How To Reinstall Windows 10 On A Lenovo Laptop

Updated 26/10/21 Added video guide

Rarely, Windows might need a clean install. We’ve uploaded a few steps on how you could clean install Windows. This guide is specific to Lenovo laptops. Alternatively, we have a video version of the guide below

We also have guides for HP and Dell laptops.

Part 1: Download what you’ll need.

Step A: Use Microsoft's free Windows 10 Installation Media tool, to create a Windows 10 boot USB (the USB has to be at least 8GB in size).
Step B: Once the USB has been created using the tool, make a new folder (Call it “Lenovo Drivers” to be simple, you can use other names, as long as it does not clash with any folder name what's already there; this folder intends to hold the optional drivers for you to install later).
Step C: Download the graphics driver into the folder where applicable. Skip this step if your laptop does not have a dedicated graphics card. For NVIDIA graphics cards, goto NVIDIA's website & download the graphics driver (select the graphics card model; e.g. on ZBook Studio G7 it would be: Quadro > Quadro Series (Notebooks) > Quadro T2000.

Part 2: Backup all your data.

Clean installing Windows 10, will wipe all your data - so make sure the data you’ll need is backed-up fully externally.

Part 3: Check AC Charger, Soft Power Reset, Reset BIOS to default

Step A: Turn the laptop on, insert the charger and reset the laptop. If you receive a message stating that the charger is incompatible, we recommend using a different charger to see if the message persists (this message can appear if the charger you are using is an inadequate wattage).
Step B: Remove the AC charger from the Laptop (and where applicable, also remove the battery). Now, press down the power button for 30 seconds. Then, connect the AC charger in without reconnecting the battery.
Step C: Turn on your laptop. Once you are booted into the operating system, hold the power button on the system (Do not shutdown from Windows). Turn on your laptop again, and press the Enter key when prompted. Follow the on-screen instructions to enter the BIOS (this is usually the F1 key). When you are in the bios, press F9 to load default settings, then navigate to Restart > Exit Saving Changes.

Part 4: Configuring BIOS

Legacy vs UEFI

There are two options for configuring the BIOS that you should decide for your system: Legacy, and UEFI. As a general rule, Legacy is for older hardware and UEFI is for newer hardware. Newer hardware may only run in UEFI mode, so if Legacy does not work for installing Windows on your system, install UEFI (additionally if you plan to upgrade to Windows 11, it will require UEFI, so make sure not to use Legacy in this case).

Legacy tends to be more stable, so (especially with older hardware) we recommend using Legacy first if possible, unless UEFI is required.

Step 4A (Setting up in Legacy mode):  

Re-enter the BIOS as detailed in Step 3C. Change the following settings in this order

  • Security > Secure Boot > Change “Secure Boot” to “Disabled”
  • Startup > “UEFI/Legacy Boot” to “Both”
  • Startup > “UEFI/Legacy Boot Priority” to “Legacy First”
  • Startup > Boot > Ensure that your boot drive is the highest on the list (This is usually the name of your SSD/HDD)
  • Restart > “Exit Saving Changes” or Press F10 for Save and Exit.

If all of these options have worked and been set, move on to Step 5. If not, because your laptop is a UEFI system (or your system otherwise won’t boot in Legacy mode), try step 4B.

Step 4B: (Alternatively - Setting up in UEFI mode):

Follow the steps from 3C to enter the BIOS. Change the following settings in this order:

  • Startup > “UEFI/Legacy Boot” to “UEFI Only”
  • Security > Secure Boot > Change “Secure Boot” to “Enabled” (there will be an additional confirmation box if this is changed from Legacy, accept this as well)
  • Startup > Boot > Ensure that your boot drive is the highest on the list (This is usually the name of your SDD/HDD)
  • Restart > “Exit Saving Changes” or Press F10 for Save and Exit


Part 5: Install Windows

  1. Insert the Windows 10 USB you’ve made
  2. Shutdown your PC, and while restarting it, press Esc until you enter the Startup Menu. Select your Windows 10 USB from this menu
  3. Follow the onscreen instructions to install Windows 10 (Make sure to delete the files on the drive containing the previous Windows installation)

Part 6: After Windows has been installed.

Once you're in Windows:
Step A: Install the graphics drivers first. Initially, the system will appear to be less responsive / the internet appears slow.
This is because it is updating the drivers in the background. An idea is to leave the laptop for 10-15mins whilst it sets up (depending on your internet speed this could take longer).
Step B: Open "Windows update" - let it find more drivers (restart once it requests).
Step C: Open the Windows Store and download “Lenovo Vantage”, use it to install the remaining updates automatically.
Step D: Open Windows’ Device Manager (either by searching for Device Manager in the search bar, or by holding the Windows Key and pressing X and choosing Device manager) and check if there are any devices missing under “Other Devices”.
If all devices are installed, your system is set up and ready to use. If there are devices still remaining, search for them manually on the Lenovo website.