How to reset Windows font settings and restore default fonts

Martin Brinkmann
May 29, 2014

Microsoft has improved the boot time of Windows 8 significantly in comparison to previous versions of the operating system.

While that is great, it does not mean that the startup time won't increase. If you install autostart programs for instance, or too many fonts, then you may notice that system start will slow down regardless of the improvements that Microsoft made.

We mentioned back in 2007 that fonts can slow down the start of the operating system, and things do not seem to have changed much in this regard.

Older versions of Windows don't ship with options to remove non-system fonts from the system. That's why third-party programs such as Font Frenzy were created which provided that functionality.

There is no clear distinction between system and third-party fonts in Windows. If you happen to remove fonts, by loading the fonts control panel applet and simply hitting delete on the keyboard after selecting fonts, you may remove system fonts that are still used by programs running on Windows.

So what can you do if you have accidentally deleted fonts that you still require? And how can you remove non-system fonts from the operating system without running the risk of removing system fonts?

Resetting font settings

restore default font settings
Windows font settings

It is easy to reset all font settings in Windows 7 or Windows. This can be necessary after font settings have been modified either by a user or by programs on the system.

Font settings determine among other things which font is used to display window titles or text in notification boxes.

  1. Press the Start button to open the Start Menu if you are running Windows 7, or the Start screen if you run Windows 8.
  2. Type change font settings and select that result from the list.
  3. Here you need to click on restore default font settings to remove all font customizations on the operating system.

Restore default fonts

This is actually not as easy as it sounds as you cannot list all system fonts on Windows to find out which are missing. There are two ways to restore default fonts.

Copy fonts from a Windows installation directory

windows iso extract

If you have access to a Windows installation directory, either extracted on the hard drive or in form of an ISO image, then you can copy the fonts from it to the fonts directory on your system to add them again in case they have been deleted previously.

It is essential that you use the same version of Windows if possible. If you are running Windows 7, use a Windows 7 ISO, and if you run Windows 8.1 use the ISO for it and not Windows 8.If you have an ISO image, you can mount it directly if you are running Windows 8. To do so, right-click the image and select mount from the context menu. It becomes available as a drive letter afterwards.If you run Windows 7, use a program like WinCDEmu instead which can do the same.Alternatively, burn it to disc or extract the contents of the ISO using a program like 7-zip.

  1. Mount or extract the Windows iso image first.
  2. Download GImageX from this website.
  3. Run the program and switch to the mount tab in it.
  4. Select an empty existing folder on the system as the mount point, for instance on that you create. The program will move the files into it so make sure enough space is available on the drive.
  5. Select sources\install.wim in the source directory and click on mount afterwards.
  6. It takes a while to mount the files.
  7. What's left now is open Windows\Fonts on the selected folder and copy the fonts from it to the fonts folder of Windows c:\Windows\Fonts.

Copy fonts from another Windows PC

windows fonts directory

If you run the same version of Windows on another device, you may want to consider moving the fonts from that device over to the system missing fonts.

You find all installed fonts in the C:\Windows\Fonts\ folder on the system. Use Windows Explorer of File Explorer on Windows 8 to browse to the location and copy them all to a flash drive, on a blank DVD, or via direct transfer options to the device missing fonts.

How to reset Windows font settings and restore default fonts
Article Name
How to reset Windows font settings and restore default fonts
How to restore Windows font settings or restore Windows system fonts.

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Okeydoctors said on March 15, 2020 at 10:21 am

    No matter which font you use or what you type, you’ll find a new space that appears above your text. Tap here, and you’ll find you can type with “Default Font” once again.

  2. Nikki said on August 2, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Hello! I am curious to know if anyone else using W10 has experienced their fonts being deleted unknowingly?

    I recall ± eight months ago, one of my fonts went MIA, and I thought I could have just accidentally done something stupid and removed it myself. However, yesterday I discovered two of my other fonts (Britannic family) were missing. Thankfully I have kept secondary copies of ALL fonts loaded on my machine…

    But has anyone else experienced such matter on their own?

    I am debating btwn either some kid from Jamaica hacking into my machine and trying to cause havoc or Bill Gates’ handiwork slipping through the cracks.

    1. Sheila said on August 24, 2016 at 2:19 am

      Apparently, the loss of files, fonts, programs, etc. when switching to Windows 10 is still widespread. Chances are, it wasn’t a hack. Personally, I’m sticking with 8.1 until my PC fries completely (I can replace parts myself, so that’s not as likely an issue for me compared to others who buy proprietary PCs like Dell or HP) or Windows comes out with an OS that is actually better.

  3. Steve Williams said on August 25, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Hi Martin … there is also the possibility to reset/restore your fonts manually.

    All the best!

  4. David said on May 30, 2014 at 1:32 am

    All the graphics programs I use have their own font directories in addition to the Windows one. I like to use these for fonts that I add so that they don’t get mixed up, lost or overwritten. One day I might even symlink them together.

    Nice to know this improves the system speed as well :-)

  5. Bobby Phoenix said on May 29, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Doesn’t running sfc /scannow replace/restore the default fonts?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 29, 2014 at 10:12 pm

      I tried that and it did not do so. I’m not sure though if the font I deleted was a Windows font or not.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.