Resetting Windows devices may not erase all data


Windows users have found that some of their files are not deleted after resetting Windows devices using the “Delete All” option. The problem is related to an error in the OneDrive file hosting service.

“When trying to reset a Windows device with applications that have folders with reprocessing data, such as OneDrive or OneDrive for Business, files that have been downloaded or synced locally from OneDrive may not be deleted when the Delete All option is selected,” Microsoft explained.

The problem may occur when attempting a manual reset initiated in Windows or a remote reset. Remote reset can be initiated using Mobile Device Management (MDM) or other management applications such as Microsoft Intune or third-party tools.

For the first time this problem noticed Microsoft specialist Rudy Ooms. According to the expert, remote or local cleaning of Windows 10 systems still leaves user data readable in the Windows.old folder. Data encrypted with Bitlocker will also be moved unencrypted and readable to the same folder on some systems after Windows is reset.

The bug affects all supported versions of Windows, including Windows 11 21H2 and Windows 10 20H2 to 21H2. Microsoft is working to fix the problem and will fix this error in the next Windows update.

“This problem can be prevented by logging out of OneDrive or disconnecting from OneDrive before resetting the Windows device. Instructions can be found in the section “Disconnect from OneDrive” in the section “Disabling or deleting OneDrive,” the company noted.

Customers can also delete any remaining files on already reset devices using the Memory Control feature in the Settings app.

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