RAYMOND OGLESBY @RaymondOglesby2
February 16, 2023
System Restore lets you restore key Windows system files and Registry settings to a known-good state. Windows automatically creates them in certain situations, but you may want to manually create them before installing hardware drivers or making other major system changes. Let’s explore how to create a System Restore Point.
This is for devices running Windows 11 or 10. Screenshots are from Windows 10
System Restore Point Explained
Windows 11 and 10 include a utility app called System Restore that can repair malfunctioning Windows installations by reverting certain system files and Windows Registry settings to a prior state. It does this by using restore points, which are snapshots of system files and the registry made either automatically or manually before problems arise.
Restore points are stored in a hidden folder called System Volume Information which is located at the root of each drive. Creating a restore point does not make any changes to your system, but restoring it later does. The instructions are the same in each Windows version.
Note: Windows will automatically create System Restore points in certain situations, so you may be able to restore to a previous system state even if you have never manually created one. However, you may want to manually create System Restore points before making major changes to your computer’s settings, installing drives, or installing large applications.
Manually Create a System Restore Point
First, open the Start Menu and type “Restore Point”. In the results that appear, select Create a Restore Point. Refer to the below image:
Next, the System Properties window will open with the System Protection tab selected. This is the main interface for managing restore points within Windows. Click the Create button toward the bottom of the window. See the below image:
Now, type in the name of the restore point. A good rule of thumb is to use a name that identifies why you are making the restore point, such as before a major installation or upgrade. For example “Before Drivers Update”, or “Before OneDrive Installation.”. When you are ready, click Create. See the following image:
Next, you will see a progress bar, then if all goes well, a message that says The restore point was created successfully. Just click Close. Refer to the below image:
After that, you are finished creating the restore point.
Automatically Create a System Restore Point
First, use the same System Protection tab in System Properties. Select the drive you would like to protect, then click Configure. In the window that opens, select Turn on System Protection, then click OK. See the below image:
When you are done, click OK or close the System Properties window.
Restore a System Restore Point
To restore a System Restore point in Windows 111/10, we will use the same System Protection tab in the instructions above. First, open the Start Menu and type “Restore Point”, then click Create a Restore Point in the results. See the following image:
Now, in the System Restore window that opens, click Next when you see the introductory information. On the following screen, you will see a list of system restore points available on your PC. Select the one you want to restore and click Next. Refer to the below image:
Note: On this same screen, you can select a restore point and click “Scan For Affected Programs” to see a list of installed apps that will be affected by the restore process. This might help you make a decision about which restore point to choose.
Next, you will see a summary screen. Click Finish. See the below image:
Warning: By clicking “Yes” in the next step, you are about to make a permanent change to your system that could make your apps not work properly. System restore replaces your system files with older versions, and that can potentially break things. Only use it if you are recovering from a serious error. Also, you will not be able to use your PC while the system restore process is taking place.
If you are ready to begin the system restore, click Yes on the final warning screen. See the following image:
Your system will restart and the restore process will begin. After it’s complete, if everything went well, you will be able to log into Windows and use your PC as normal.
Technology is always changing and rarely is static for smartphones and desktops. Thus, the contents of this post are only valid at the time of writing. Blog posts older than six months may have directions incompatible with your device or OS. Hopefully, older post content will continue to work as advertised. Thank you for reading TechSavvy.Life for Technology at Work For You.
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