Aug 21, 2018 @ 1:54 pm

How to Perform System Restore on Windows 7 and 10?

A bad driver, an error prone software installation, or even a Windows system update can cause your computer to crash or slowdown. There are several ways to recover your computer. The easiest method is System Restore that rolls back your system to its last known stable state.

The System Restore feature is a failsafe device in Windows that protects your computer. Think of it as an insurance policy and a time-machine that can take you back when things were working perfectly in your computer.

The feature has been a part of Windows operating systems since a long time. The steps to enable and work with is also similar across the Windows versions. But we will still show you the workflow for Windows 7 and Windows 10.

How Does System Restore Work to Protect Your PC?

If you haven’t disabled System Restore, then the feature works by creating automatic snapshots called Restore Points. Windows creates them every week and before any key event like a Windows update.

You can also create System Restore points manually. So, when something breaks, the OS can quickly recover by going to that last known point in time when everything was running smoothly.

System Restore is a handy troubleshooting tool also. Imagine you installed a software or a driver and suddenly the computer starts experiencing problems. Thanks to the System Restore, you can immediately undo the damage without reinstalling your entire OS or resetting it to the factory state.

But do remember this: System Restore is not a backup. It only creates a copy of key Windows System files (.exe files, .dlls, batch files, and shortcuts), registry settings, and hardware drivers. System Restore does not have any effect on your personal files.

Apps installed before you create the restore point will be there. Any apps installed after the restore point will be uninstalled.

How to Set a System Restore Point in Windows 10?

You should always turn on System Restore for the system drive (C:). As System Restore works on system files, it is not necessary for the other partitions.

The radio button for System Restore is switched on by default. But, check it before you make any changes to your system

1. Choose Start > Control Panel > System and Security. Click the System link.

Control Panel - Windows 10

Alternatively, the faster way is to type “System” in the Cortana Search box and click on System when it pops up the search result.

2. Click the System protection link in the column on the left.

System restore protection

3. The System Properties dialog box is displayed. Click the System Protection tab (if it is not automatically displayed) and then click the Create button.

system restore properties dialog

Again, you can reach the same Create button by typing “Restore Point” into the Start Menu search box. Then, click Create a restore point in the search result. You’ll see the System Properties dialogue with the System Protection tab open.

4. In the Create a restore point dialog box, type a description for the restore point. Make sure it is something which you can understand later. For instance: the name of the program if you are installing it. The timestamp is added automatically.

5. Click Create and Windows takes a few minutes to create the restore point. Exit the screens.

System restore point created

Remember: You can set the amount of space System Restore uses on your disk. Select the drive and click the Configure. Drag the slider to set the maximum amount of space that System Restore will use.

How to Perform System Restore in Windows 10?

Even the healthiest computer systems might have a day when things go wrong. Follow the steps below to rescue your system. It can take anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes to bring it back to a stable state.

1. Navigate to the same System Properties dialog box and the System Protection tab. Ensure the right partition is selected under Protection Settings. Then, click the System Restore button.

start windows system restore process

2. In the next screen, Windows will recommend the most recent restore point and also allow you to choose a restore point manually. The most recent restore point is often preferable.

Recommended restore points

3. Click the Scan for affected programs link to have System Restore detect any programs that will be uninstalled during the process. This scan takes a few minutes and presents you with two lists. These two lists are important because you have a record of what stays and what gets deleted after the restoration.

Scan for Affected programs

4. Click the Close button and then confirm the restoration if you picked the recommended restore point.

confirm your restore point

If you opted for a manual restore, select the restore point you want to use and then click Next. Windows will ask you to confirm the System Restore. Click Finish and Windows restarts to begin the process.

How to Set a System Restore Point in Windows 7?

I will not elaborate this in detail as you must go through the same steps to configure System Restore in Windows 7. The appearance of the screens differs slightly because of the design changes between the two versions. Here’s the workflow in pictures:

1. Choose Start > Control Panel > System and Security. Click the System link.

Windows 7 control panel security

2. Click the System Protection link on the left side.

3. In the System Properties dialog box, select the System Protection tab and then click the Create button.

Windows 7 Properties window

4. Use the Create a Restore Point dialog box to give a descriptive label to the restore point.

5. Windows takes a moment to take a snapshot of the C Drive and create the restore point. It then displays an alert. Click OK and exit all screens.

How to Perform System Restore in Windows 7?

Using System Restore is not any different in Windows 7.

1. Again, you can access the same System Properties screen from the earlier steps.
Alternatively, go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore.

2. Select a restore point from the list and click Next and then Finish on the next screen to start the recovery process.

windows 7 restore point

3. Windows will reboot and take a few minutes to restore your computer to the time selected.
After your system is restored, check if the error has been resolved. System Restore always creates another restore point before the restore process.

This is another record you can use or go back even further to solve the issues plaguing your computer.


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