Many users report that they are asked to clear TPM when resetting or reinstalling Windows 10/11. Should I clear TPM during reset? Is it safe to clear TPM? Now, let’s explore the answers together with MiniTool.
A lot of users receive the message “a configuration change was requested to clear this computer's TPM” when resetting their PC. Should I clear TPM when reinstalling Windows 10? Is it safe to clear TPM? These questions are heatedly discussed in various forums. Here is a true example from the answer.microsoft.com forum.
When resetting my PC, should I clear TPM? Will my PC be able to reinstall Win10? Win 10 came with my Toshiba Satellite P55W-C laptop. I have reset my PC twice. The second time I erased my personal files & info. Each time, before reinstalling Win10, I was asked if I wanted to clear the TPM.
What Is TPM
TPM, the abbreviation of Trusted Platform Module, is a microchip attached to the motherboard of certain computers. It is also known as ISO/IEC which provides users with great hardware-based cybersecurity and works as tamper-resistant storage for cryptographic keys.
It can be used to store artifacts used to authenticate your PC like user passwords, encryption keys, and certificates. Besides, it can also store protocols for ensuring the safety of your computer and can be used to enable BitLocker drive encryption on Windows. Here’s how to check the TPM status on Windows 10/11.
Step 1. Press Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box, and then type tpm.msc in it and press Enter.
Step 2. In the pop-up window, scroll down the middle panel to the Status section. If it displays the message “The TPM is ready for use”, it means that you can enable TPM. Besides, you can check the Specification Version. If it shows 2.0, it indicates the TPM version is 2.0 and your PC can run Windows 11.
Should I Clear TPM During Reset
Sometimes people may have to reset or reinstall Windows 10/11 due to some reasons. However, many users find that Windows always stuck on resetting and asks to clear the computer’s TPM. So, here comes a question - should you clear TPM during reset?
To answer this question, it is necessary to figure out why you need to clear TPM. After analyzing relevant information, we find that the message can appear when you reset/reinstall a computer that has the TPM and BitLocker encryption utilities enabled on.
Why? When you reset a PC to its factory settings or perform a clean reinstallation of the system on a used PC, clearing TPM can make sure the new system can re-deploy any TPM-based functionality completely.
So, should you clear TPM during reset/reinstall? According to the above analysis, we can conclude that it would be better to clear TPM if you want to sell a used computer. If you had encrypted your hard disk using BitLocker, the BitLocker recovery key could be restored from TPM. In this case, clearing TPM can prevent privacy leaks.
Is It Safe to Clear TPM
Is it safe to clear TPM on Windows 10/11? To answer this question, it is necessary to understand what would happen if you clear a computer’s TPM. As the warning message hints, we can conclude that clearing TPM will erase all created keys related to the TPM such as the BitLocker recovery key.
In addition, it will delete all data protected by these TPM-relevant keys, such as a sign-in PIN, virtual smart card, etc. If you want to clear TPM safely, it’s important to pay heed to the following things:
- Make sure you have made a backup of all important data that’s protected by the TPM.
- If you have any keys stored on your computer such as BitLocker recovery keys, make sure you write them down or store them on a USB stick. Also, you can decrypt your hard drive and back up the data before clearing TPM.
- Don’t clear the TPM on a work or school computer without your IT administrator’s instructions.
- Don’t clear a computer’s TPM directly from UEFI settings. You can use the TPM management console to clear TPM.
- Since the TPM security is a physical part of your PC, you may need to refer to the manuals depending on the manufacturers.
Should I clear TPM during reset? Is it safe to clear TPM? Now, I believe that you already have known the answers. Let’s see how to clear TPM on Windows 10/11 safely.
How to Clear TPM Windows 10/11 Safely
Here we divide the process of clearing into the following 2 parts. The first step is to back up all important data on your computer, and the second part is to clear the TPM on Windows 10/11.
Part 1. Preparations Before You Clear TPM
As discussed above, clearing TPM will lead to all TPM-protected keys and data loss such as BitLocker encrypted drive. So, it’s crucial to back up the data beforehand. How to make a backup quickly? MiniTool Partition Wizard is a trustworthy tool.
It is a professional partition manager that can back up the BitLocker-protected partition to an external drive quickly. Besides, it can format/extend/resize/wipe partitions, recover lost data, migrate OS, convert MBR to GPT without data loss, etc. Here’s how to back up partitions using the MiniTool software.
Make sure you have noted down or backed up the BitLocker recovery key so that you can restore data on the encrypted drive.
Step 1. Connect an external drive to your computer and launch MiniTool Partition Wizard to get its main interface.
Step 2. Select the partition that you want to back up from the disk map and click on the Copy Partition from the left action panel.
Step 3. In the pop-up window, select the external drive and click on Next to create the backup of the selected partition.
Make sure the external drive is large enough to store all data on the selected partition.
Step 4. Drag the blue handle to enlarge or shrink the new partition and click on Finish. Once confirmed, click on Apply to execute the pending changes.
In addition, you need to back up other TPM-related keys and data such as sign-in PIN. Once down, you can move down the following part.
Part 2. How to Clear TPM on Windows 10/11
There are 2 simple ways to clear TPM on Windows 10/11 safely. You can choose one according to your preference.
Way 1. Use Windows Security
Step 1. Type Windows security in the search box and select Windows Defender Security from the top result.
Step 2. Select Device security from the left navigation bar and click on Security processor details from the right panel.
Step 3. Click on Security processor troubleshooting.
Step 4. Click on TPM and then you will be asked to restart the computer. Click on Clear and restart and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
After your computer reboots, the Windows operating system will automatically re-initialize the TPM and take its ownership again.
Way 2. Use TPM Management Console
Step 1. Open the Trusted Platform Module Management console window by executing the tpm.msc command in the Run box.
Step 2. Go to the Actions panel, and then click on Clear TPM and select Restart. Then follow the on-screen prompts to complete the clearing.
How to Troubleshoot TPM Issues on Windows 10/11
Many users encounter TPM issues when resetting or reinstalling Windows 10/11. How to troubleshoot TPM issues? After analyzing extensive user reports on different forums, we summarize several effective troubleshooting methods. Let’s start trying.
# 1. Press the F12 Key
If you receive the “A configuration change was requested to clear this computer’s TPM” error when resetting PC, press the F12 keys to make your system out of this state just like clicking on Yes. Then your PC will resume the reset process and return to normal.
# 2. Press the Volume Key
Some users reported that they get rid of the error by using the Volume button. Here you can try pressing the Volume Up key to clear the TPM or pressing the Esc or Volume Down key to reject the change request and centime.
# 3. Check the TPM Driver
Sometimes the TPM drive can get outdated or corrupted, triggering the TPM issues. So, we recommend you updated or reinstall the TPM driver on Windows 10/11 and see if it works.
Step 1. Right-click the Start menu at the bottom of your screen and select Device Manager from the context menu.
Step 2. Expand the Security devices category, and then right-click Trusted Platform Module 2.0 driver and select Update driver.
Step 3. Select Search automatically for drivers and follow the on-screen instructions to install the latest version of TPM drivers automatically. Alternatively, you can download the TPM 2.0 driver from the official Microsoft website.
Step 4. If the TPM issues persist, you can try reinstalling the TPM 2.0 driver by selecting Uninstall device in Step 2.
# 4. Enable TPM in BIOS
If the TPM is disabled or hidden in the UEFI settings, you may encounter TPM issues. In this case, you can follow the steps below to enable TPM in BIOS.
In addition, you need to make sure that your computer hardware contains a Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) that is Trusted Computing Group-compliant.
Step 1. Start your computer, and then hold the F2 and Delete hotkey before the computer is booted. By doing so, you will enter BIOS.
Step 2. Navigate to the Boot tab using the left or right arrow key.
Step 3. Find and enable the TPM option. Then save the changes and restart your computer.
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Should you clear TPM during reset? How to clear the TPM safely on Windows 10/11? All the relevant question has been analyzed in detail. If you have any other opinions, please share them with us in the following comment area.
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