The blog of Windows Wally, a Windows Support Technician helping common people solve frustrating computer problems.



How to use System Restore in Windows

Reader Question:
“Hi Wally, How to can I use system restore? Does it backup the drivers or My Documents?” – Melissa E., United Kingdom

Before addressing any computer issue, I always recommend scanning and repairing any underlying problems affecting your PC health and performance:

  • Step 1 : Download PC Repair & Optimizer Tool (WinThruster for Win7, XP, Vista – Microsoft Gold Certified).
  • Step 2 : Click “Start Scan” to find Windows registry issues that could be causing PC problems.
  • Step 3 : Click “Repair All” to fix all issues.

Setting up weekly (or daily) automatic scans will help prevent system problems and keep your PC running fast and trouble-free.

Wally’s Answer: System restore allows Windows users to restore their computer to the last restore point. System restore backs-up system files, registry, and system settings. It is highly recommended that you make a restore point when installing new device drivers, making a big alteration to Windows, or something else. This can really save you a lot of trouble if Windows suddenly computer stops working.

Problem

  • How to use system restore?
  • What does system restore do?

What is System Restore?

System restore is a built-in feature of Microsoft Windows. Windows creates restore points automatically when doing a Windows update and installing system drivers. Windows allows users to make restore points manually. You can restore the computer to a previous state, restoring any damaged or missing system files, the registry, and some installed applications as well. System restore cannot restore your email, and files such as pictures, documents, and videos.

Creating a Restore point in Windows 7 and Windows 8

Windows usually recovers from problems automatically. Serious problems usually occur due to issues with the DLL files, Windows Registry, and driver files. All of these are backed-up by system restore.

  1. Press the Windows Key and type Create a restore point > Select Create a restore point. The System Properties dialog box should open and the System Protection tab should be selected.
    System Restore - System Properties - System Protection -- Windows Wally
  2. Look under Protection Settings to see if the (system) drive’s protection is turned ON. If it is Off select the (system) drive and use the Configure button. Turn it on from here (this will take a few gigabytes of space on that drive).
  3. To Create a restore point go back to the System Properties dialog box, and click the Create button. Give the restore point a suitable name such as ‘After installing new driver’, and click the Create button.
    System Restore - System Protection - Creating Restore Point -- Windows Wally
  4. It should take about one minute for the process to complete.
    System Restore - System Protection - Creating Restore Point 2 -- Windows Wally

Restoring a Restore point in Windows 7 and Windows 8

  1. Press the Windows Key > type Create a restore point > Select Create a restore point
  2. In the System Protection tab, use the System Restore button.
    System Restore - System Protection - Restoring a Restore Point -- Windows Wally
  3. Click Next.
  4. Select a System Restore point from the list.
    System Restore - System Protection - Restoring a Restore Point 2 -- Windows Wally
  5. Click Next
  6. Click Finish to initiate the restore process. Windows will restart when the process completes.

Windows will usually sort-out these problems for you but sometimes you’ll have no choice but to use system restore to fix your computer. Most of these problems will not occur if your computer is properly maintained. You can do this automatically by installing software that performs regular maintenance tasks for you.

Is Your PC Healthy?

I always recommend to my readers to regularly use a trusted registry cleaner and optimizer such as WinThruster or CCleaner. Many problems that you encounter can be attributed to a corrupt and bloated registry.

Happy Computing! :)

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About the Author

Windows Wally is a helpful guy. It’s just in his nature. It’s why he started a blog in the first place. He heard over and over how hard it was to find simple, plain-English solutions to Windows troubleshooting problems on the Internet. Enter: Windows Wally. Ask away, and he will answer.