Guide to resetting Windows laptops and tablets
- Before you start
- Get local admin and BIOS passwords
- Reset the BIOS password
- Unlock recovery mode
- Reset the device
- Apply your own settings
- Additional support
1. Before you start
Why devices need to be reset
‘Restricted’ Windows devices provided though the Get help with technology programme came with security software that was due to expire on 30 September 2021. To ensure devices remain safe for children and young people to use, we’ve extended licenses until 30 September 2022. You’re still required to reset devices and apply your own safeguarding settings as soon as possible.
When licenses 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
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
Services to support retrieval of DFE-restricted devices
We can offer support to help organisations retrieve devices from children and young people so they can be reset.
If requested, we’ll display a message on the device’s login screen, lock screen, desktop background and as a popup message. The message will say that the device needs a critical update and that the user should contact the organisation that gave it to them to arrange this.
Restricting internet access
If requested, we’ll disable the device’s internet access. A message will also be displayed on the lock screen and desktop background stating that it needs a critical update and that the user should contact the organisation that gave it to them to arrange this.
If you’d like to use either of these services email COVID.TECHNOLOGY@education.gov.uk.
Get local admin and BIOS passwords