The System Restore tool in Windows is one of the useful utilities available to you and is often a great first step when you’re trying to fix a major problem in Windows.
Your Windows system recovery tool you can do is restoring software, registry and driver configuration previously.
Follow these simple steps to return Windows to a previous, hopefully working, state using System Restore:
Required time: Using the System Restore tool to undo / reverse changes in Windows usually takes 10 to 30 minutes, at least in most cases.
Important: The way you access System Restore varies between versions of Windows. Here are three separate procedures: one for Windows 10, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, one for Windows 7 or Windows Vista, and one for Windows XP. See which version of Windows I have? if you are not sure.
How to use System Restore in Windows 10, 8 or 8.1
1. Open the Control Panel . Please check the linked execution if this is your first time, or just search from Windows 10 Cortana / Search box or Windows 8 / 8.1 Charms Bar .
Tip: We are trying to access the System Applet in Control Panel, which can be done very quickly from the Power User Menu but only faster if you are using a keyboard or mouse. Press WIN + X or right- click the Start button and then click System . Go to Step 4 if you end up going this way.
2. Click or click System and Security in Control Panel.
Note: You won’t see System and Security if the Control Panel view is set to Large icons or Small icons . Instead, find System , tap or click on it, then skip Step 4.
3. In the currently open System and Security window, click System
4. On the left, click or tap the System protection link.
5. From the System Properties window that appears, type or click the System Restore… button. If you don’t see it, make sure you’re on the System Protection tab.
6. Click Next > from the System Restore window titled Restore system files and settings .
Note: If you did System Restore before, you can see both the Undo System Restore option , as well as choose a different restore point . If so, choose Choose a different restore point , assuming you’re not here to undo.
7. Select the restore point you want to use from the points in the list.
Tip: If you want to see older restore points , select the Show more restore points check box.
Important: All restore points that remain in Windows will be listed here, as long as that check box is selected. Unfortunately, there is no way to “restore” old restore points. The oldest restore point listed is the farthest back from which you can restore Windows.
8. With your selected restore point, click or click the Next button.
9. Confirm the restore point you want to use on the Confirm your restore point window and then click or click the Finish button.
10. Press or click Yes to Once started, System Restore cannot be interrupted. Do you want to continue?
Important: If you are running System Restore from Safe Mode, please know that the changes it made to your computer will be irreversible. Don’t let this scare you – most likely, if you’re performing System Restore from here, it’s because Windows doesn’t start properly, giving you a few other options. However, that’s what you should know.
Note: Your computer will restart as part of System Restore, so be sure to close everything you can run now.
11. System Restore will now begin restoring Windows to the state it was in at the date and time logged in with the restore point you selected in Step 7.
12. You will see a small System Restore window prompting that Preparing to restore your system … Windows will almost completely shut down.
13. Next, on a blank screen, you will see a Please wait while your Windows files and settings are being restored message .
14. You will also see different messages appear below like System Restore is initializing…, System Restore is restoring the registry… , and System Restore is removing temporary files… . . This will probably take about 15 minutes.
Important: What you are sitting on here is the actual System Restore process. Do not turn off or restart your computer during this time!
15. Wait while your computer reboots.
Sign in to Windows as you normally would. If you’re not on a desktop and don’t switch there automatically, go there.
16. On the Desktop screen, you will see a small System Restore window saying “System Restore completed successfully .
17. Click or click the Close button.
18. Now when System Restore is complete, check to see if there is a problem you are trying to fix.
If System Restore doesn’t fix the problem , you can:
a) repeat the steps above, choosing an older restore point, assuming it is available.
b) continue to troubleshoot.
If this System Restore caused an additional problem , you can undo it, assuming that it was not completed from Safe Mode. To undo System Restore in Windows, repeat steps 1 through 6 above and choose Undo System Restore .
How to use System Restore in Windows 7 or Windows Vista
1. Navigate to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools Program Group.
2. Click the System Restore program icon.
3. Click Next> on the Restore system files and settings window which should have appeared on the screen.
Note: If you have two options on this screen, say Recommended restore and Choose a different restore point , select the Choose a different restore point option before clicking Next > unless you are absolutely sure the restore point Selected is the one you want to use.
4. Select the restore point you want to use. Ideally you want to pick one of them right before noticing the problem you’re trying to undo, but not any more return.
Any recovery points that you create, the scheduled recovery points that Windows automatically created and any created automatically in the process of installing some programs will be listed here. You cannot use System Restore to undo Windows changes on a date when a restore point doesn’t exist.
Note: If you need to, check the Show more restore points check box or Show more restore points older than 5 days check box to see more recent restore points. There’s no guarantee that there is any but it’s worth looking for if you need to go back to that far.
5. Click Next .
6. Click Finish on the Confirm your restore point window to initiate the System Restore.
Note: Windows will shut down to complete System Restore, so be sure to save any files you may have open in other programs before proceeding.
7. Click Yes the Once started dialog box , System Restore cannot be interrupted. Do you want to continue?
System Restore will restore Windows so that the state is recognized in the restore points you selected in step 4.
Note: System Restore may take a few minutes and you will see the message “Please wait while your Windows files and settings are being restored” . Your computer will then reboot as usual when finished.
Immediately after logging into Windows after rebooting, you should see a message saying “ System Restore completed successfully” .
8. Click Close .
Check to see if Windows 7 or Windows Vista problem you were fixed was fixed by this System Restore.
If the problem persists, you can repeat the steps above and choose a different restore point if available. If this recovery caused the problem, you can always undo this System Restore.
How to use System Restore in Windows XP
1. Make your way to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools .
2. Click the System Restore program icon.
3. Choose to Restore my computer to an earlier time and then click Next .
4. Select an available date on the calendar on the left.
Note: The available dates are the days when a restore point was created and bolded. You cannot use System Restore to undo Windows XP changes to a date when a restore point does not exist.
5. Now that a date is selected, please choose a specific restore point from the list on the right.
6. Click Next .
7. Click Next on the Confirm Restore Point Selection window you see now.
Note: Windows XP will shut down as part of the System Restore process. Make sure to save any files you open before proceeding.
8. System Restore will restore Windows XP with Registry, drivers and other important files as they existed when the restore point you selected in Step 5 was created. This may take a few minutes.
9. Once the reboot is complete, log in as usual. Assuming everything went as planned, you should see the Restoration Complete window, you can Close .
Now you can check to see if System Restore fixed whatever Windows XP problem you were trying to fix. If not, you can always try an earlier restore point, if you have one. If System Restore makes things worse, you can always undo it.