.
Dell – F8.
Dynabook – 0 (zero).
HP – F11.
Lenovo – FN+F11 at the same time.

Consult the manufacturer’s guidance for specific instructions if the methods above do not work.

Perform a factory reset

From the recovery mode menu:

Select ‘Troubleshoot’ and select ‘Reset this PC’ – if you’re asked where to reinstall Windows, select ‘Local Reinstall’.
Select ‘Remove everything’ – your screen may go blank for a short period after this.
When asked if you want to keep this PC set up for your workspace, select ‘No’.
Select ‘Clean the drive fully’ and select ‘Reset’ when prompted.

The device will now enter the reset process – this usually takes between 40 and 60 minutes.

If you cannot complete these steps, the BIOS password process may not have been completed correctly. Revisit step 2 of this guide, or email [email protected] if you require additional support.

The reset is complete when you see either the Windows setup screen or a black screen with white text asking if you wish to remove the TPM (Trusted Platform Module). This is up to your organisation’s preferences and not part of our reset guidance.

Step 6 – Apply your own settings

After resetting devices, you should apply your own security settings and set up content filtering to ensure they’re safe for users.

For more information on how to do this, read our guidance on preparing standard Microsoft Windows laptops and tablets.

Guidance on Keeping Children Safe in Education provides online safety resources, including:

Read More

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Resources

Related Articles

City & Guilds Associate Vacancies available - FE News

Responses