How to Factory Reset Surface Pro Before Trading or Selling

Factory resetting your Surface Pro involves going to Settings > Update & security > Recovery > Get started > Remove everything > Remove files and clean the drive > Reset. Once this is done, you can be confident that your data is gone and you are protected.

Having reset and sold many devices over the years, I know how important a process this is. Unfortunately, it isn’t always the easiest thing to find out about and do if you’ve never done it before.

Without any further ado, this guide is going to take you through not only how to factory reset your Surface Pro safely and effectively, but also other things you should do before trading it in or selling it.

Key Takeaways

  • Always back up your data before performing a factory reset, to ensure nothing of importance is lost.
  • The process for resetting your Surface Pro to factory settings is relatively simple once you know where to look, and won’t take a ton of time in most cases.
  • In addition to resetting your device before selling, consider doing things like cleaning it and deregistering it.

Backup Your Data

Before you reset your device, there is a good chance you’d like to preserve all the data and information on it to transfer to your new computer. This can be done simply and affordably by making a backup.

You can often back up using cloud storage, but another option is to simply connect an external hard drive to your Surface Pro and store your information on it. In many cases, you may want to consider doing both just to make sure nothing accidentally gets lost.

Resetting the Surface Pro to Factory Settings

Once you have a backup made to ensure everything is safe and ready to be added onto your new device, it is time to reset your Surface Pro back to factory settings. To do this, you begin by heading into Settings.

Next, click Update & security, and then Recovery. Once you click Get started, you will be greeted with two options. The first is to keep files, but remove apps and settings, and the second is to remove everything. We generally recommend you go with the second choice.

Then you are asked if you also want to clean the drive, or if you simply want to remove the files. We recommend you choose the option to clean the drives as it will make it much harder for someone to recover the files you have removed.

Next, simply hit Reset and your computer will begin the process of wiping all information and data. This can take a while depending on which options you chose, but once it’s done, your Surface Pro will be free from all your personal data and able to be traded in or sold.

Other Things to do Before Selling or Trading Your Surface Pro

In addition to resetting the device to factory settings, there are other things you should do before selling or trading your Surface Pro. First of all, you should deregister your Surface Pro with Microsoft. This will ensure your Surface Pro is no longer associated with your account at all.

Of course, if you never registered your device, you can skip this step. Next, it is a good idea to consider cleaning up your Surface Pro. This includes wiping dust off the screen with a soft lint-free cloth, and using a light soap and some water to clean your Type Cover.

While this isn’t a “must” it is a nice thing to do to ensure whoever gets your Surface Pro next is happy with it.


Here are a few commonly asked questions about factory resetting your Surface Pro, along with their answers.

Why is it important to factory reset a Surface Pro before selling it?

The reason it is important to factory reset your Surface Pro (or any other device) before selling is to protect yourself and your data. Our computers are full of personal information that we likely don’t want others getting access to.

If you leave all of your personal information and data on the device, and it gets in the wrong hands, you could find yourself in a very difficult situation. It is simply easier and better for our peace of mind to wipe the device before giving it to someone else.

How can I factory reset a Surface Pro if I don’t have the recovery key?

In some cases, when you attempt to reset your Surface Pro, it might ask you for a recovery key. If you don’t have this recovery key, you will need to create and use a USB recovery drive to reset your computer.

Here is a helpful video outlining the process:

Final Thoughts

Whether you are giving your Surface Pro to a friend, trading it in, or selling it to your neighbor, it is important to make sure all of your data is gone. If not, you could put yourself and your sensitive information at risk.

We hope that this guide helped you learn more about how to reset your Surface Pro, and also other important things to do before selling it.

Is there anything else you feel we should have mentioned in this guide? If so, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below.

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