Having issues with your Surface Laptop or just want to go back to Windows 10 S after upgrading to Pro? Here's how to recover it and restore the factory settings.

Microsoft provides Surface customers with recovery images that allow you to reset your Surface as if it was just new out of the box. This requires a USB drive, some time, and an internet connection. If you're planning to sell your Surface Laptop, go back to Windows 10 S after an upgrade to Pro, or are having technical difficulties, recovering the Surface Laptop is recommended. Here's how to do it.

How to reinstall Windows 10 S on Surface Laptop

Download the recovery image

Before we get started, you have to acquire the files necessary for recovery. To do that, you're going to need your Surface Laptop serial number and some time to allow the download to complete. (You can find the 12-digit serial number on the bottom of your Surface Laptop.) The download is around 9GB, so it may take a while depending on your internet connection.

  1. Navigate to this link.

  2. Select Surface Laptop from the drop-down menu and insert your Surface Laptop serial number.

  3. Select "Download" and begin downloading the recovery image. This will take some time depending on your internet connection.

Create a USB recovery drive

Now that you have the necessary files for recovery, you need to set up a USB drive for recovery. We'll be using this USB drive to recover the Surface Laptop. Make sure the USB drive is at least 16GB in size, and that you backed up all the data on it first.

  1. Press Start.

  2. Search for "Create a recovery drive."

  3. Deselect Backup system files to the recovery drive and press Next.

  4. Select the USB stick you'll be using as the recovery drive and press Next.

  5. Select Create drive.

Extract recovery files

Once your USB recovery drive is created, you need to transfer all of the recovery files you downloaded earlier.

  1. Right click on the recovery download file (it should be named "SurfaceLaptop_BMR_151_8.199.0"), and select Extract All.

  2. Select Next.

  3. Copy all the files in the extracted folder into your newly created USB recovery drive.

    • You may be prompted to replace already existing files in the destination. If so, select "Replace files in destination."

Recover Surface Laptop

Now that you've created the USB recovery drive and loaded all the necessary files onto it, you can finally get to recovering the Surface Laptop. Make sure you backed up all your data first, as this process will remove all your apps, documents and settings.

  1. Turn off the Surface Laptop.

  2. Insert the USB recovery drive we just created into the USB port on the Surface Laptop.

  3. Hold the volume-down button and power button at the same time.

  4. When the Surface logo appears, let go of the buttons. (If it worked, you should now be at a blue screen with options to select your language)

  5. Select your language and keyboard settings.

  6. Select Troubleshoot.

  7. Select "Recover from a drive". (If prompted for a recovery key, select Skip this drive.)

  8. Select Just remove my files. (If you're giving the device away, it is recommended that you select Fully clean the drive.)

  9. Select Recover. (This will restart your Surface Laptop and take some time, but when it's done, Windows 10 S will be back on your Surface Laptop.

That's it. Your Surface Laptop should now be recovered and running Windows 10 S.