How to reset Ubuntu, Linux Mint settings to default without need of reinstalling

Know how to Factory Reset Ubuntu

It is common for Linux newbies to run into issues due to accidental changes in settings, leading to unstable and erratic system performance. How about an idea of having a master reset button that allow you to reset the computer to factory settings?

Resetter is a promising free utility for Ubuntu based distributions. It will help to reset an Ubuntu, Linux-Mint, elementary OS and derivatives to stock, without having to reinstall entire OS again. Seems like the idea popped up from the existing factory reset feature in smartphones.

Resetting Ubuntu to factory settings

STEP 1: Download Resetter from the official Github page. The file name should be similar to resetter_1.1.3-stable_all.deb, except the version number may be different depending on when you download it.

STEP 2: The downloaded file is a .deb binary. So all you need to do is double-click on it and install.

Install Resetter
Install Resetter

STEP 3: After installation is complete, launch ‘Terminal’ and enter the following command to launch ‘Resetter’. The program will only work in root mode. Hence it won’t work if you just launch it from applications menu.

sudo resetter

Launching Resetter in Ubuntu 17.10 Terminal
Launching Resetter in Ubuntu 17.10 Terminal

STEP 4: You have two options to reset:

Resetter User Interface
Resetter User Interface

Automatic Reset: This option will reset everything including the user account registered in the PC. It will however create a new user ‘default’ and provide you the password at the end so that you can login and start using the brand new installation.

Custom Reset: You get selective options on how you want to reset the PC. You can check the settings individually that needs to be reset, for a controlled factory restore.

You can choose either one depending on your need. In my test PC, I choose to ‘Automatic Reset’.

STEP 5: Click ‘Yes’ to confirm.

Confirm Reset Process
Confirm Reset Process

STEP 6: It will list all the packages that will be removed. Click ‘OK’.

Packages that will be removed
Packages that will be removed

STEP 7: After the reset process is done, it will create a new user account and show you the login credentials. Make sure to note it down, else you can’t login to the PC.

New User Account
New User Account

STEP 8: Finally, reboot to complete the factory reset. Enjoy!

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of FOSSLinux.com. I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. Hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more, and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!

2 COMMENTS

  1. please help me. how to reset all the settings and applications without losing Home partition. I can’t find how to do it. thank you sir.

  2. 1/ save your /home partition on external drive
    2/ erase and reinstall your system
    3/ import your /home saved partition and datas on your new system.

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